Sunday, 5 July 2020

Tanacetum Parthenium Or Feverfew Even!

The Feverfew self seeds in the veg plot and in the herbaceous borders.  It is a member of the Daisy family and originates in Asia.  It's also a garden escapee and grows in the wild.

Feverfew is used for migraines and headaches and many other medicinal uses.  It should not be ate by pregnant women because it can cause contractions.

It's one of those plants that you plant and it well self seed rather like forget me nots and Aquilega (Grandmas bonnets) do.  It attracts welcome garden visitors like butterflies.

It's  good to see it back in flower.

Saturday, 4 July 2020

Rural Shish Kebabs.

Growing up in Northwest England we grew up on bitter and a staple after the pub diet of chippies (chipoyles) and kebab houses.

Well we did when you would go to town have eight pints and a kebab on the way home and still have 1p left out of a ten pound note.  Those were the days.

I love Shish kebabs and it's  sister Donna (Doner) kebabs.  Sometimes we make our own Shish kebabs.  It's hard to get fresh spices and the one's in jars are far too mild.

The wife made me these for us tea (why do I sound like I'm from to'ther side of Pennines?) yesterday.  She makes 'mild' one's for herself and 'atomic' fiery one's for yours truly.

The minced meat cost 3 Euros forty nine for organic steak mince. One tomato, one of my homegrown Japanese onions, some yoghurt, garlic and some minced Easy chillies in vinegar out of a jar from the German garden centre and  supermarket and beer providers.  So say five Euros for the two of us.

Take on the takeaway and make your own:

Onions (homegrown), Tom's (Lidl), yoghurt and jar of pickled chillies.
Torpedo kebabs are my spicy one's.   Flat burger shape kebabs are hers and incredibly mild.
Wallah.
The meal is served.  They are hot, hot, hot!
 What did I say about them  jars of spices being too mild?

Here's a classic Les Dawson sketch.  He was a comic genius.  One of my comic heroes.  They must be some great laughter in Heaven?


Friday, 3 July 2020

A Yellow Perennial And Garden Favourite

The yellow Loosestrife is magnificent in all it's glory at the moment.  It's one of the perennials we brought over in a wheely bin in the back of a Luton van with our belongings when we emigrated to Ireland all those years ago.

I have made hundreds nay thousands of plants from this particular perennial favourite.  I don't  even know which or where the original plant is.  It's a bit like grandad's axe: it's had seven new handles and 6 new new heads.  But it's still my grandad's axe!

This plant doesn't mind damp ground or even the edge of a pond.  I have grown it from cuttings and divide it up Spring and Autumn and even in Summer when it's a wet one like this weekend is supposed to be.  I call it my 'garden buttercup'.

Loosestrife was tied to Oxen's necks to deter insects like flies and other biting insects when ploughing and working in the fields.  It could also be burned in the smallholding  dwelling to eradicate house flies.

Like most plants it's got herbal uses.  Herbal ointments can be made from the perennial.

The best thing about perennials is they come back every year and you are mad at dividing them like me.  You will have lots of new plants.

Thursday, 2 July 2020

Trimming Hedges.

That's  a picture of one of the hedges that I planted when we moved here nineteen years ago.  I cut them with my petrol hedge trimmer for the third time this year, yesterday.

Someone once wrote the definition of an hedge: A statement of man's arrogance against nature.

It's  so very true.  Especially living on the Gulf Stream here in Southern Ireland.   I usually cut them at least five times a year.  I have heard that we have ten months of growth.  I am not surprised with all the rain we get.

Hedges define boundaries and offer privacy, shade and shelter and help to create a micro climate in the gardens.

They are also somewhat of a chore.  Every year I leave the first trim a bit later in case there are birds nesting.

How often do you trim your hedges?  Do you use hedge clippers or an electric or petrol hedge trimmer?

Apparently  if you want to sell your house you should trim your Bush!

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

A Cornwall Painting Bought At A Carboot Sale.

Regular readers of this blog will know one of my hobbies is carboot sales.  Not so much selling more browsing and buying stuff:

" 0ne mans rubbish is another man's treasure!"

Any way I am a collector nay Womble.  If there is a carboot sale I have to have a look.


Here's  a Cornish scene I purchased from a carboot sale in Cheshire about twenty three years ago.  It's a picture of a pumping station.  Pumping out water from a tin mine:

I only paid five Pounds for the painting.  It's signed Collins.  I have found a Roland Collins who painted Cornish landscapes.  He always seemed to sign his pictures Roland Collins.  His paintings are worth three thousand Pounds.  There are lots of painters called Collins.

Not that I want to sell it.  I would just like to know the provenance of the painting.

Do you love carboot sales?  What's the best piece of treasure have you found?

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Roasted New Potatoes With A Sprinkle Of Paprika.

"Why does the sun go  on shining.  Why are new potatoes ready when we want summer snacks dining.  Its the end of the...."

Skeeter  Davis might have sung the above if she grew new potatoes or had a veg plot or allotment.

It's  always the case that the new potatoes are ready when it is summer time.  When you say things like: "Is it hot or is it me?"

Don't get me wrong I love homegrown vegetables, especially my own new potatoes.  But  sometimes I like to see if we can come up with something a bit different. 

So I had a look on the BBC Food site on the old T'web and Tinternet and found a recipe for roasted new potatoes with a sprinkle of Paprika.

So I  boiled 12 to 16 potatoes for ten minutes.  Then I tried to squash them with the potato masher.  The potatoes were still rock hard.  I was asked:

"Did you bring them to the boil?"

"Course not.  I just left them cook for ten minutes".

"Tut".

The one who must be obeyed boiled them at an higher heat, took over cooking, squashed them and painted olive oil (Popeye's girlfriend) and sprinkled Paprika over them and roasted them on a baking tray.  Here they are:

They tasted OK.  I was also told the recipe was for four people not the two of us!

I did it wrong again!

Have you any new potatoes recipes?

Here's  Skeeter singing the classic:


Monday, 29 June 2020

The Polytunnel Flickers Have Been Eating One Of My New Potatoes.


I have seen the future:  Potato Polo mints.

We( me) lifted the last of the spudatoes from the polytunnel yesterday.  Not a bad crop and wifey noticed one of them had an hole in it.  On closer inspection we discovered the culprit had scoffed the inside of the potato.

Now I am the kind of fellow that would share my cigs or even my beer but not my potatoes to a wire worm.

Hope they are wireworm? Metal or iron  worm would eat the polytunnel tubing wouldn't they?

Apparently they drill the holes and the slugs take over.  I have found no sign of the wireworm and they usually live in old pasture or grassland.  My veg plot was once a pasture and we have grassy areas in the veg plot.    An organic way of controlling wireworm is to sow mustard because wireworm don't  like it.  

That's gardening.  One welly boot forwards and one welly boot backwards!

Tanacetum Parthenium Or Feverfew Even!

The Feverfew self seeds in the veg plot and in the herbaceous borders.  It is a member of the Daisy family and originates in Asia.  It...