Autumn Lessons

I gave her four days in late April: digging up the lawn, building raised beds, painting raised beds, transporting compost, buying seeds, planting out, seeking obscure herbs, and spreading gravel. From those who were here before, I kept only the apple tree.  In return my garden has given me a summer of flowers, courgettes, peas, tomatoes, rainbow chard, romaine lettuce, tsoi sim, landcress, beets, spinach beet, carrots, beans, squashes, strawberries, spuds, rhubarb, an extravagance of herbs, and a chilli.

Garden in mid-July

As Plato noted in the trial of Socrates “I appear to be wiser than he, because I do not fancy I know what I do not know.”  After twelve months of owning a garden, twenty four hours of reading around the topic, and a mere six months of erratic tending, I should know better than to share my learning.  However, if you will humour me, these are my lessons; if only so that I remember them next year: Continue…

Chervil, perfect chervil

Chervil grown from seed (taken end July)

Chervil lies in pole position amongst my reasons for tending a garden.  Grown from seed in May, it has rewarded me with symmetrical feathery leaves through ’til early September (my fault in over-picking, rather than any lack of enthusiasm on its behalf).

There are two main reasons for this.  Firstly its subtly flavoured, beautifully symmetrical and delicately feathery leaves; and secondly – though not least – because it cannot be bought by anyone outside of the restaurant trade. [UPDATE: Abel & Cole now sell it, we love you A&C]

I use it to cook omelettes fines herbes, to decorate canapes, tossed in salads, and most importantly in the recipe below: Continue…