The hedge bed – year 9

Possibly the biggest change to the Hedge Bed (Day-z Bed) this year is the inclusion of water and electricity access running along the base of the fence. Both are as a result of the greenhouse. Both have made the greenhouse a lot more usable.

Mirinda wants to hide the fence in the Day-z Bed. To do this she will need to find shade loving climbers to quickly and effectively range over it. This will be an ongoing project.

My ongoing project is tomatoes.

Now we have a greenhouse and it is empty of the over-wintering plants, it is a chance to grow edible plants in it. For my first foray into this, I chose tomatoes because they are easy and it’s quite late in the season.

The reason it’s late in the season is because of the plague. Trips to garden centres have been impossible. I could have bought online plants but this was a new venture (for me) and I wanted to see and touch the bits and pieces I’d need for it. Which is why we went to the garden centre at Forest Lodge today.

This is the first time Mirinda has been to a shop in months. She was a bit concerned with how draconian the experience would be. It was obvious I’d have to go with her.

The experience was rather odd. Usually buzzing with activity, the whole place was quiet and still with the occasional trolley appearing around corners then once more vanishing between the bushes.

To be honest I found the whole experience delightful. I’m never that keen to go to the garden centre but going to an almost empty one makes things far more pleasant. Mirinda just thought the whole thing was eerie and not pleasant.

Of course, any unpleasantness was not enough to deter her from piling our shopping trolley high with plants, pots, compost and stakes. Okay, to be fair, the stakes were mine for my tomatoes. And four tomato plants were also mine. And I really should own up to the two tomato grow bags. But the pots were hers.

In a bit of expert timing, we managed to be outside at the garden centre just as the rain started. This proved to be a very good way to soak my t-shirt. Back at home, having changed said t-shirt, I decided to wait until the rain eased up before emptying Max.

Actually, the weather also determined our meals this weekend. We’d planned a barbecue for today and Persian roast chicken for tomorrow. I thought it made more sense, having checked out the forecast and looked out the window, to do it the other way around.

And so we had a Saturday roast, which, while delicious, flew in the face of western culture and made us feel quite daring and slightly uneasy.

The rain, which fell on and off all day, managed to decimate some wild carrot. This happens every time the weather becomes unpleasant. So much so that I wonder at the success of the tall skinny plants. Half the time they are strewn over the path, flattened by a downpour.

It was while placing a support within a bush of wild carrot that Mirinda lost a ring. It fell off as she struggled. It was lost. She was distraught. I suggested, for the millionth time, that perhaps wearing rings while gardening was inadvisable then set to finding it. Which I did. Which in turn cheered Mirinda up immensely.

The same can’t be said for the wild carrot. I had to chop it up, cutting stem after stem until it was no more. The ring was settled on the ground in the hardest to reach spot only made accessible by the chopping.

Foodwise, today’s brunch featured a new addition thanks, in part, to Sabrina Ghayour. She has a recipe for zatar coated halloumi further coated in breadcrumbs before frying. Of course, breadcrumbs are a no-no at Chez Gaz so I substituted pork scratchings. It worked remarkably well.

At the end of the day, our Saturday roast was a superb way to round off the day. My fingers are crossed for the barbecue tomorrow.

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