Friday 3 June 2016

Cobaea Scandens

Beautiful Flowers

Last year I discovered The Cobaea Scandens plant. These images will show you just what a delightful plant it is - it reminds me of all those lovely 'flower fairy' paintings. I saw it in full flower at Petersham Nurseries but was unable to find a plant anywhere. I sent for some seeds online from Chiltern Seeds, and gave some to two friends. Their seeds grew and flowered beautifully but mine did not. I planted it in the conservatory and it grew about eight feet tall but sadly no flowers at all. Their plants grew outside and totally outshone the original that I saw the year before and were covered in stunning blue flowers.

I told this story to my lovely grand-daughter and she found the plant online and painted me a beautiful painting for my birthday of this delightful plant. It is a stunning likeness and I so love it. Isn't she clever?

Cobaea Scandens by Poppy

This year my lovely friend, (thanks H), bought me some plugs from Sarah Raven. Today I am going to plant them in the garden by the pergola and hope for some beautiful flowers very soon. They are white, (the original was blue), and I am so looking forward to them.

Planted in sunny spot near base of the pergola

A better view

An even better view!

I shall keep you, (boringly), updated as to their progress!

Thursday 2 June 2016

Carrot And Pecan Cake

Little Variation On Carrot And Walnut Cake

I started to make a carrot cake. I was drooling over the Internet photos of carrot and walnut cake this morning until I discovered that I had no walnuts but plenty of pecans. So this is an experiment, which I hope will work. I shall top it with a cream cheese icing.


6 oz. grated carrots
juice and zest of one orange
8oz olive oil
4 eggs
12 oz. self raising flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. ginger
4oz (walnuts) pecan nuts - roughly chopped


Mix all together in a large bowl (I did not use the Kitchen Aid, merely a hand bowl and wooden spoon so as not to break up the nuts too much).

Put into a lined and greased cake tin, (8" diameter), and bake at 150 degrees for one hour. Test with a cocktail stick and remove from oven when it comes out dry. Cool in tin for a few minutes before placing on a cooling grid.


Now this is ready to pop into the oven.  I shall look at it again in an hour, although it could take just a little longer  - 1hour - 1 hour fifteen minutes. This is the finished cake...

Iced with cream cheese and icing sugar

It tasted very good although I did miss the walnuts - just a little.

Tuesday 31 May 2016


Oh I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside!

Brighton, on the south coast of England, on a sweltering hot day is such fun ... do take a look! I love the quirky shops, the beautiful gardens and the Royal Pavilion, and the beach, and the food, oh ... and all of it. We were lucky enough to visit on a beautiful sunny day - the best of the year so far.

The Royal Pavilion Gardens
Remains of The West Pier
Brighton Pavilion built in 1787 for George, Prince of Wales as a seaside retreat, he
 was later to become Prince Regent in 1811 and then George 1V in 1821: (b1762 - d1830)
 The building was later redesigned and extended in 1815 by the architect John Nash.
The Royal Pavilion Gardens
The Royal Pavilion Gardens
And then to my favourite restaurant
The Salt Room attached to The Hilton Hotel
Lemonade cocktail
Sea trout, courgette spaghetti, oyster, potato and wild asparagus
Monkfish, seaweed butter, samphire, bacon and clams
A taste of the pier!
This has to be the best pudding of all time:
It is called Tastes Of The Pier:
Candy Floss
Ice Cream With Honeycomb
Custard Doughnuts
Rhubarb Marshmallow
Coconut Ice
Chocolate Pebbles
Lemon Meringue Fudge
Yes We Did Share It!

Sunday 29 May 2016

The Medicine Garden

What A Lovely Place To Relax And Enjoy The Air

Cobham is a small Surrey village nestling beside the River Mole. The countryside around is beautiful and a little way out of the village is a walled Victorian garden:  The Medicine Garden. Rather than tell you about it I shall show you some of its delights.

This lovely restored kitchen garden has beautiful walkways, shops, restaurants, cafe's, all set in a delightful country spot and surrounded by huge trees and wildflowers. Do pay a visit if you can - it is free!

Definitely Food For The Soul.