Category Archives: garden
I thought you might like to see a few pictures of my new garden workshop. It’s a log cabin – from Finland – built in our English village garden. As the house and garden we’ve taken on is quite a project, this studio seemed like a good place to start – a place to work and a place for retreat! And because I always like a little reminder of the West Indies, we gave it a Caribbean inspired splash of paint on the trim and a moat of tiny sea pebbles to lend a little mood of seaside. There are shelves and cupboards to keep all my bits of equipment and props, and lots of space to rest and think!
One of my plans for the garden is to grow some lovely edible flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetables. I’ve planted up plenty of seeds and they are all happy (mostly) in their temporary seed tray beds. But it’s a long way off from here to harvest! The best prospect for instant rewards lies in the herb beds – so I’ve got busy planting an array of fragrant, and flowering herbs around my studio.
These herbs come in handy for a delightful mid morning snack of cheese and crusty bread. I used a local fresh salad cheese – a bit like a light feta cheese. I snipped and sprinkled over some chives, flowering thyme, and mint. Then a drizzle of honey – for a delicious salty sweet combination – and a few drops of golden rapeseed oil. Lastly, a bit of cracked black pepper and it’s soon ready. And yes, that is a nice cup of tea to go alongside!
I’ve been working on some still life projects in the studio. I’m getting used to the light, working on making the right effects and so on. I hope to post some of the results here sometime soon.
We have a lot happening here in Britain over the next few weeks. Our village is gearing up for big celebrations for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Then, of course, we have the London Olympics…very exciting! More soon.
Hope you like my shed (studio) – don’t hesitate to drop me a comment with any thoughts or ideas!
Is anything as uplifting and joyful as that first exuberant burst of blossom in early Spring? My spirit soars when I meander down the village lanes accompanied by clouds of gentle blossom – and new buds giving the promise of more to come. My appreciation of the seasons seems to intensify each year since we came to live in the English countryside. And of all the seasonal changes, the colour and light of Spring is especially welcome. Walking to the village school with our son and his little friends each morning, I point out all the little blooms and buds. But little boys are really much more interested in discussing Lego and trains!
Never mind, on the walk back home I can linger a bit, perhaps with my camera, and perhaps to find a blossom or two to make a Spring posy.
When the sun is shining, I love to take my lunch out into the garden. What to cook? I think some classic fishcakes are just the thing, with a fresh salad on the side. Golden and crispy, delicate yet satisfying. I made these with Haddock, but you can use any firm white fish (without bones) or if you are feeling indulgent, with crab or little prawns. All delicious!
Out comes the trusty folding table. It’s actually a decorating table that’s never been used for wallpapering – much more useful to pop open for an impromptu lunch! A bit of white lace, my jar of flowers … and it’s ready for service.
Things have been quite busy of late and I have lots of projects on the go. And getting to know this new garden is one of those projects. All sorts of surprises are emerging – little primroses dotting the grass like jewels, cheerful daffodils, tulips and the first signs of peonies. It’s very exciting.(To me!)
More soon. x
The frost and snow of the past few weeks tries to persuade us to keep indoors, warm and cosy by the open fire. But it’s worth refusing – and braving the icy weather, all bundled up – for a traipse through the lovely countryside as Mother Nature’s winter coat is beautiful to see. I particularly love getting out early, on a bright, clear day to admire the pinky golden glow over the icy fields. Look at the way this husk of a weed gently captures and holds the snow in little snowy balls…and the way the frost makes patterns on the windows of my workshop…
May I suggest the warmest of home-welcome with a delicious, bubbling hot bowl of rich onion soup laden with golden, molten cheese? It tastes extra wonderful after a long walk in the cold. I found these giant, sweet onions at the shop and thought they would be perfect for my soup – and they were!
Everyone’s tired – home time it is. Back to our garden, the trees laced with frost.
Time to start cooking. Sometimes those old classic dishes are just the thing, don’t you think? So comforting. In this soup I used a drop of Calvados as I didn’t have any brandy. The slightly sweet and aromatic hint of apple really enhanced the savoury broth. As for the cheese, I love the nutty flavour of a good, aged Gruyere. But you could use another rich melting cheese, perhaps a Comte? Any good rustic bread makes a lovely toasted bed for the cheese. I used a marvellous wholegrain and walnut bread. Magnificent with the cheese. Sadly, the soup is all gone as I write this – I must prepare it again soon!
Before I say goodbye, I’ll leave you with a couple of images from my walks around the frosty village. I stopped in the church and spotted this beautiful earthenware jug – so I quickly made its portrait. And the trees, my friends along the path, wearing their bleak winter wardrobe.
More soon. It will be Spring before we know it – and with this being our first year in our new home and garden, each season brings a bit of surprise. I’m getting some hints of spring bulbs with the emergence of some tiny shoots amidst the snow. This garden needs so much work, and the prospect of some inherited spring flowers makes me very happy. I’ll keep you posted.