The Sunshine Bed, planted up last Spring, has come to life and really is shining in all the wonderful sunshine we have had recently. Shining despite the lack of rain this month too… I think we had one afternoon of light showers early April! (And just a few spots this afternoon)
The creamy yellow tulip is Akebono, which featured in my tulip vase last week. It is quite blousy with pretty edges that sometimes turn slightly peachy. In the background the broom has started to flower. I love having this in the garden as it grows wild in our region and is also just starting to colour the roadsides. 😃 In the foreground is a small Alchemilla mollis… in the Butterfly Bed the Alchemilla are much bigger already, but this bed is more exposed to the cold nights and wind. I have had lots of Narcissi in this bed too, but they are all over now. And I am very happy to see the Californian Poppies I had last summer have spread and are already forming nice clumps.
From a slightly different angle the new larch forest, planted last year, is just visible.
Last autumn I suddenly decided I wanted to plant a larch forest. How many trees make a forest? I chose seven small trees, about 1.3 meters tall, and planted them in the rain one dreary December afternoon. It was dark by the time I was done, but what a great feeling! 😃
And now the beautiful fresh green of their new needles is creating a lovely focal point beyond the Sunshine Bed. My Man of Many Talents kindly mowed around it the other day…
Their spring colour is intense and yet soft, and the golden autumn colour is quite magical. Do you have larch trees in or near your garden?
I wonder what green you look forward to most in Spring… Larch green? Euphorbia green? Grass green?! Do share your thoughts! 😃
Thanks for reading. 🦋
April is the month for tulips, but since I had a whole vase full of them last week I thought I would choose just one in its prime for today. Once again I am happy to join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her Monday meme. 😃
This is Tulip Menton. I loved it so much last year that I planted some more along with some Tulip Menton Exotic, which were a little disappointing as they are almost the same colour as Menton but more fussy and without that striking shape. Let‘s see how they develop as they both only opened a few days ago.
My star Hellebore is still going strong, and doesn‘t seem to be bothered by the wind or the dry ground. So it made it into this vase too, along with some Bellis, Buddleia foliage, the first Geranium phaeum to open (brought with me from the old garden), and a Camassia (I am afraid I failed to photograph it close up). The Camassia are small, and I seem to remember rather expensive, so if they don‘t come up reliably next year I think they will not be replaced. They really need to be planted alone, perhaps in a big pot as I did one year, or en masse, which I believe I saw first in a TV report about the nursery (https://www.harespringcottageplants.co.uk) that provided Camassias for Chris Beardshaw‘s garden at the Chelsea flower show a few years ago.
On the left of the above photo is a peachy pink broom – Cytisus praecox ‘Hollandia’ – that opened a few days ago too. It looks gorgeous in the Butterfly Bed, and smells nice too.
Below you can see the pretty little flowers of G. phaeum. They are a deep maroon that always reminds me of my school uniform! (Maroon blazers and ties!)
I have been weeding all day, but the usual therapeutic effect of spending time in the garden seemed elusive today. I am sure that looking at all the other vases linking up to Cathy‘s blog will help restore my equilibrium over the next day or so. And I have tomato seedlings to plant up too!
Hope you are all finding something in your gardens to soothe the mind and keep you busy. 💕
I have been craving sweet stuff recently and made myself some flapjacks. After all, you only need sugar, margarine and oats! If you have golden syrup even better. Mine were bit crumbly, but this recipe I am linking to uses half sugar and half syrup, so give yourself a treat and give it a go!
Of course, mine were vegan, using margarine instead of butter. And I added a little maple syrup. Other options for spicing them up would be adding a teaspoon of cinnamon or cardamom. Or a handful of dried cranberries.
The second recipe is one I have been meaning to post for years! It is an old favourite for a quick and tasty dinner when there are no fresh veggies left in the fridge. I think it was originally a rice salad that ‘evolved’ into a hot dish. I call it simply ‘Curry rice’. 😃
All you need for two to three portions is:
- 200g basmati rice
- About 2 tbsps margarine
- 1-2 tbsps curry powder (depending on how hot your curry powder is!)
- 200g (frozen) green beans
- 200g tin of sweetcorn
- Salt and black pepper
Warm a large serving dish in the oven. Cook your rice and your green beans separately, according to the instructions on the packets. When the beans are cooked, turn off the heat, add the sweetcorn and leave for a couple of minutes to warm through. Then drain.
Mix the rice, beans and corn, the margarine and the seasoning thoroughly and place in your warm serving dish.
We like this with homemade naan bread or spicy fried tofu cubes. You could in fact serve it as a side dish but we like a big portion, so it is a main meal in our house!
Hope you too are eating well during lockdown. 😉
P.S. Here are a few more recipes that can be made with minimum ingredients:
I love tulips!
Here are some gorgeous samples to make you smile. They are in a vase because it is Monday and I am joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her Monday meme again.
- Yellow lily-flowered: West Point
- Orange lily-flowered: Ballerina
- Purple: Purple Dream
- Purple with green: Purple Dance
- Pink with green and gold tinge: Amazing Parrot
- Orange and yellow: The packet simply said ‘Parrot’
- Orange with gold and green tinge: Dynasty Orange (Could be a new favourite!)
- 2 x yellow and cream with orangey tips: Akebono (last year‘s favourite and still very much loved)
Click on any image to create a slideshow.
My props this week are my collection of hearts. I never intended to collect them, but they just seem to have multiplied over the years and several have a special meaning, reminding me of loved ones past and present. 😊
What is your favourite tulip? Any recommendations most welcome as I will be looking at Peter Nyssen‘s webiste soon and choosing my tulips for autumn planting. Best to preorder as the best and most popular sell out really quickly. 😉 I will definitely be ordering more of these…
I have been so busy in the garden recently and hope to reveal my new project soon. I also have another store cupboard recipe or two to share later this week for all of you avoiding supermarkets like the…. no, I won‘t say it!
My thoughts are with everyone in lockdown, be it partial or total. Our restrictions are slowly being lifted at last here in Bavaria, and the garden centres are reopening this week, albeit with very strict hygiene regulations. Yay!
Have a good week!
This Easter Monday I am joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her weekly meme, and must thank her again for the focus it gives me.
It has been gorgeous weather here recently and the garden is really coming to life, so I had fewer qualms than of late about picking a handful of flowers to bring indoors.
The later narcissi and early tulips all started opening on Thursday which meant I could enjoy them while working outside on Friday and Saturday. The sweet fragrance of the narcissi every time I passed was a joy, but indoors they are making us sneeze!
The deep orange tulip on the left is Ballerina. Only about half of the original bulbs have flowered so I must replenish them. The larger peachy tulip on the right is Apricot Emperor. I love it in combination with Narcissus Actaea and planted a huge clump of them together in the herb bed. Actaea is the white one with a striking orange ‘eye’.
The dear little Narcissus at the front of the vase is Hawera. It is spreading! I don‘t think that has ever happened with any other Narcissus I have grown, so it gets 10 out of ten for its delicate appearance and yet durability. The petals curve backwards as it ages and there are usually at least two flower heads to each stem. The graceful yellow botanical tulip is Sylvestris. I do like the botanical ones for their natural and yet elegant looks…. sort of Audrey Hepburn style! 😉
Other Narcissi I used are Cheerfulness, Thalia and a yellow one I have forgotten the name of. Possibly Tamara. I had to include one of my parrot tulips too. They are just so cheeky! And I added a sprig of fresh birch growth. (The trees are all turning green as you watch here!)
Well, as we all enter another week of lockdown I wish you all the best. Stay calm. Keep smiling. Enjoy your gardens. Focus on something you can look forward to. I will be sowing seeds again today.