Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Now sowing ...

… Chillies.  I get these going early because it takes a long time for the fruits to develop, and when they do the more sunlight they get the better.  I grow chillies every year for two reasons:  (1) I love the plants and their glossy colourful fruits and (2) hubby is a chilli-head.  He likes the hottest and I’ve grown several (volcanic) varieties over the years.  This year I’m trying out Aji Crystal, described as having an ‘unusual hot citrus flavour’.  How the citrus flavour can be picked out from amongst all the heat I have no idea.  Apparently Habanero chillies (grown in previous years) have a ‘nice fruity flavour’ but, alas, I just get burning, on a massive scale, so I will leave it to Mr. T. to decide on the citrus content in this year’s crop (providing they grow that is).  

Outside, the garden is a bit of a mess.  In October a large chunk of a big old oak tree next door fell, demolished some of our fence and put a big dent in the chicken run (chickens fine, just a bit confused).  We've cleared what we can from our side and hopefully, next door's side will be cleared by summer. But there are a few plants that make the garden look a little less like Steptoe’s yard.

I'm on a mission this year to get scented peonies. About 3 years ago I fell in love with a peony that I’d seen either when visiting a garden or a garden show, can’t remember now (memory loss seems to happen all too often these days). Anyway, Paeonia lactiflora 'Duchesse de Nemours' is a beautiful white peony with a gorgeous scent (think lily of the valley kind of scent). I was delighted to find some at the local garden centre, but there were none in flower; however, they were all clearly labelled so I bought one.


I took little Duchesse home, planted her, nurtured her and protected her from the dog, who has a habit of plonking her great big bottom down on my favourite plants. Finally, last summer, she flowered and …



… after 3 dedicated years, it appears that my beautiful little Duchesse is a scarlet woman. After the initial disappointment I decided that she is beautiful enough to stay and will try again this year. This time though, to make sure she is who she says she is, I want to see flowers first.

Hope all is well out there ...
Jane xx


  1. Looks like you are getting into a gardening frame of mind Jane, and planning ahead already despite the weather. I'm sure your chilli plants will do well as you are an old hand at growing them now - and it sounds like Mr T's taste buds don't even notice the heat of the chillies any more, just the underlying flavours!
    The peony is a beauty despite it being a rogue one - I notice the leaf tips of my peonies are just starting to emerge, mine are all red ones too.
    Look forward to seeing you next week!
    Gill xx

  2. Sounds like you will be very busy with your gardening! Bet those chillies will be fab, my husband is a chilli addict too.
    Marianne x