Thursday 17 March 2011

St Patrick's Day

The daffodils, 'St Patrick's Day', planted beneath the fruit trees, are still only in green leaf, not a flower to be seen.

Other, un-named varieties are putting on a better show.

This is the Corsican hellebore that rampages all about my garden. It provided a great many small plants for the seed swap last Saturday.

The local fields have been ploughed and the hedges trimmed. There are few signs yet of growth and colour

but in the woods the bluebell leaves are carpeting the ground with green

and wild violets are growing all over my apology for a lawn.

Crystalized flowers.

Dip the flower heads in white of egg that has been thinned with  rose water or similar, then lightly dredge with castor sugar and place on greaseproof paper to dry.
Once dry they will keep in an airtight container for months. Good for decorating cakes and trifles.
Handle with care and remember to use only edible flowers!

The rhubarb has outgrown its forcing pot and is ready to eat.

It is still too cold for me to enjoy being out in the garden for very long. My kitchen is the best place to be on a cold, spring day.

 Home made lemon curd.  

 6 oz butter, melt in a bowl over a pan of boiling water. Add
12 oz sugar, dissolve, then add
 6  lemons, juice and grated rind
 6 eggs, well beaten. Stir thoroughly until the mixture thickens. Pour into jars and cover when cold.

With lemon curd and crystalized violets the most delicious thing to make is Nigel Slater's 

Lemon Trifle

100 g sponge fingers
100 g lemon curd
3 tbsp limoncello liqueur

500 ml double cream
120 g castor sugar
100 ml lemon juice

Decorate with
250 ml cream, whipped or double
grated zest of an orange
crystalized violets. 

Break the sponge fingers in half and spread with curd. Place in dish and sprinkle with limoncello.
Pour 500 ml cream into saucepan with sugar and bring to the boil over a moderate heat. Simmer for three minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice, then pour over the fingers. Cool, then refrigerate.

Whip cream until thick, smooth over trifle and decorate with orange zest and violets.


  1. So happy to get the lemon curd recipe. Thanks! Love the pictures. I, too, have wild violets. I am not really crazy about them. They truly overpower and move some of my favorites.

  2. hi rosemary,

    wasn't it just a few weeks ago you were covered in snow? oh my, what a difference. i believe you live in heaven.


  3. Your grounds look lovely. That flower sugaring recipe is a good idea.

  4. I love your pictures. Some of my daffodils are up, the crocus is blooming along with the early bushes and trees. Aah, spring, we can all rejoice.

  5. Oh my I truly am in love with the rhubarb forcing pot...imagine having fresh rhubarb so early in the season...lemon curd looks tasty too.

    And clever you to make those crystallized flowers for cake decorating.
    It will just get better and better as the spring is in full swing.

    Your blog offers much!

    Thank you,

  6. As I clicked on this, I noticed your last post re: the seed swap...I so want to do something like that in my community! Your post is awesome, my iris's are going crazy too! Wish I had more of what you have!

    Take Care...Connie

  7. Great photo's and thanks for the recipe

  8. Everything in your garden is way ahead of here in North Yorkshire - there is hardly a daffodil out yet.
    I do make lemon curd but have not tried that trifle, so shall do so now.