Another year is unfolding in our gardens and if you are like me you will have plans for new ideas to be implemented. Whilst we’ve been concentrating on deadheading and watering, we’ve also been adding a few plants. Yesterday an order arrived from Peter Salmon at Hokonui Alpines for six plants of Antirrhinum hispanicum ‘roseum’. I grew this plant many years ago, lost it along the way, and when I read about it in Peter’s catalogue, I remembered it fondly. We have now added a group to our pink and mauve garden.
We’ve also added a group of a new variety of Echinacea, the Coneflower, to the pink garden. This plant is part of the new Mood series, which is slightly lower-growing than the regular Coneflower, with a denser habit. I bought these from Terra Viva.
The main focus for me over the past month has been getting the first issue of my relaunched publication, The Gardener’s Journal, underway. It is an exciting project and we will be sending out the first issue in February. I have attached full information. If you know of someone who may be interested, please pass the info on. The Gardener’s Journal appeals to all active and inactive gardeners who are interested in topics related to gardening
Chilled Summer Soup: Marilyn McRae
This is a refreshing soup, not too heavy, to serve before a light lunch or as part of a dinner menu. Top each bowl with a spoonful of stirred Greek yoghurt or creme fraiche, a grind of pepper and a sprig of mint and accompany with a crispy small roll.
2 1/2 cups of fresh or frozen peas (I use frozen baby peas)
2 spring onions, green parts only
1 large potato, peeled and sliced
2 sprigs of mint, leaves only, chopped
1 iceberg-type lettuce, broken into chunks
3 c of good quality, well-flavoured chicken stock
1 c milk or cream (I use cream, but about 3/4 c I find is enough…to taste!)
juice of 1 small lemon
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Put the sliced green onion into a largish pot, add about 1 tbsp of water, cover the pot and ‘poach’ the onion briefly until softened. Add the peas, potato, mint, lettuce and the chicken stock. Cover again and bring to a simmer and cook for approx. 15 mins, until the potato is tender. Use a stick blender to blend thoroughly or cool the mix slightly and puree in a blender or whizz. Return to the saucepan if using the latter option and bring to the boil. Remove the pot from the heat, add the milk or cream and the lemon juice to taste and season well. Heat to blend but do not boil! Cool the soup then chill thoroughly.
Serve small quantities in cups (fun for a finger-food lunch) or soup plates and garnish. This will serve 6-8 people depending on the portion size….more if serving in small cups. The soup can be made the day before and chilled overnight.
Our relaxed country garden started twenty nine years ago. In the early days I had very little gardening experience and no vision for the site, but an interest in plants was quickly developing. Over the years, with much trial and error, a garden has emerged which we and our visitors do enjoy.
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139 Old Tai Tapu Rd, Christchurch 8025, New Zealand
+64 3 3228 061