After the bright sunny images of my last How Does Your Garden Grow? post, I've homed in on the more muted tones of the kitchen garden. We planted a herb garden last year which has grown and matured very quickly. The fennel has loved the dry, warm, sunny weather and is now 7 feet tall and toppling over, the echinacea I've planted next to it is also thriving and attracting bees. I've been using as much mint as I can (there's only so much Pimm's a girl can drink), and other herbs such as sage and rosemary are regularly used to flavour meat that's flung onto the barbecue.
I'm the only person in the family who's enthusiastic about beetroot, however, I made a beetroot hummus at the weekend and once everyone had got over the shocking purple colour of it, they ate it, spread generously onto toasted pitta bread. I combined a couple of recipes I found and what made it so delicious was the dry roasted cumin seeds and walnuts added to the usual mix of chick peas, lemon juice, olive oil and tahini paste. Mr Smith has constructed a small vegetable patch for me, however, it's a very productive one, topped up in the spring with next door's cow manure. The rhubarb has been growing like a triffid and I've had a job keeping up, so I made a few pots of rhubarb and ginger chutney in preparation for the winter months. The courgette plants have just started producing, I've dug up a few kilos of potatoes and we're all picking raspberries off the canes as they ripen (including the dog).
I'm looking forward to checking out the gardens over at PODcast this week!