Last Friday I got to go to Gardening Scotland – with the whole gallbladder saga it was a close thing but I was determined not to miss the ‘big event’ I’d been looking forward to for months. We took it easy, sauntering around at a very gentle pace, but managed to see most of the show before we had to head off. It was a great day in terms of both enjoyment and weather – almost too hot outside for Scotland! I managed to restrain myself and only picked up a few african violets and a beautiful tile by Helen Michie. You should check out her work, it’s gorgeous. I fear I may have been a bit of a fanboy, gushing over her tiles. I really do love pottery, I’ve discovered. I left Andy to ponder over the food stalls whilst I went to look at the plants and he managed to pick up, I think, at least three types of cheese, some bacon and a nice chilli jam. The cheeses included a really tasty smoked brie – I’ve never tried smoked brie before and could only have a wee nibble, but it really did seem a wonderful combination of flavours. Started me thinking how well smoked paprika and brie might go together. There were some other funky things there but since we bought them for presents I’ll have to keep them to myself ;)
I’ve got a wee gallery of photos from Gardening Scotland – I was too busy gawping to take as many as I would have liked – which are at the end of this post. They’re the same ones as on my facebook, so if you’ve seen them there there’s nothing new here.
I had a few down days when I first came home feeling a bit lost – I couldn’t garden, couldn’t cook more than basics and my creativity was being busted by the heavy painkillers + boredom making me fall asleep. It was because of that and finally getting back out into the garden that I realised just how sane my garden keeps me! Despite being barred from heavy lifting I’ve been out with camera in hand doing small jobs, picking salads and, of course, snapping some pictures.
The ‘season’ at the moment seems to include a lot of purple – this totally has nothing to do with my preference for that colour. Honestly! Most of the purple flowers are either from mixed colour seed, things which I had no idea they flowered purple or which I knew they did but it was nothing to do with choosing them.
Purple Venezuelan chilli, Salad Blue potato, Sage, Petunia, ‘Bijou Mix’ foxglove
In more productive garden news, I’ve been eating at least 4 salads a week which are majoritarily from the garden – tonnes of salad leaves, potatoes, chives, herbs, radishes. To mix things up a little I decided to pull up the makings of a stir-fry. Now, my beans and peas are weeks behind schedule and I haven’t got many things in the garden which are typical stir-fry ingredients but I figured I’d ‘make do’ and it turned out just fine.
Salad leaves, matchstick-cut potatoes (boil them for ~5 minutes before adding to the pan), pak choi, radishes, young turnips and turnip leaves. The turnips, which were plump thinnings, tasted absolutely sweet and delicious – ‘Navet De Nancy’ is the variety and I had decided to give eating turnip leaf a go when I heard this variety’s leaves were a good cooked green – waste not, want not, eh? Tempted to sow more just to have them as ‘baby’ veg. I’ve also been fairly impressed by the vigour of my Forellenschloss and Really Red Deer’s Tongue lettuces – I’ve now chopped their crowns off 3 times and they’re still coming back! I’d sown another couple of rows of them as I’d worried about keeping myself in salad leaves but if they’re all this happy then I might well end up with a fair glut at some point.