Latest posts by artjak

I will/I won't grow that again

Posted: 16/08/2014 at 16:44

Philippa, what are lab labs? Are they the famous Labrador Tree that grows little puppies? I'll get my coat

Got Big Courgettes. Recipes, please!

Posted: 16/08/2014 at 16:38

I've got a glut of Fennel and Pears at the moment. I looked online and found several pear and fennel soup recipes, this is my adaptation:

1 large-ish onion, chopped and put in a heavy based pan with some butter/oil

 I use my wonderful 40 year-old Duromatic Pressure cooker as it has a heavy base and a close fitting lid with a hole for the pressure mechanism. (which I am NOT using for this recipe)

Roughly chop 1 or 2 garlic cloves and add these

wash/trim/chop 1 or 2 fennels, also using a little of the fronds

3 or 4 pears, I peel mine as am using wind falls, core and chop

Add all of this to the pan, low heat, stir/shake pan regularly for about 25/30 mins

Make about 500 ml of stock (I use Marigold Bouillon powder, I find veg stock cubes rather redolent of school dinners circa 1956) Add teaspoon of slightly crushed (in pestle and mortar) fennel seeds to stock

Add stock, add water as necessary to about 1 cm above veg, simmer gently for 20/30 mins until fennel is really tender.

Whizz up in blender, then pass through moulin legume (vegetable mill - about £12 in a cookery shop). This is mine;

 I find this so useful for making soups.

Check the seasoning and bon apetit


Tools keep breaking

Posted: 15/08/2014 at 10:22

Wow Victoria, you must be strong I have never managed to break a tool yet, but always use a crow bar when trying to loosen the tough clay in parts of the garden, not a spade or fork.

I will/I won't grow that again

Posted: 13/08/2014 at 21:16

Unhappy with San Marzano (in G/H)  bu it is supposed to be for cooking, so time will tell (sorry to use a cliche) Marmande toms are my new best friend; utterly delish Red Leaf Calaloo is fun to cook with. Strawberries; they arrived in a bucket on my drive, I have no idea who from. I put one plant in the g/h and one outside and they have been brilliant. More than enough for me, so I may need some strawberry recipes that I can make and freeze

Sweet corn has not grown as tall as usual but has cropped well. Broad beans did ok, not amazing, Runners started off badly but have improved. Great year for Fennel; have used some oldish seed from the Jamie Oliver Collection. Zuccini Bianco from Seeds of Italy has done well.

Dogs and toxic plants

Posted: 13/08/2014 at 20:56

my dogette (Jack Russell) eats grass in great quantities, but not every day. She does have a sensitive stomach, so I poach either chicken or lambs liver with basmati rice with a few peas. She doesn't eat anything in the garden; I never give her anything sweet to eat, so fruit doesn't appeal to her. Her favourite thing is the remains of the veg soup that I have most evenings.

She's a hunter; in the last week she has killed 2 mice, but doesn't eat them; just as well as they may have ingested mouse poison that I have had to put in the kitchen cupboards

I would love to understand what goes through their little brains

Help !!!

Posted: 12/08/2014 at 19:19

Hello Rebecca, I can't access either of your links sorry.

What's the star in your garden right now

Posted: 12/08/2014 at 15:36

Lovely photos; incredible colour on the Rudbeckia

Please help, have I caused irreversible damage and if so what can I do?

Posted: 11/08/2014 at 18:34

Privet as mentioned by Verdun above is very forgiving; some neighbours chopped theirs down to 3' high sticks and a year later it was 6' tall and flourishing.

What's the star in your garden right now

Posted: 11/08/2014 at 18:21

Mrs G, I thought that was a tent for very small people

Love that geranium


Posted: 11/08/2014 at 18:19

Also try Garden Organic

Discussions started by artjak

Plant photos from French hols

Various intriguing things 
Replies: 6    Views: 912
Last Post: 16/09/2015 at 14:35

What is this please?

Replies: 32    Views: 3023
Last Post: 10/09/2015 at 21:52

Master Composters need your support

Vote for us 
Replies: 13    Views: 1001
Last Post: 11/11/2014 at 10:29

Gariguettes Strawberry

Has anyone grown them? 
Replies: 4    Views: 1161
Last Post: 04/11/2014 at 10:50

Well, I never knew that!

The science aspect of wildlife 
Replies: 4    Views: 1039
Last Post: 20/10/2014 at 16:18

Slow cookers

Any advice welcome 
Replies: 34    Views: 4800
Last Post: 17/10/2014 at 22:48

Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse Apple Day

Info about this 
Replies: 0    Views: 926
Last Post: 03/10/2014 at 12:47

Wow, what a sunset!

Nature's generosity 
Replies: 49    Views: 3737
Last Post: 25/10/2014 at 20:20

Weed Killer and compost bins

A response to a thread I can't find 
Replies: 1    Views: 1097
Last Post: 12/09/2014 at 18:51

Phlox mould?

What is this stuff? 
Replies: 5    Views: 1040
Last Post: 11/09/2014 at 21:31

Any wine makers out there?

What have you made this year? 
Replies: 52    Views: 3581
Last Post: 03/10/2014 at 09:01

Did I review 1500 plants in my sleep?

Why does it say I've reviewed all these plants? 
Replies: 27    Views: 1764
Last Post: 30/08/2014 at 18:51

Herniaria Glabra

Smooth Rupturewort 
Replies: 2    Views: 1093
Last Post: 04/08/2014 at 20:32

ngs garden in Peterborough

Unusual Hostas 
Replies: 2    Views: 1169
Last Post: 23/07/2014 at 16:42

Reduced Shredder from Tesco

Rubbish really 
Replies: 24    Views: 2266
Last Post: 24/07/2014 at 19:55
1 to 15 of 61 threads