Something To Look Forward To
A metal arch inside the garden gate frames the view of the entire garden and is draped with a Winter-flowering clematis C. cirrhosa balearica. It was planted five years ago and it’s never flowered and is now re-planted on a wall where it will get more sun. It’s replaced with C. montana ‘Elten’ a pure white scented flower that is tolerant of part-shade and should ramp to a manageable 6 m. Montanas are indefatigable and I love the fat buds that emerge in late-Spring before the full-on display that follows.
After planting I spread a bucket of chipped bark around the soil surface to a depth of 5-7 cm to keep the roots cool in summer and to protect it over Winter.
On the allotment the largest of the three onion beds was awash with weed seedlings. I’d ignored the problem for the last four weeks but this weekend I tackled them.
Onions hate competition and although the ground was soggy which made hoeing difficult I set to with a hand fork and a small hoe and cleared the patch.
With news from the states dominating we decided we needed friends, family and comfort food all week. Soda bread is great for a fast loaf since there’s no rising required and it was delicious with allotment spinach soup.
Finely slice a shallot and a medium onion and cook gently in butter for 15 minutes. Wash and then cook 300 g of spinach in a small amount of water for 10 mins and then add to the onions and shallots. Blend with 1 pint of vegetable stock and test for seasoning. Stir in cream or fromage frais and gently heat.
Artichoke heads still left on the plants are worth saving and drying and can be sprayed silver to make great alternative Christmas decorations.
I gathered up any flowers I could find from the garden to fill a vase. Sedum ‘Autumn Glory’ and Verbena bonariensis make up the bulk plus the leaves from Arum italicum.