A Lull in the Kitchen and Jack Appears

 photo IMGP4081_e_zpstexyjgs5.jpgSlip in and out easily on these old meat trays. Recycling continues.

If you’ve ever clicked the gardening tag then you know who Jack is, if not, then what are you waiting for?! This is just a bit of silliness and sharing, nothing especially piquant or engrossing, just a post to fill you in on this years gardening endeavours. This is my second year at this and I’m slightly better prepared. I’m still trying my hand at everything, just with a slightly better focus this time. More edible plants, herbs, vegetables and some flowers, one of which is edible actually. Viola, I think, I’ll make sure to check before I eat it. I’m just hitting a slow period in the kitchen. Any period of numerous recipes is usually followed by one of having to eat all those recipes. One note on that: Chestnut is out, I was getting blotchy marks and a constant itch, I had to keep trying it to be sure, but I wasn’t happy with the effect it was having. No great loss as I wasn’t all that wild on the flour. So, anyway, I thought I’d have some fun rambling on about what absurd things I’ll be attempting this year. Seriously, help, I still have no idea what I’m doing.

 photo IMGP4075_e_zpsvbrbrxy3.jpgI’m starting some flowers for inside early. Purple Creeping Thyme and Lobelia Riviera Sky Blue. Thyme has already started actually.

Okay, they’re more ground covering, but they do flower. The idea is to fill a hanging basket with them, they’re perennial so they’ll stay in it for years, then I’ll have a planter in the centre with an annual that can be changed out. That’s the plan at least, I have no idea if it’ll work. Someone also started a rosemary cutting for me. Everyone should give me things. As you can see the lollipop sticks with the Sharpie works brilliantly. Even when wet and muddy they are still legible. Handy as I have too many pots out there and I can’t remember everything by sight. Purple and blue is a nice combination, right? I hope so. Seeds are cheap online so I can experiment at least. I’m not poor, but I do have to watch what I spend and get as many deals and free, that wonderful price, stuff where I can. Hence the recycling. I’m also reusing my old mini greenhouse frame, it just has a new cover, that hopefully won’t tear to shreds…like the other.

 photo IMGP4082_e_zpsimmasbfj.jpgSlips in, slips out. Reuse the same pots for eternity.

 photo IMGP4029_e_zpsvlxjjciv.jpg“I’ll just toss this garlic here, it won’t grow.” – Me last year.

I’ll be trying to grow squash again this year. I still don’t know how it succeeded so well, I mean I looked after it religiously, but that weather was unreal at times. Just two varieties this time again. Both Winter squash, aka storing squash. Golden Nugget and Harlequin again. Oh, that below the garlic is rhubarb, I can’t eat it sadly, but it’s used in pies. I got some cheap staging, which I’m using outside until the glasshouse is set up. It’s mostly plastic and coated steel so I hope it’ll be okay. I need somewhere to put planters to harden them off and keep them out of way of dogs. Same dogs trampling my garlic, which has since been blocked off, I’m keeping them in place with plants and cinder-blocks. Gotta use what you have, better than them tumbling over, right? The garden is pretty much a morass right now thanks to flooding.

 photo IMGP4027_e_zpsyahkodlp.jpgThe black crate thingies will become more raised strawberry beds in time.

I’ve popped some saved daffodils, found in my lavender roots (No idea either), and some separated grape hyacinth, tiny pots above held four!, madness, on the staging. I don’t want them, but I won’t get rid of them. The strawberries that were kept out all Winter are still alive, hopefully they’ll bear fruit this year. The raspberry plant we stuck in a squash pot has died and come back, I didn’t notice the latter until someone pointed out the new growth. It’s a wild plant, but I want it potted to see if it yield more fruit if fed regularly. There’s more garlic growing in a pot and I saved my lavender that was growing into a concrete planter. That’ll probably be planted near the compost bins to offset the smell. I’m just twiddling my thumbs and keep things going as there won’t be much to do until Spring arrives. I’ve cut back the old herbs to see if  they’ll start anew. This time around I’ll know which are more useful to me and I’ll plant more of those. I’m hoping to get some basil from seed, the plain variety and a purple ruffle if possible. That’ll be in May, maybe. I’ll also buy some forced-basil in a pot like last year and shove it in a new larger pot. It worked wonderfully last year. I’m running low on pesto and although it’s a bit early it’s only two Euro a pot and I had three huge bushes of it last year. I need that pesto!

 photo 2015-12-30 23.21.34_e_zpsnrfr4noj.jpgMy blueberry twig, sprig? sapling? I don’t know, either way it’s started, so next year blueberries, hopefully.

 photo IMGP4028_e_zpsq2hbnclj.jpgI used scraps from my greenhouse cover and bubble-wrap to protect the strawberries. Seven or so storms later they’re still okay!

Lots of hoping involved, isn’t there? That the nature of the garden I’m afraid. I have roses and blueberries in cold strat. At the end of the month I’ll have to check them weekly for two months and then I’ll just hope they start. Some in the cold shed, some in the fridge. My poor table is still sitting in the shed too, it’s too wet and soggy out to haul it out there yet, but no back-breaking-bending when I do! Christmas was all gardening stuff this year. Mostly compost really. I should’ve mentioned that I started recording everything I need to know in a note book. That way I’ll  have all I’ve learned and need to remember at hand. I’m much more organised this year. Not much else going on currently. I won’t make a habit of posting about this too often, this is a recipe blog first and foremost, but as I say there’s been a lull so I thought I’d make sure you have something to tide you over and assure you that I wasn’t dead. I’m really not, just dull, I mean I’m talking about dirt excitedly. This isn’t where I envisioned my life going, but, ah well, I’ll have squash. Squash is better than anything. Squash is my drug of choice. Okay, that’s it for Jack. Regular irregular cooking and baking posting will resume, some time. Later!

 photo 2015-12-30 23.01.16_e_zpsi02frsbt.jpgRoses of all colours. I hope at least. Even red would be fine.

 photo 2016-01-05 03.21.21_e_zpseqodvsba.jpgI love you, saver of my back.

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