In the Garden – November 2020

This was November in our garden!

The espaliered fruit trees needed trimming, the weeds were taking over, beds in the vegetable garden needed to be dressed and prepared for planting, and the list goes on!

Fortunately the flowers were not so discerning and provided happiness both in the garden and in vases indoors.

I enjoyed cutting flowers from the garden and arranging them in vases so that we can not only enjoy the blooms when we are in the garden, but also when we are indoors.  Primarily the vases were filled with sweet peas and hydrangea, but I also took to cutting the flowers from herbs that had bolted to seed, they are so fine, lacy and intricate.

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Having cut flowers in the home reminds me of my Nana McDonald.   She always had a magnificent arrangement of flowers, cut from her beautiful garden, on the telephone table in the front room of her and Pa’s home and were visible to all who entered the front door of her home.

As for the vegetable garden, it had the appearance of a jungle, rather than the productive corner of the garden that it should be.  The raspberries had to have the previous year’s dead canes removed and the fruiting canes tied in; new shoots on the espaliered fruit trees desperately needed trimming, plants were bolting to seed and the weeds were taking over.  We just have not had the time to devote to any of our garden and these photos give you an idea of what it looked like.

 

We started to make more time for us, which meant more time in the garden.  One of the first things I did was work on the step-over pears along the front of the vegetable garden.  I’m not sure if anyone else feels like I do when I finish a job.  It really feels so great to stand back and see the difference your hard work has made.  I’m really excited to have a nice little crop of Paradise Pears forming on one of the trees and look forward to get creative with these when they ripen.

 

As the month progressed, the cherries, plums and raspberries were brought back under control and I could see that the raspberries were fruiting up beautifully.

 

There was a pretty cauliflower (Purple Sicily) ready for picking, which meant I just had to make a pot of Blushing Cauliflower Soup with kale crisps, using fresh kale from the garden;

Cauliflower – Purple Sicily

 

Blushing Cauliflower Soup with Kale Crisps and a Scattering of Brie
Inspired by a spate of very heavy frosts that made the vegie patch look like it had been placed in the freezer, it was simply beautiful visually.
Category: Soup
Keyword: Cauliflower Soup, Purple Cauliflower
Quantity: 4 serves
Author: sbaskitchen
Ingredients
  • ½ purple cauliflower
  • 2 pink lady apples peeled, cored and roughly chopped
  • ½ onion finely diced
  • 2 sticks of celery finely diced
  • 2 tsp freshly picked thyme leaves
  • 750 ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground white pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 40 g butter
  • 2 tbsp diced brie
For the Kale Crisps
  • 4 kale leaves
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
Instructions
  1. Heat the butter in a large pan, or wok, over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and sauté over gentle heat until the onion is soft.
  2. Add the cauliflower, cover with a lid and raise the heat a little. Cook until the cauliflower is tender, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the thyme and apple and continue to cook for another five minutes.
  4. Pour in the stock, add the pepper and season to taste with salt. Simmer until the apple and cauliflower are cooked.
  5. Leave to cool slightly before blending the soup in a blender or food processor.
  6. Reheat and serve garnished with kale crisps and a scattering of diced brie.
For the Kale Crisps
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C or 160°C fan forced. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Remove the centre stems from kale and discard. Tear the leaves into small bite size pieces, scatter on the baking tray. Drizzle over the olive oil and toss ensuring the leaves are coated in olive oil.
  3. Spread kale out in a single layer and bake for 12-15 minutes or until leaves are crisp. Sprlnkle with a little sea salt.
Notes
  • Source: SBA’s Kitchen
  • Ensure you keep the brie in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. When it hits the hot soup it begins to melt

With some persistence and determination, I also got some tomato plants into the ground.  I had planted the seeds in anticipation, a small selection, including “Pineapple”, “Roma” and “Sweet Berry Truss”, and even if I don’t get any others in the ground, I should have a nice crop from these few.

 

Back in March, the day that we laid my mum to rest, I took a few cuttings from the roses in her garden.  To my great delight, one  of the cuttings took, sending out shoots, and then… a bud!  It seemed to take forever from the first sign of the wee bud at the end of the new growth to develop, taking ages for it to plump up and show a hint of colour! And then, finally, the bud began to burst, turning into a beautiful pink bloom.  I have no idea what the correct name of this rose is, but it will forever be known as “Mum’s Rose”.

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Mid November, one sunday night, the wind blew a gale!  While not causing to much destruction in our yard, the neighbour had a very large tree totally uproot and come down.  Gary spent time tidying up our yard and cutting up the branch that come down near the garage and then took his chainsaw next door for the neighbour to use.

 

As seen in my previous post, I spent some time to dead head the roses along the kitchen wall and weed and mulch the garden bed.  It should be noted that this garden is primarily a garden of whites through to reds.  But as with many things there is always something, or someone who must be different – in this case it is a yellow snap dragon.  I do not have the heart to remove it, so it will be my splash of yellow in my white and red garden!

I wonder what I will have to share with you from our garden in December…

Until next time…

Happy gardening & bon appétit!

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