Harvesting herbs for winter.

This year, for the first time in several, I have had time to gather some herbs for the freezer.

Here’s a big bowl of herbs ready for sorting.

And here they are sorted.  The lids are from pots I have used in previous years, although not recently.

And here are the stalks, the leaves which weren’t good enough, and a few dandelions.

The herb bed has been particularly good this year, and I have really enjoyed using it.  I even took a bag of herbs with me on holiday, which livened up what is usually very plain cooking when we’re away.

Two different kinds of progress!

The regency stays I have been making are ready for the final fitting – this really will be the moment of truth!  If they are OK, I will add eyelets for the lacing.  If not – start again 🙁

The shoulder strap is a long way from the tab.  When I try it on myself, they might come closer, but if not, I’ll need a long lace!  I won’t be wearing them over a turquoise t-shirt, by the way, that’s just so they show up in the photo.

Most of the eyelets will be down the two sides of the back, where the stays will be laced.

Meanwhile, a cactus which I was convinced had died has flowered!  Here it is awake:

And here it is asleep!  Isn’t nature amazing?


Seeds and seedlings

There are a number of wild flowers growing about the garden, sown from a packet I found in my collection.  Most of them are hard to tell from weeds, but  a few of them have flowered.  One I particularly like looked like a mini lysianthus when it was in bud, but opened much wider and is quite beautiful – it’s the red one in the photo.

Meanwhile, I have planted out parsley and coriander seedlings.  The basil is still too small.  I have a few small geraniums waiting, and a couple of minute violas and petunias which have survived out of the many I sowed in early spring.  The overall success rate of my little pots has been rather disappointing.

But some of the seedlings from Rhey have flowered!

What shall I do next?

So, I’ve finished my dress:

As it’s a winter dress, I now put it away until the autumn.  By which time it’ll be a nice surprise…

I also moved Phil’s cucurbits to their new home – having first untangled them from the spider plant!

In fact, I spent most of Monday putting various things into new pots…

In between, I am still spending time at the computer learning all sorts of new technology, continuing with my reading challenge and finding new and exciting things to cook.  For the first time in my life, having loads of different things to do seems like a blessing!

New growth

I am delighted that the peony, which looked a bit shocked after I moved it last year, has started to regrow.  I hope it will be happier in the pot than in the shady bed it was in before.

The lovage has also come back, which is always a relief.  I would be distraught if I lost that plant; it’s probably the herb I use most of.  I saved some seeds last year, which I have just sown. Fingers crossed, I will have some backup plants.  The grape hyacinths shouldn’t really be there, but they are pretty!

Propagator Divider

I was just about to plant some seeds in the electric propagator for next year’s chilli plants, and it was suggested that it would be better to divide the tray up.

So after a bit of measurement and design later, I set the 3D printer going. It took a while, but used surprisingly little plastic:

Hopefully, this will help stop the roots getting entangled.

Now just need to print two more for the other trays!

A Chilli Forest

We saved some seeds from our chilli plants last year, bought an electric propagator, put the seeds and a bit of water in, and two weeks later:

On a sunny day, the temperature in the propagator reached 34°C.

The right hand tray is empty ready for a later batch of seeds. But at this rate, we’ll have more plants than we know what to do with…