A stunning walk through Ashton Court in Bristol this weekend reminded me to make the most of the bare beauty of the Winter landscape before it transforms in Spring. The carpets of fallen leaves will decompose to add nutrients enriching the soil and helping to retain moisture.
And these ancient dead trees make a crucial contribution to the forest ecosystem with 40 % of woodland wildlife relying on them.
Lichen, fungi, invertebrates, mosses and birds are all deadwood dependent and this is increasingly being recognised in woodland management.
The allotment is on the edge of this beautiful parkland so a quick check in the greenhouse before the walk proved exciting. Two pots of broad beans were up and I planted them out this week with a cloche cover since Storm Doris is now with us.
And the gutter tray of purple peas is also looking good although a second row of purple pea seedlings had been devoured and all that was left were the bare stems. More are now sown and both gutter trays positioned high up on the greenhouse shelves.
The recipe for this week is Kuku Sabzi a herb frittata from the excellent cookery book My Persian Kitchen.
I cooked it in a lasagna dish in order to cut it into squares and it made three times this amount for a great starter. Not sure the huge quantity of salt the recipe suggested was correct so I used 2 teaspoons. The flavours were fresh and delicous and made me aware of the need for lots of herbs both here and on the allotment. The dill seedlings are coming on a pace in the greenhouse and flat-leaf parsley is always easy to grow sown direct in April and mint pops up of its own accord near the shed.
I pruned the Fatsia japonica and this splash of shiny bold green on the hall table has lifted the spirits for the last ten days.