We had a new patio laid outside last Autumn and so we have been waiting patiently for some sunshine to get out and enjoy it this year. I've enjoyed planting up many pots and we've installed a trellis for the sweet peas to clamber up. Should I ever consider painting a trellis again, please remind me not to! It was rather laborious to say the least. They have some climbing to do yet, those sweet peas.
Do you remember the pretty enamelled bucket I bought in Bridport a few weeks ago? I decided to plant that up, too. The plants need to get going a bit and do a bit of trailing and blooming!
Loving this dinky little plant. The sun was so bright on it this morning, it's washed out the details a little but I love its polka-dotty cheerfulness. (I think it's verbena.)
Also loving the pretty blue colour of this bedding plant. (Don't know the name, sorry.) I enjoy buying bedding plants (although shrubs and roses are my first love). It's quite liberating buying bedding plants because as they're only going to last for one season, there's no need for all that in depth research into where to plant it, how to feed it, how to prune it etc. I've gone for a bold, clashing approach this year!
More planting has gone on in the form of my "tomato factory". I've tried growing them in a bed but they succumbed to a deadly disease and yet I've always had good success with them in these pots. They get a lot of sunshine against this wall which of course, they love. They take a lot of watering and feeding, tying in and pinching out but I quite enjoy all that. I also enjoy all the chutney I get to make with them! And eating the chutney, of course.
Down into the kitchen garden and we finally planted up a bed with peas, broad beans and climbing french beans grown from seed.
But even more exciting, behind the pea and bean bed are our raspberries. Last year was our first for cropping and we had a bumper crop from 10 canes costing £9.99. Good stuff because even at the height of the season, raspberries always seem to be relatively expensive. I think the variety is Glen Ample. And what do you know? There's lots of fruit again and the first has ripened...
Here I am, enjoying just looking at the fruit. It's now long gone in my tummy, of course! Nothing quite like picking your own fruit or veg and chomping on it there and then.
The Cox's apple tree is looking quite good too...
The strawberries are a tad disappointing. We have lots of these Alpine strawberries which luckily, the Munchkin is happy to pick and they spread like wildfire. You'd need an awful lot to make a decent pudding!
Ah, here's a decent strawberry. Oh dear, still in its pot waiting to be planted out though! I think strawberries are too "high maintenance" for us.
Back inside and a bit more eating to be done. Yesterday, I made Mr HenHouse's fave, Rocky Road.
Yummmmmm. That looks good, doesn't it? Do you fancy making some? It's very easy...
Here is what you would need:
300g chocolate (I used a mixture of good quality milk and dark 70% cocoa, sometimes all dark chocolate can be a bit much, especially for children)
3 tbsps Golden Syrup
125g butter (unsalted)
200g Digestive Biscuits
100g Marshmallows (chopped into smallish pieces)
A Handful of Glace Cherries (halved) or you could use raisins if you prefer.
And you make it like so:
1 Melt the chocolate, golden syrup and butter together. Don't let the chocolate burn and go all grainy!
2 Break the digestive biscuits into chunks, snip the marshmallows into pieces, halve the cherries. Pour the melted chocolate/butter/syrup mixture over the top BUT keep back about 150g of the choccy mixture until stage 4 below. All shall be revealed!
3 Mix the choccy fruity biscuity stuff together. It might seem like there's not a lot of chocolate at this stage but just make sure it's all fairly evenly coated. Pour it into a baking tray lined amply with greaseproof paper. (My tray is about 12" x 12" square and 2" deep.) Press it down with the spoon and into all the corners.
4 Now pour the remaining melted choccy mix evenly over the top. You will now see that this is going to sort of stick it all together.
5 And that's it! Put it into the fridge for a good few hours (I managed to leave mine for 3 before devouring it). It should turn out fairly easily because of the greaseproof paper. Cut it into chunks, dust a bit of icing sugar over the top and away you go!
(This is based largely on the version in Nigella's Express, a fabby book.)
Onto other things. Still with me? The other day, I mentioned starting a new crochet project. Well, here is how it is going...
It's not exactly as I wanted it as I would have liked the bands a bit wider but I've decided to continue as I can't bear to undo it all. The top picture shows the back, the bottom picture the front. I think I actually prefer the "back". Watch this space, people.
The Munchkin's bedroom at the cottage has appeared on the blog several times. That is because it is relatively tidy. Tidiness is not the Munchkin's strong point. As such, you have never seen his bedroom here in London. We recently bought him yet anther bookcase as he is such a bookworm and his books are usually all over the place. New bookcase = no excuse not to tidy. So, he has been tasked with tidying and I ventured into his room to see how he was getting on. Hmm, actually not too bad (lots of help from Daddy, I think). I gave him a hand and it looks vaguely presentable. Herewith, a rare glimpse of the Munchy One's domain! He was very into yellow when he was younger, hence the very yellow wall. He now mentions repainting it but can you imagine how many coats it would take to cover it!
There's been a terrific response to the giveaway, yes, a few of you lurkers have come out of the woodwork, hooray! Any more? You still have until next Monday. Just comment on the post below... Oh go on... And have a read through all the responses. They're very interesting.. and sometimes amusing!