As usual, upon our return from our Christmas holiday, the garden has gone wild. Today we spent quite a bit of time taming it. There were lots of treasures to discover, and I ate the first tomato. The lavender plants were not looking their best, so I gave all eight of them a good trim. Not a job I relish, I have to say, as it is rather hard on my hands. I always feel a little concerned that the lavenders will be past their best and will need replacing. You never want to cut into old wood as it won't bush up again, but sometimes the old wood takes up a whole side if conditions haven't been the best, and a light trim turns into an execution. I'm trying to remain optimistic about a couple of them. We'll see in about a month, I guess.
We went and picked up Mr Ginger Jasper this morning. He was very pleased to see us! He is quite slim and has eaten like mad since he got home. He had a bowl of food in his pen, but I'm guessing he was a rather anxious pussycat, which always ruins his appetite. He is very purry, but also a little grouchy.
Take a look at these photos around the garden. The corn is shooting up, with beans scrambling and pumpkins sprawling in the Three Sisters garden. The tomatoes required a bit of a firm hand today so that I could go into the glasshouse. My globe artichokes are bursting into gorgeous fluffy blooms, which the bumblebees love. The weeds are at their best, and I must evict them very promptly because they are starting to set seed. Today I filled a huge wool sack with weeds, lettuce towers and prunings. Sadly I can't manage all of the garden waste I produce in my compost heaps, but fortunately it goes into the green waste department at the dump where it is made into compost for the city.
Nigella is making a ridiculously decadent chocolate peanut butter cheesecake on our television currently. I made absolutely delicious spaghetti with a fresh tomato and red onion sauce with periperi (chilli) shrimps. It was super simple. For one serving (Johnny had his own concoction as he doesn't like shrimps) I thawed one serve of cooked shrimp and sprinkled them with some Nandos hot periperi sauce and some smoked garlic salt. I softened some sliced red onion in olive oil and added some garlic. Then I popped in two lovely plump chopped up tomatoes and cooked until softened. In went the shrimp and some fresh basil, plus some smoked garlic salt and pepper to make it delicious. I just heated the shrimp through then poured the whole lot over some cooked spaghetti. Yum. Super yum. Probably nicer than Nigella's cheesecake.