Wednesday 16 March 2011

Garden happenings . . .

There is so much happening in the garden these days that one cannot keep pace with what's going on! The crocuses and daffodils are swarming over the banks and borders with abandon.

Beneath the window of our dining room the Quince is peppered with rosy buds, just waiting to burst out and entice us with their beauty.

The damson blossom at the end of the garden is bursting to the point of breaking you would think . . . so beautiful.

The Dutch honeysuckle against the wall is flecked with beautiful new green leaves. I can remember when I first saw a honeysuckle I had no idea of what it was . . . it looked like some kind of alien plant life.

Blue Grape Hyacinths are pushing up out of the ground in the old terra cotta bowl. Their little cone shaped blue heads look so sweet, like a choir of little bells waiting to be rung . . . and primula wanda makes a velvety violet mat of bloom along the edges of the borders that flank our drive at the front of the house.

Next to the front door our Camelia Bush is covered in beautiful buds and blossoms, just waiting to burst open in a beautiful swath of pink blooms. I remember how very welcoming it was last year when we arrived here to stay from down South . . . it is hard to believe that a year has almost passed, and so quickly too.

The forsythia in the shrubbery are like golden fountains . . . arching gracefully over clumps of Jonquils and early primrose . . . so beautiful to see. Such a riot of colour.

The birds are singing just that wee bit brighter, and there is evidence of their nest building. I wonder will any take up residence in the nesting box we put up last year?? Oh, I do hope so!!! It would be nice to see a little winged family in there . . .

This is a time of year that you want to slow down the passing of hours, and enjoy every moment of every delightful day . . . to prolong the joy of anticipation . . . oh that we could. It would be lovely, but alas . . . this too will pass and be followed by another season of beauty, and so on . . . until next year when this journey will repeat itself in another blaze of garden glory.

Oh, I do so love this time of year!! What's happening in your garden?

I took some blackberries out of the freezer yesterday and treated Todd to a late winter/early spring blackberry cobbler. He really did enjoy it so very much! I didn't get a picture of it with the cream on . . . so you will just have to imagine how very tasty it looked!

*Blackberry Cobbler*
Serves 9 - 12
Printable Recipe

This wonderful version of blackberry cobbler is quite unusual in that you make a batter first for the blackberries to sit on. They don’t. They sink down into it and make a luscious and delicious filling that will have you coming back for seconds. The yummy streusel topping is chock full of crunchy nuts. This truly is the best!

½ cup of butter, melted
1 ½ cups caster sugar
1 ¾ cups plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup milk
24 ounces blackberries (fresh or frozen)
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
1 ¾ cup light brown sugar
¾ cup chopped toasted walnuts or pecans
1 cup plain flour
1/3 cup butter, melted

Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Place the first amount of melted butter in a 9 X 13 inch glass dish and set aside.

Mix together the 1 ½ cup caster sugar, flour and baking powder. Add the milk and whisk lightly together until smooth. Pour over the melted butter in the baking dish.

Put the blackberries and the 1 ¼ cups of the granulated sugar into a saucepan and heat over medium heat until the mixture begins to boil. Pour over the top of the batter in the baking dish and place in the pre-heated oven. Bake for about 30 minutes or so until the batter begins to brown.

In the meantime make the topping. Whisk together the brown sugar and flour. Stir in the chopped nuts and the melted butter, mixing until crumbly.

Once the batter has begun to brown, remove from the oven. Sprinkle the topping over top and return to the oven to bake for a further 15 to 20 minutes or until it is nice and bubbly and the topping is nicely browned.

Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm with some vanilla ice cream if desired. Custard and pouring cream also go very well with this, or nothing at all, which is how Todd likes it.

In The English Kitchen today, a delicious Sweet-Corn Soup.


  1. Snow, snow is growing in my garden! But each day the snow melts just a wee bit more, so in a week or two, brave plants should be peeking through.

    Do you make jelly with your quince?

  2. Abssolutely Mam and Membrillo which is a beautiful quince paste, excellent with cheese!

  3. How wonderful it must be to have Spring blooming like that. It will come here too, but a little later on. Things are just beginning to sprout up after being snow covered for so long. A little warm weather is what we need and it's supposed to be coming our way. What a blessing Spring is. There will be lots of work to do outside soon and i can hardly wait. I hope your Wednesday is a wonderful one!

  4. Oh, this was a great sight for my very winter-sore eyes, Marie! No garden happens at all here... all covered in snow still... LOL! Although the birds have been returning and singing their love songs, so maybe there's hope. ;o) Quince... I've always wondered what a quince jelly tasted like, long fascinate by the ancient fruit. Your crumble looks sooo good... YUM! Hope you are having a great week, my friend--LOVE YOU LOTS ((BIG HUGS))

  5. The harsh winter seems to have brought out the best in so many plants - those that survived! My forsythia is amazing, and the pulmonaria is an intense purply-blue. A promiscuous plant, some say, but I love it for its silvery green foliage later on. The spurge is sending up weird asparagus-like shoots. The only disaster is my cherished bay tree, which seems to have a death wish. Oh, and the myrtle, which just might recover.
    Well, you did ask, Marie!

  6. Oh I do love spring. In our garden right now...A few daffodils and tulips, lots of green everywhere including lots of moss on the bricks which is so pretty. Some white and pink blossoming trees and lots of rain. We are hosting a wedding reception here in June so the rain is making everything very lush! At least that is what I tell myself every morning when I wake up to the gray day. Rain next 10 days in our forecast. Bummer!

  7. LOVE the grape hyacinth in the bowl - grape hyacinth seem to be my special flower of cheer for this year, as I am seeing them everywhere and loving every minute of it. My mom would love your forsythia photo - one of her favorite flowers. Your photos are so crystal clear and really great quality. What kind of camera are you using? That is the cutest bird house! I love it!

    Thanks for sharing ~ Ally xo


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