Nelly Moser

This is my clematis ‘Nelly Moser’ taken yesterday morning.

I bought it in part for sentimental reasons, my mother had one in the garden of the house where I grew up, and because I thought a clematis would look ‘just right’ winding it’s way through the wires of the cordon frame at the front of the plot. The truth is that whilst it did look ‘just right’ it was too cold and too exposed, the RHS say it is hardy and will tolerate north facing but having seen its rapid demise I would disagree. So I moved it to the side of the greenhouse snapping several of the brittle stems in the process. It looked pretty awful for the rest of the year to the point that I was close to composting it. I’m pleased I didn’t.

As an aside does anyone know the origin of the name Nelly Moser? I’ve googled it to no avail.

Technical stuff from the RHS here.

Walking around our allotment site one thing that is common to most of the plots is a large clump of comfrey. Here is ours.

It hasn’t always looked so healthy. When our site secretary Patrick gifted it to us last year, despite being transported only a few feet in a wheelbarrow and having a large root ball it, spent the first month like a Heyer heroine having an attack of the vapours.

So far we have just put the leaves in with the compost but this year we are trying Patrick’s comfrey feed which goes something like this:

Towards the end of summer cram all the leaves into an empty water butt. Cover and leave over winter to rot down (if you have something to weigh the leaves down the process can be quicker). Patrick says he doesn’t add any water but there is a disc cut out of the butt lid where the feed pipe would normally go, so some does get in. By the following spring it will have rotted down by about two thirds and turned to liquid, every one says it is vile but really I couldn’t smell it at. He then decants it into old one litre milk cartons to store.

Use as a foliar feed, half a litre to one ten litre can of water. High in Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium it is good for tomatoes and amazing for brassicas.

Asparagus Soup

What a glorious day. The picture below was taken on Dai Bevan’s plot late this morning. My favourite way to eat asparagus is lightly steamed and dipped ‘soldier’ style into soft boiled eggs. It feels like the best breakfast ever. Failing that I like to make a soup, this one, adapted from Simon Hopkinson’s gorgeous book Roast Chicken and Other Stories,¬†is delicious.

Ingredients

25 gms butter

4 leeks, white part only, trimmed and finely sliced

1 potato, medium sized, peeled and diced

450gm asparagus trimmed of any ‘woody’ bits and peeled if necessary

900ml vegetable stock

Salt and Pepper

A splosh of cream if you like

Method

Melt the butter and sweat the leeks until soft.

Add the stock and the potato, simmer gently until the potato is soft.

Chop the asparagus and add, cook for a further five minutes.

Blend throughly and pass through a sieve. ¬†Season to taste and add the cream if your waistline allows. And that’s it.