Hand of small onions

Onions sets and cakes

Getting out in the garden always makes me feel better. I’ve been poorly for a few days so I spent some time pottering outside on Saturday in the hope it might do me some good. My garden to-do list has been getting longer and first on the list was plant the onion sets that have been sat by the back door for a while. Some of them had started to sprout, hopefully that doesn’t matter too much.

Small onions in hand
Onion sets

Do you have an area of the garden where you keep ‘useful things’? Mine is under the bench. There are lots of pot feet, stones, broken bits of pot, odds and ends of garden cane and cut off plastic bottles I use for watering in the Summer. To someone else it probably looks like a junk corner but to me it’s all useful. I always try and tidy it up but end up not getting rid of anything.

Terracotta pots under bench
All the useful things with no home

I spotted a couple of ladybirds going about their business. We were overrun with aphids in the front last year so we need as many ladybirds as possible.

Ladybird in lavender

I’ve been marking out growing areas in the raised beds with this tin of gardeners string I got for Christmas. It’s really handy because the string doesn’t get tangled up and it stops me accidentally kicking the ball round the garden and having to wind it up again!

Twine in tin

My friend Kat grew a champion radish last year – I say champion because it was perfectly round. They are something I enjoy eating but don’t often buy so I picked up a packet of seeds ready for growing my own. I’ve got my eye on this recipe for radishes with whipped butter and sea salt.

Radish seeds in hand
Radish seeds

Our peony is waking up and pushing out waxy purple shoots. I was disappointed we didn’t get flowers last Summer and later read they flower in the second year after planting. That’s this year so keep your fingers crossed!

Unfurling peony shoots
Small pink and purple flowers

I started some nasturtiums off on the kitchen windowsill and the leaves are so big after just one week. I need to pot them on and make sure they don’t get too leggy. Easiest thing ever to grow.

Young nasturtiums in sun

I picked too much rosemary for cooking so I put the leftover sprigs in a glass of water to root. The roots have grown to a good size and each piece is ready to be transferred to a pot. If you’ve never tried it, it’s a good way to get ‘free’ plants for the garden. Works well with thyme and oregano too.

Rosemary roots growing in water

After doing these bits I was starting to flag so I grabbed the easiest thing to eat with messy hands – a cupcake! The only way to eat it was to rub my face in like a pig sniffing out a truffle (classy!). I used this recipe and put a blob of Nutella in the middle of the cake mixture. Yummy!

Cupcake in muddy hands

What is happening in your gardens?

15 comments on “Onions sets and cakes

  1. your nasturtiums are looking great Gemma. i planted some a while ago but they are so think and barely growing…. happy the weather has allowed you to get outside. happy weekend!

  2. Oh bum Gemma I hope you are feeling better now, there’s some nasty bugs doing the rounds at the moment, I’ve had Kitty home from school sick already this week and now Oz looks decidely peaky! Gah!

    So lovely to see a ladybird again and I love your little area for stashing bits under the bench, it might sound weird but I love glimpses into other peoples areas in gardens and garages.

    I never knew that about Rosemary – I am going to try it next time I cook with it, if only to show the kids, they would be super impressed.

    Lovely photos and a lovely time of year – and that cake looks awesome-saucesome. Hardly a guilty food pleasure to tempt you with this week but I have just started getting into slow roasting kale – oh my days – how yummy is it all crispy?!

    Thanks for joining in again Gemma x

    • I like nosing round other peoples gardens too – especially your Mums! Well, her whole house really with all those vintage bits and pieces. Definitely try the rosemary trick. The roots will take a little while to come but when they do there’s no stopping them. The piece I planted last year has grown into a little plant already. Hope Kitty gets better soon and Ozzy manages to avoid the lurgy!

  3. Wow you have been busy! I wouldn’t know where to start with cuttings and seeds so I’m very impressed with how much you’ve got going on!

    • I only take cuttings from the herbs at the moment as they are quite easy and can live on the kitchen windowsill 🙂

  4. I’m impressed you made it outside when feeling poorly – it does always help though doesn’t it? Hope you’re on the mend now 🙂

    I like seeing things like your useful area in gardens – it tells a story about the gardener and shows you mean business! You’ve got lots of lovely terracotta there too, pretty in it’s own way.

    I’m so going to try that thing with the rosemary – I never manage to nurture ours into a big,healthy plant so a little rosemary nursery sounds just the job!

    • It’s good fun to do. Not all of them make it so definitely cut a few more sprigs than you need. I remember my Granddad having lots of useful garden bits – I probably thought it was junk when I was a kid but now I know different! Nature is good medicine, cupcakes help too 🙂

  5. I need to go get a rosemary cutting and grow it! Love the idea. I’ve been growing tree buds in glasses of water but had no idea I could do that with rosemary. Beautiful captures and a delicious looking cupcake.

    • I’ve not tried it with anything but herbs but should really – I might try some shrubs next. I like putting rosemary in slow cooker dinners and chopped with garlic and olive oil, makes a fantastic meat rub.

  6. I love the gardeners string pot, what a fab idea! We have our onion sets ready to go in. Now all of the bigger jobs have been done we are going to be focusing on seeds x #HDYGG

    • I’ve got my April seeds out on the side for sowing in a couple of weeks time. Not that I’m eager or anything 😉

  7. Ever lengthening garden list here too and I am trying hard to fight off a cold (Glad you are feeling better). I love your hand and seeds photos You can always tell a proper gardener by the state of her hands 😉

  8. Sorry to hear you have a cold Rosie 🙁 I really should take better care of my hands. Lots of knitting, gardening and cooking means they are often dry.

  9. Gardening and a cupcake, what a wonderful combo!
    I never realised you could do that with rosemary, I will keep note of it for future use. Some gorgeous signs of Spring popping up, fingers crossed for the radishes and peony this year

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