Last week Isabel from Fennel & Fern asked me if I would take part in their new monthly Herb Recipe Challenge, the first herb being lavender.  So here’s the thing, lavender is just about my favourite herb, I adore the look and scent of it on the plot and I use the essential oil all the time at home, but cooking with it I wasn’t so sure. Fearful I suppose that it might be too ‘medicinal’.


After plenty of thought,  this is what I came up with.  A very simple poaching syrup made from honey and a pinch of  lavender that gives a delicate, fragrant flavour to some juicy, fresh apricots. I’ve served them here with some Greek yoghurt and a little extra honey drizzled on top to brighten your breakfast.

Saturday Plotlines

A mixed week at the plot.  The rain meaning that all of us at Southbourne Gardens have been able to catch up with other things, so whilst there were a record nine of us for coffee on Tuesday morning, Bob sat all alone on Wednesday.  Most unusual.  We also solved last week’s mystery of the eaten apples with site secretary Patrick identifying his son Joe as the muncher.  I’m just hoping he doesn’t take a shine to our chillies.


The big news for  us this week is that just as I was about to rip up the aubergine plants I finally have fruit, just the one and it is very small but it’s definitely there and my hopes of home grown ratatouille  are restored.  Still no beans though!

Bessingby Park Blackberry Jam

It’s blackberry season. My mother never went anywhere without a carrier bag in her coat pocket and at this time of year and car journeys were made super exciting by the thought that at any moment she would spot some berries and we would come to screeching halt by the side of the road whereupon she would leap from the drivers seat and disappear off into the hedgerow to pick some fruit.


Now we like to call this ‘foraging’ and my own experience of  is somewhat more sedate and a little less organised.  I’d gone to Bessingby Park this morning because Bob had told me that  I’d find a beautiful walnut tree, of course it’s far too early for walnuts but I was keen to locate it in the hope of hope of beating the birds and the children to them in a few weeks time.