The sublime second batch

strawberry and rose petalWhat a delicious scent wafting about the kitchen.  Strawberry and rose petal jam.

It all smells a bit caramelly and delicately rose scented.

Well that ought not to be a surprise. Here are the roses that make up the jam. I had just enough blooms on the new Gertrude Jeykll plants that I planted in autumn. And the fat strawberries in the potager are not going to last longer on the plants in this warm weather. Some small creature took a big bite out of one fat lolling fruit.

I rarely get round to making a second batch of this favourite jam. So that’s eight more pots to put away in the jam cupboard.  And best of all, I had enough left (about a thick tablespoon full) to slather over my fresh rye bread and devlour with my mid morning a cup of tea. Bliss. black cherries

You can tell I didn’t count my two hot chocolates this morning at the market. What a delightful morning. For the first time this year I realised that I didn’t need to rush madly about, running errands, not taking the time to actually enjoy my weekly market shop.

So I had my first session at the cafe with my friends. (Sarah calls them the hot chocolate club which is apt.) And then once I’d delivered all my flowers, done some banking, posting of letters and picking up my tomato and extra lemon verbena plants, I had a second cup with Manou and the owner of our local good restaurant Chataigne et Champignon.  The sun had hit the square by 930am, so we grabbed a table out in the sunshine and chatted away while Manou kept an eye out for customers at her goat’s cheese stall.

artur contemplatingBack at the farm, I picked cherries, finished bottling my second batch of elderflower cordial, planted out 80 leeks (that was laborious) and then went in search of Artur up at the potting shed.

He’s a bit ill at the moment poor thing. His food doesn’t stay down, and he can’t decide on a good sleeping spot. That’s never a good sign.

But he was content to lap sit while I ate lunch and then hang about while I potted up my dahlia cuttings, and then the long, long job of potting on the brassicas. dahlia babies

I have a forest of them. A bench of brassicas. And each and every plant needs to be carefully inspected for grubs.  The cabbage moth butterflies swoop in the open windows and lay their eggs on any exposed leaves.

cabbage potted onI set up a second net and potted on the kales and sprouts and summer cabbages while listening to a long programme about the gardener and philosopher Gilles Clement. That felt apt.

A good earful of entertainment. A dozing cat, a full potting shed of plants. A perfect way to spend the early evening.  All I need now is to clean the windows up at the potting shed so I can gaze out at the Cevennes mountain range, rather than tutting about the state of the grubby glass.