Taking time to smell the roses

8

The first spring roses

I just love this time of the year, even if I get nothing done outside (or indoors on this blog!). I always go out into the garden with the best of intentions to get stuck into all those pressing spring chores, to weed, plant and sow… only to find myself wandering around absentmindedly, sinking my nose into the first roses, admiring the rhododendrons, ooh-aah-ing over the sweet peas and poppies and lovely blue larkspurs. (Mind you I have to lean in on an angle to admire anything, as Lucas has just discovered that he can pull the petals and leaves off anything within reach.)

It has been ages since I’ve had a garden full of flowers as well as food. I’ve been giving my secateurs a workout by snipping buckets of blooms to take indoors. If you’ve got roses and perennials (the verbenas, aquilegias, carnations and lacy white Orlaya grandiflora are my favourites at the moment), you really don’t need any floristry skill either. Just take an old jug and cram it full of whatever you’ve got. Or, even better, take every jug in your house…

Ebony and Ivory (and Pinky…)

11

You say potato, I say dinner

I just couldn’t wait any longer. I’ve been itching, and fair scratching, to dig up some of my new season’s spuds to see what, if any, action was going on underground. So when Jason wasn’t looking (he’s come over all territorial about these orderly rows of tubers), I snuck out with the spade and dug the last plant up from the first row of ‘Jersey Benne’ potatoes. The plants have only just started to flower but they’re ready to eat: I hauled eight waxy white tubers out of the soil. We boiled them with sprigs of fresh mint and ate them straight out of the pot.

The pink tubers are the self-sown sprogs of the third-generation ‘Desiree’ potatoes that keep coming up in my asparagus bed. I thought I’d defeated them last summer, but I was wrong. At least we got a free feed from them.

And the little dark purple marbles are ‘Purple Heart’. Guess they’re still a while off yet.