Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Whatever makes you happy (why gardening and cooking are good for the soul)

For the last four years in our family, we have had a little competition, we don’t take it very seriously but it was, initially, a way to get the children interested in the garden.  This time of year, I am usually planting something or another, flowers, veg. Every year, we have our sunflower growing competition to see whose sunflower grows tallest. This year, husband was unfortunately at a conference in London, so unless he enters late, he will not be competing this year. He has already lost ten days’ growth and I must confess to being a little bit disappointed at the results so far. After the hours of sorting out the pots and compost and seeds, then my kids turning up for two minutes to pop the seeds in, it is almost inevitable that their seeds are flourishing and mine are....not doing anything...yet.
My son’s seeds are very happily growing through, all nine of them.
My daughter’s seeds are looking pretty feisty too.
And mine, well, mine are a bit slow and steadfast this year.
I’m wondering whether some tricksy little fingers weren’t plucking my sunflower seeds out when I wasn’t looking. Thankfully this is more of a marathon than a sprint, so I’m hoping mine will come through eventually.
My basil plants are, thankfully, looking very healthy and vigorous and I’ve had to thin them out twice because they’re so blooming lovely and healthy.

In the meantime, the garden is looking lovelier with the addition of our new fruit trees. They were delivered by Enrique, known to our friend Dave the gardener, as Enrique the gypsy. I don’t know if he is a gypsy or not, but he managed to persuade me to buy another tree despite being completely broke after purchasing our lovely orange, lemon, almond and lime trees.
The garden before the addition of the new fruit trees..........and after.....

Enrique brought the other tree when he was delivering the Lime, just for me to have a look!! It’s called a Happy tree and I’m glad I bought it in the end because the flowers are beautiful, the height gives some good visual perspective to the garden and the name has already caused much hilarity in the house...when my son stubbed his toe, he was sent to look at the happy tree to cheer him up!

The Happy tree - if you know its real name, please let me know!

The fruit trees are also beautiful and very exciting; they have mini oranges and lemons on them! Here is a picture of a mini lemon; a little limonita...cannot wait until it’s bigger.
When Enrique delivered the tree, there were three ripe lemons on it that fell off when the tree was being unloaded, the fragrance was divine!
So the garden is coming along slowly but surely.  Have also planted cress, courgette, rocket, strawberries and lettuce and almost everything is popping little seedlings out of the soil. Very exciting.
Just before I sign off , I tried a new recipe today, chocolate macaroons. Now I am not the best chef in the world, but the comedy value of these is making me laugh and they’re not even finished yet. I piped them out of a bag, as instructed, but didn’t smooth the tops. As a result, my macaroons look like mini poos or comedy nipple tassles than the gloriously shiny macaroons I had envisaged, never mind, they taste terrific! Happy gardening or cooking to you all and keep sending good wishes to my sunflowers (make them grow, make them grow, bigger than my children's, bigger than my children's!!!)

1 comment:

  1. Love this post Sian.
    Whatever the name of the happy tree I think your name is so much better. What can I say about the macaroons? That part made me laugh out loud....I'm still giggling.


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