Raspberry Ripples, Vanilla Beans, and a Haiku

I am slightly obsessed with raspberries and vanilla at the moment, as you can see…

Raspberry ripples

Melding with vanilla dreams

Icy pink summer


Raspberry Ripple Vanilla Ice Cream

(Really easy, and no machine required!)

  • 220ml (1 cup) cream
  • 110ml (1/2 cup) milk
  • 2 vanilla beans
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
  • 400g (14oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 125g (1 cup) raspberries
  • 1 tsp kirsch or vodka

Scrape the seeds of the vanilla beans into the cream, and add the empty bean pods too, and the vanilla extract. Then warm the cream gently. After a few minutes remove from the heat and allow to steep for an hour. Then chill. Once completely cold you can remove the vanilla pods and whisk in the milk and condensed milk.

Puree the raspberries with the kirsch/vodka and strain. You now have approximately 6 or 7 tbsps puree (about 100ml). Swirl this through the vanilla ice cream mix, pour into a freezer container and freeze for at least 8 hours.

The puree tends to rise to the top of the container, but this doesn’t matter. Just make sure your scoops catch a bit of the ripple!


(Tip: tastes even better with fresh raspberries on top! 😀 )

Link for conversion tables:


Fritillary Butterflies (and a Haiku)

I wish I could fly

And swoop like a butterfly

Silent, elusive


I believe this is the Marbled Fritillary (Brenthis daphne)…

And this may be the Weaver’s Fritillary (Boloria dia)…

But there are so many different fritillaries that look so similar, so if you know any better, please correct me!

(Look here, and you’ll see what I mean!)


Aquilegia vulgaris

Aquilegia vulgaris

Queen of the garden

Stands above her realm below

Reigning in glory


Aquilegia vulgaris is commonly called European Columbine, or “Granny’s Bonnets”.

Aquilegia is from the Latin word for eagle – aquila – because the petals are supposed to resemble the claw of an eagle. Columbine is from the Latin for pigeon – columba… Why, I don’t know!

Personally I like the name Granny’s Bonnets best, as it describes the flower heads of this plant so well!

Dreamy Blues

Forget-me-not (Myosotis)

I have noticed recently just how many different blues there are in my garden. Not only the shades, but somehow the texture. Suede, silk, paper, wax…

Common Bugle (Ajuga reptans)

Bird’s-eye Speedwell  (Veronica chamaedrys)

Siberian bugloss (Brunnera macrophylla)

The flowers are very similar to Myosotis, but the leaves are quite different.

Blue pulmonaria/Lungwort/Jerusalem cowslip (Pulmonaria angustifolia “Blue Ensign”)


All of these flowers are in bloom at the moment… some in the “uncultivated” part of the garden!