Oh look, purple hands

pea shellingPurple fingers today.  Courtesy of shelling kilos and kilos of Shiraz mangetout peas. And Oregon tall.  I’ve even managed to blanch them and bag them up and freeze them.

It felt like a particularly verdant factory in the kitchen today.

I started the day with 13 pots of jostaberry jam.  That was great. And I have picked two more kilos of the mighty berries so more pots tomorrow. Jam tomorrow in fact.

I worked out that two kilograms of berries yield 13 pots plus a small amount for breakfast. So I can actually sterilize the right amount next time. jostaberry jam

I decided not to strim today, and spent that glorious cool morning time planting out basil and ratbidia (a flower of the helenium family) in the cleared potager row.

It looked so bare and forlorn. Especially after I removed the chestnut grid and placed it over the dahlias in the far end row.

basil and ratbidiaBut with a lot of watering and mulching when I planted I now have a full bed again.

It’s going to be be tricky keeping them alive over the next fortnight. No rain in sight, hot days and I have to leave the garden for six of those days for a spot of work in London.

I know a certain critter who will miss me during that time.

Artur is mister clingy right now.  Here he is ‘helping’ me with lavender harvesting.  It really was too hot to be hanging about in the sunshine, but when there’s a lap, there’s a will. action lavender shot

I have so much lovely lavender starting to bloom. The lavender stoechas (French lavender) is over, and I cut that back.

But the lavandula varieties are coming into flower now.

So with a bit of deft work, I can prune out almost half of each plant and still have plenty left over for the dramatic effect they give a garden.

harvesting lavender with arturBut I started to flag too. Maybe his languid pose was catching.

So I put the lavender into the basket and placed it in my office – drying plant central.

I have three huge screens drying all the thyme at the moment.  And had to fight the urge to put my feet up and read a book. No! It may be Saturday afternoon, but there are jostaberries to pick over, apricots to prepare. I can’t decide whether to turn them into sorbet or make more jam. Oh dilemmas of farm life.