Thursday, 30 April 2015

Foraging and Flowers

This weekend we went a-foraging and I began in our garden with the rhubarb which was ready to pick. Here's our little crop of rhubarb sticks on the garden table. Think I'll make some jam with it.

The apple tree is looking at its best now, absolutely dripping in blossom, a froth of pink and white.

The smell is heavenly, sweet and appley, a foretaste of fruit to come.

Aaah - just smell those blooms!

Another scent greeted our noses when we headed for the woods - wild garlic! It's become a ritual for us to go to our favourite place to pick wild garlic - remember last year's visit?

It was just starting to flower. Ideally it should be picked before it flowers but we've never yet managed that. The pretty little stars of white carpet the ground under the trees, and the smell is powerful and very appetising indeed.

When we got home I made lots of wild garlic pesto with pine nuts, grated parmesan, lemon juice and olive oil. I freeze it, as usual, in small quantities for the year ahead. It's nice on pizzas and in risottos and omelettes too. We filled two plastic bags with leaves and from it made two large bowlfuls of pesto. I also put some in jars to give as gifts.

After we'd picked the garlic we drove to one of our favourite places which I visited last May. The Walled Garden at Mells is a beautiful place at any time of the year, and this time our breath was taken away by these wonderful tulips as we stepped through the door in the wall. They were planted in an array of jewel colours and as the sun came out they started to glow. 

I thought they looked wonderful with this backdrop of terracotta pots.

We headed for the outdoor cafe there for a pot of tea in mismatched teacups. Why does tea always taste better when you drink it outdoors? I love the blanket-covered hay bales which make up some of the seating.

There are a couple of sweet little sheds selling flowers and painted furniture, as well as lots of plants for sale. For once I managed to restrain myself and left empty-handed, but we did have a relaxing wander around this stunning place.

The planting is so pretty with drifts of flowers mingling with and merging into each other. These pale narcissi looked wonderful with the blue brunnera. 

I love looking at other gardens at this time of year - large ones, like this, and smaller ones like the front gardens I see when I walk to work every day. It's always inspiring to see how other people combine plants and to discover new plants I've never seen before. So many glorious flowers! Aren't they a treat?


  1. Lovely post ... You should try to cook a jam woth rhubarb and banana .... very tasty ! Have a lovely day !

  2. I love your little garden table and chairs and your apple tree is amazing - you're going to have a bumper crop! Thank you for the reminder to go and pick the rhubarb - I'd forgotten all about it. Your wild garlic pesto looks amazing too - I'm dribbling at the thought of it on pizza and in risottos. Enjoy the Bank Holiday. xx

  3. I'm thinking of growing a small patch of wild garlic in a shady corner of the garden. I've been very lazy with my foraging, your pesto sounds wonderful x

  4. So many beautiful flowers! I can see why you like the chairs under the tree! So beautiful!

    I didn't know one could freeze pesto! Sounds like a good idea though!

    Take care
    Anne (Crochet Between Worlds)

  5. Beautiful - so much colour! Our garden is still rather drab - but I console myself with the fact there is a very good reason that all our plants are in buckets and tubs in rows waiting to be re-planted - the tulips look amazing :) I think I shall try the ramson pesto this year, I love the stuff but have never made it for myself x

  6. That garden is gorgeous, I'm making a note to visit there one day. Love the look of that pesto as well, and rhubarb is always a treat at the beginning of the growing season. The first harvests of the year are quite special aren't they. CJ xx

  7. Wow, what a bumper crop of apples you will be harvesting later in the year and your rhubarb looks delicious. My Mum always made rhubarb ginger jam with the rhubarb from our garden and apple ginger jam was also a favourite. Your pesto looks delicious as well, never thought of trying pesto on pizza but will do so in future. I love your photos of the tulips, one of my very favourite flowers. Such a lovely post. xx


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