For those of you familiar with the film “The Quiet Man”, you’ll recall the scene when Mary Kate, in her very practical Irish manner, chastises Sean for not growing a cabbage or a potato in the garden of their new home.
But no, Sean was creating the rose garden his mother described, when she dreamed of her Irish birth place from all that distance in Pittsburg, after their immigration to America. Sean wish was to recreate that place his mother had described and still yearned for, the land her heart belonged to.
Tea with Mary Kate has reached a happy compromise in her Kitchen Garden this year
Alongside the onion’s and potatoes, Dahlia’s and Mollucella are happily thriving with the herbs, the kitchen garden providing a supply of both vegetables and flowers, the practical and the aesthetic.
But do remember to take time for a lovely cup of tea
A picnic in the kitchen garden is a wonderful experience, it is just like being on holiday. Flasks of hot water, or a small gas stove to boil water for that all important cup of tea between weeding and digging, just splendid!
Blackfly 3: Ladybirds 0 – An almost disaster with the broad beans!
Organic principles are a guiding force in the kitchen garden. There is a tension here though – my darling other half is all for getting the chemicals out, and I laughed out loud at his football analogy for the broad beans. Of course, he is right but I am trying not to admit it – not since I accidently ran into our resident nest of young beautiful mistle thrushes. They have after all eaten all the snails, the graveyard of shells provide the evidence, and it seems to me a few black flies are a small compensation to see them happily bouncing along.
Back at our old allotment, one of the old boy’s mentioned that to get rid of blackfly, you take off the top part of the plant . I thought he must be joking, playing a trick to see if I actually do it, how an earth is that going to work? But I was desperate, and needs must – and it turned out to be an absolutely top tip! I still have no idea how it works – all I know is that it does, and I hoping it is going to work its magic again. As a bonus though, I do have a rapidly growing ladybird population!
Simple and effective idea to maximise Space with growing Runner Bean’s
Planting the runner beans across the at gap at the end of the rows has meant that instead of using valuable space in the raised beds, it has used only a fraction of the raised bed, with the added bonus of an attractive arbour over the path, can you tell I am quite pleased with it?!
Dare I mention Christmas in July?
I know, it is shocking – it is only July I hear you cry! The strawberries bushes are still in full production……The reason I will beg your forgiveness for this premature mention is now is the time to plant your festive sprouts. I have planted nasturtiums and marigolds for summer colour - and as an attempt to keep the kitchen garden organic so that we can have our very own spouts at Christmas
Tea with Mary Kate’s new favourite mint – Basil Mint
A few leaves of this variety steeped in hot water produce a lovely refreshing, minty brew.
Tea With Mary Kate is inspired to Grow your own
Fresh salad, crisp radish, courgettes that you know have never been touched chemicals, all ready to be picked straight from your garden direct to your plate. Weeding and watering the kitchen garden, surrounded by the lush growth and bright flowers, the smell of the earth always transports me back to my grandfathers garden, his patience and attention, the warmth in the green house enhancing the distinctive smell of geraniums, neat pots all organised in rows.
Tea with Mary Kate seeks to highlight the seemingly ordinary events in life, and highlight them for the special moments they are. Feeling the earth between your fingers, watching the kitchen garden grow, taking time for tea are all precious times that allow us to connect, time actually feels like it slows, moments that can encourage us to live life to the full every day, every interaction is important. As someone mentioned to me recently, life is so very precious, do live it.