Thursday, 31 March 2011


Lavender is your quintessentially British plant. I always expect to see it in most gardens in the UK.

Not only do the butterflies love it but you can use the flower heads to make tea before bedtime to help you snooze and you can dry the flower heads and put them in tiny cushions like Grandma used to make - then put them in your drawers to make your clothes smell nice - or on your pillow before bedtime to again help you sleep.

Foolishly I've ignored my English Lavender for quite some time without pruning it and so it has become woody and unattractive.

Woody and Unattractive

I am disgusted with myself.

The problem is, I can't really find any one argument to say when is best to prune or how best to prune.


Fortunately I've found a lady on YouTube who seems to know what she's talking about (I think it might be her American accent that inspires confidence in her ability - - I'm going with her:) ).

I read somewhere that all silvery shrubs - such as Curry plant and Lavender - should be pruned around May time. So now is probably a good time to prune - and then again you should dead-head in late summer after flowering.

I think.

As for my Lavender, I think it's time to say goodbye. I've neglected it too much, it's beyond help.

Here's a love song to say goodbye.

Marillion - Lavender

Friday, 18 March 2011


Unfortunately I've been too furious to blog lately because Hackney Homes have decided to erect some scaffolding in my garden and leave it there as long as possible without sending anyone to fix whatever it is that requires scaffolding to fix.

My Mannequin is mad.

On a better note - my Rhubarb (which appears to be the only constant in my life) has returned again.

Every year I make Rhubarb crumble so this time I've tried something new. Mackerel with Rhubarb!

I found the recipe online but basically - I cut the Rhubarb in to chunks and roasted with a little water and some soft brown sugar.

Then I filleted a fresh Mackerel and coated the skin side with seasoned (salt and pepper) flour

Next I fried the mackerel with some rosemary (from the garden) and added the Rhubarb chunks to the side along with some capers.

I added some Kirsh (which is a cherry flavoured liquer) to the pan to create a sauce. I was supposed to use sherry vinegar but had none. The kirsh worked delightfully!.

I plated up the mackerel and poured over the sauce from the pan.

The final result was delicious.

I served the Mackerel with my favorite vegetable - an Artichoke which I cut in half, boiled for 15 minutes, then brushed with olive oil, garlic and lemon mix and put under a hot grill until crispy.

I'll dedicate a whole blog to Artichoke because I adore them.

Great News!

Tuesday, 15 March 2011


Is this not the cutest thing you've ever seen!??? This is my friends new baby...



Courtesy of