Saturday, March 19, 2016

Drying out.

I love this purple  Iris.
After a very wet winter at last the land is drying out, helped by strong sunshine,
it has been dry enough to get out the rotovator and take out the hard work of preparing the land for potato planting.
The ridger ( red bit) saves a lot of work.
We have a ridger attachment for the rotaovator, this removes the effort of digging out trenches for the potato's. The  earlies are now planted, we have chosen five different types this year, Charlotte,  Catriona, Lady Balfour, Sainte and Nicola, and unlike last year each row has been clearly marked! For the main crop we will be sowing Sarpo Axona instead of the Sarpo Mira, it will be interesting to see for ourselves how they compare to each other. One unwelcomed find under the ground cover were six new Zealand flat worms, these horrible creatures eat earth worms and there is no known cure other than finding them and destroying them, so far no others have been found and we still have masses of earth worms. We will set traps around the garden in the hope of capturing them before they do too much damage.
Things are growing a pace this year,
even the asparagus has sent up a couple of shoots, far too early, we are still getting frosts at night despite the high daytime temperatures.
The crocus are beautiful this year and have multiplied.
The garden is now full of colour,
daffodils are doing particularly well,
they started very early and it looks as though they will continue for a good while yet,
a lots of them are perfumed which has attracted the  small Tortoiseshell butterflies,
they also love the Hyacinths.

Primroses are in bloom everywhere, soon the bluebells will be out, they are already in leaf, quite early for bluebells.
Less than 65cents a pot.
Last week a local supermarket had limes on special offer, 29cents for three, as we both love lime marmalade I couldn't pass on such a bargain. Lime marmalade is very expensive to buy, not that we would buy it, too many additives, I bought five bags of limes, plus organic lemons, 1800grams of sugar, total cost four euros sixty five cents, in total it made seven large jars plus a sample jar, less than 65cents a jar, it has set rather too well, I like marmalade with a little bit of run, but it tastes lovely.
Yummy malt loaf.
I have also come across an excellent recipe for malt loaf, something that you seldom see or even hear of nowadays, the recipe makes two loaves, presumably recognising  that the loaf improves with keeping but that most people will have to try it before it has reached it's maturity. I must admit, the first loaf  eaten in the first three days was very good, the second loaf having been kept for a few days was much better!
Incense burner to be glazed id black gold.
I have been doing a pottery course for the last six weeks,
This piece will be glazed in turquoise.
it has been very enjoyable and I think I have learnt a lot from our excellent teacher, however three hours once a week is rather too short to get all the pieces finished so the course has been extended,
Waiting to be decorated.
all the pieces have had their first firing,
Waiting for the under glaze painting to be done before the final firing.
but the painting and glazing still remains to be done, hopefully all of the classes peices will be finished this coming week so we can start with new projects after Easter.


  1. Lovely to see the wonderful Spring Flowers. I made Malt loaf on Friday, the recipe I use is from BBC Good Food, and it makes two, it is yummy I would never buy one of those little one from the shops again. Your pottery tray looks good, love to see it when its glazed.

    1. It must be fifteen years since I last made malt loaf, it's not that easy to get the malt over here.
      The tray will be very brightly coloured I will do the painting on Wednesday, I'm not sure when it will get it final firing as my pottery teacher is away for Easter, I'm looking forward to seeing it though.

  2. Your primroses look great, our bluebells are in leaf too. Love the incense burner, well done

    1. Everything is very early this year B.G. I have several incense burners, I don't think you can have too many! Beats using horrible smelly so called 'air fresheners'.

  3. Love your cow design. Looks like you've been doing slab pottery. Much easier than throwing a pot. The garden is looking so lovely. Beautiful flowers everywhere. That's one mean machine for potatoes.

  4. The cow is now painted, just waiting for the final glaze and firing, hopefully it will be completed next week. I did wheel pottery years ago, I am finding the coil or slab far more interesting.
    the rotaovator has saved a lot of time and very hard work, it's the first time we have been able to use it here, but it did a lot of work for us in Spain.

  5. Oh I remember that rotovator!!!Garden looking pretty and colourful. I love the incense burner, it will be good to see the finished product! xx

  6. The rotaovator says hi! It's the first time that it has been used here the land had so many rocks in it, but it has made life easier.