Tuesday at Two (September 17th)

I can’t believe how fast September is flying by. Do you feel the same?

We’ve had a lot of weather today – rain, hail,  wind, but also lovely sunshine!

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Two minutes earlier it looked like this…

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And five minutes later I was running for cover! I managed to get lots of planting done, as the ground was nice and damp, and then everything was watered in perfectly without me needing to help. 😀

My next job is to write down where I planted what…. trying to keep a record now by simply listing new plants with a description of where it is. An example; Alyssum has been planted “where the previous Alyssum was, in front of the rock in the top bed”. Well, I hope I’ll know what I meant in the spring when I’m looking out for it to send up green shoots!

Have a great week everyone!

Mini Victoria Sponges

A couple of years ago I helped my Mum clear out her kitchen cupboards and as a result became the proud owner of this:

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I have made chestnut cake, banana bread and giant muffins in it, but somehow this baking tin needed a different cake recipe of its own… Now I have found it!

Mini Victoria sponges!

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Last summer I posted the traditional Victoria Sponge Sandwich Cake, so this is just an adapted version to make six mini cakes instead of one large one. And this time I used fresh cream in the filling – a revelation. Can’t think why I never did that before!

Mini Victoria Sponge Sandwich Cakes

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  • 175 g (6 oz) butter
  • 175g (6 oz) caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 175g (6 oz) self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 2-3 tbsps milk
  • jam for filling (I used blueberry, strawberry and lemon curd)
  • whipped fresh cream for filling
  • 6 mini cake tins, greased and floured
  • A little icing sugar for decoration

Preheat oven to 190°C. Cream the butter and sugar together with a mixer until pale and fluffy. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time. Gently fold in the sieved flour, baking powder and salt. Add the milk if necessary to achieve a “dropping consistency”, i.e. the mixture drops slowly off a spoon. Fill the cake tins about 2/3 full and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Allow to cool completely. Slice the cake horizontally into two. Spread the lower half with jam, then add a dollop of whipped cream and put the second cake on top, like a sandwich. Sprinkle with a little icing sugar as decoration. If using fresh cream, eat on the same day, or refrigerate.

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ENJOY!

Patio Prickles

At the top of my rockery, next to the patio, there is a beautiful Euonymus fortunei “Emerald ‘n Gold”, hidden behind these prickles!

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I can’t remember what they are called, but these little evergreens are some of the prickliest plants I’ve ever come across… and I have an aversion to prickles.

I admit to not watering this pot all summer – it survived 6 weeks without rain, with temperatures in the upper 30s. But its days were numbered nonetheless. Say goodbye…

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Bye bye prickles, hello…

Cupressa macrocarpa goldcrest!

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These are sold as “seasonal” plants here… I’m not sure it will last the winter, but I can wrap it up in the pot if necessary and for now it has brightened up the patio… and I can see the Euonymus!

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Do you have any prickly plants you don’t like?

Tuesday at Two (September 10th)

It’s been drizzling for most of the day, and is quite chilly. Welcome autumn… hello socks… where’s my fleece jacket! We’ll be putting the heating on soon if this continues!

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The maple at the bottom of the garden is slowly turning red and the lime trees are losing all their leaves.

What signs of autumn are you seeing?