Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday was a day I had promised to myself as the day to sow more seeds and tidy up the garden – along with enjoying being with my family and friends.

Mark had decided to scarify the lawn, (for those who don’t know about this strange pass time, you rake the lawn to remove all moss) – I kind of had the feeling that our lawn would be reduced to mud as I have felt for a long time that we had a ‘moss lawn’!

The chickens loved scratching through the buckets of moss and weeds etc. that were being excavated from the lawn.

The raised beds are looking lovely and everything is growing fast at the moment.  I am particularly pleased with the net cover over the 6ft X 4ft bed.  The guys from Access Garden Products wanted me to try it out over the winter and I was pleased with the way it protected the plants from all the snow, but it’s protecting from birds etc. but also from flying balls thrown by the children in our garden.  I also love the large hoops they installed to hold the net.  They are really sturdy, not at all flimsy.  When reading my ‘square foot gardening book’ Mel Bartholomew talks a lot about vertical growing.  Well I think I can cover these hoops with plastic netting to allow my beans and peas to climb up.  I sowed some beans this weekend, so I’ll show you a picture when they are in place.

All our potatoes are in their growing position now.  Some are in the raised beds along side the kale and onions – I did get ruthless as I threatened a while ago and moved some spring cabbage out of the way to make space for the potatoes.  My main crop, (King Edward and Sante) are in growing bags we bought from the garden centre.

I also sowed into trays in the frame parsnips using compost mixed with silver sand – (for horticulture use) I filled the toilet rolls to almost full – leaving about ½ “ at the top.  Popped in the seed then filled to the top with more compost.  I put 6 of these in a Tupperware box for a snug fit, watered them and put them in the mini greenhouse.

I also sowed sunflowers which I will use to fill the whole raised bed by my kitchen window but will use a couple of them in the main raised beds to attract bees etc.

I also sowed the melon seeds in trays.  I sowed 10 – would have been told off my Mel for sowing too many.  I can see me giving some of these away if they all take.  But it was a bit like a moth flying to the light, it was too tempting not to plant them all!  Note to self – re-read that chapter about not planting too many things at the same time and have a bit more self control Anne.

Later in the day we had Sadie and Kevin round for dinner and I cooked a leg of Lamb with Sadie’s Irish roast potatoes and a recipe I have not cooked ever, but remembered my Nanny cooking it with roast lamb when we visited her.  It’s Onion Sauce.  I checked the recipe with my Aunty Joan on the phone to ensure I have got it right before I shared it with you.  I could hear my Nan saying ‘don’t mess with it, just keep it as it should be’.

You will know by now, I’m not one for exact quantities, thickness and amount is something you will have to adjust to how many you are cooking for, so I will aim to do this for 4 people.

Onion Sauce

1 large onioncut in half length ways and then sliced thinly.

2 heaped tea spoons cornflower

½ pint milk

Salt and pepper

A large knob of best butter – you know me by now – nothing else will do!

Cook the onion in a little water until it is tender and soft.  Drain away the water, or as I did, add the onion flavoured water to your gravy.

Put the cornflower in a pan and add a little milk to make a smooth paste, then, add the rest of the milk, salt and pepper.  Stir on a medium heat until it thickens and bubbles for about 3 minutes.  Add the onions and stir in.  Place in a serving dish and just before serving add the knob of butter to the top and another sprinkle of black pepper if you are addicted to the stuff like me.  Serve with roast lamb and vegetables.

6 Comments

  1. Sadie
    Posted April 5, 2010 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    thank you for lunch/dinner yesterday. It was gorgeous. the beds are looking really good.

  2. Gill
    Posted April 5, 2010 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Hi Anne – heard about your roast lamb and potatoes from Sadie – sounds as if you had a great day – love your garden blog – hopefully i have helped you towards your 100 target!!

  3. Sue
    Posted April 5, 2010 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    Hi Anne, feeling very pleased with myself as i woke & looked out of the window this morning to check out all my hard work yesterday !
    My neighbour, (who fortunately for me, lays decking for a living) had built me a very narrow raised bed from decking boards to fill a very small gap in my garden, it fits in extremely well with my raised bed I bought from access garden products.
    I have decided to use this neat little extra area to grow my runner beans in. So, now my extra little bed is in place, I was able to barrow the rest of my top soil into the garden & fill it up !
    My next job was to add some deliciously rich compost to my large raised bed ( which I filled with top soil a week earlier & had left to settle . I then mixed in some bone meal to complete my ingredients to attempt giving my new plants a good start in life !

    I marked out my square foot sections, then started planting !! Whooppeee !

    I’ve planted all 8 of my chitted potatoes, ( a mix of Sante & Rockets ). I’ve filled 2 squares with Shallots, & then a 3rd square with garlic cloves. (these were from a bulb that I’d noticed had started sprouting in my kitchen a few weeks ago !!…anyway, I thought I’d plant it in the ground to see what happens !!??
    I’ve lifted my cold frame on top to keep them all snug now until do a bit more planted in a few days.
    I’ve started some dwarf sunflower seeds off in trays, that are now sat alongside the foxgloves & tomatoes I planted a couple of weeks ago, on my kitchen windowsill. Thank you for taking my peppers under your wing, it’ll be interesting to see how they go, now they’re sat on your heated tray !

    I shall be planting carrots next in my raised bed & fancy treating myself to a strawberry plant too !!

    I have 5 very strong cocoa bi-colour beans that i planted at the end of Feb. I’ve transplanted them successfully into pots, ( also now sat on my windowsill) they may have been planted a little early but i shall persevere with them & see how they go when the last frost is behind us & I feel brave enough to plant them in my new bed !!!

    My next exciting purchase is going to be a mushroom growing kit !! I love mushrooms & thought it would be fun to have my own secret supply !!

    It would be interesting if anyone else has had any great successes or any tips to share.

    well calling it a day now, hope i haven’t exhausted you all with my great long novel !! l

  4. Anne
    Posted April 5, 2010 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    How exciting. I can hear it in your words if you know what I mean! You are getting so much from your garden already. Up up and away for you Mrs!

    Can’t wait to come round for a cuppa and see it all.

    Well done. Sit back and enjoy for a couple of days to get your breath back.

    See you soon.

    Anne. x

  5. Cheryl
    Posted April 6, 2010 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    Fab. Growing it, cooking it and eating it all in one blog – it’s lovely, Anne. I’ve filed away the onion sauce recipe for the future.
    By the way, I heard on Gardeners’ Question Time this weekend that chitting potatoes doesn’t make much difference to how soon you get a crop, and the thinking is now that there’s not a lot of point doing it – but I think there’s something very reassuring about checking it’s doing what it’s supposed to do before you hide it in the soil. I always find potatoes a huge leap of faith, and it’s hard to resist the temptation to dig them up too soon and check something’s happening. At least on those super-duper raised beds it wouldn’t be too tricky to cover them back up again quickly before someone caught me at it. x

  6. Posted April 6, 2010 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    Hi Cheryl.
    You have made my day with your lovely comments. I cherish your opinion and take this as high praise from one ‘that knows about such things’. I hear what you say about potatoes and will try doing some chitted and some not next year and see what happens. Thank you for taking the time to read the blog and comment. I am very lucky to have such a wonderful friend as you.
    Lots of love Anne. x