Somehow a whole week has passed since I last posted on this blog and during this time spring carried on its one step forwards, two steps backwards progress, still feeling cold at times but with enough sun – and plenty of rain – to keep the plants growing well. In the garrigue some of the wild flowers are already passing their best. Wild garlic:
and wild salsify – I think I’ve posted a photo of this beautiful star-shaped flower before but I’m doing so again because this is probably the last one I’ll see this year.
In the garden, our big purple iris is almost embarrasingly big and purple:
and the white cistus – my favourite of the cultivated cistuses – is flowering, its delicate flowers lasting only a day at a time before being replaced by others waiting to burst out of their buds:
We’re thinking ahead from spring to summer crops now and this morning we planted out six peppers that have been nurtured up till now in mini-greenhouses on the balconies. These first six plants are of a variety that we call A and A Spanish as the seeds originally came from our friends A and A who had brought an especially tasty red pepper home from Spain a few years ago.
I’m very glad that I sowed two double rows of broad beans last autumn, one in October and another in November, because the second row is now producing huge pods while the first hasn’t finished yet either. In past years I’ve sown one double row in the autumn and then another in February, but I’ve found that the February-sown row never does very well, perhaps because there isn’t enough water for them at crucial times. Autumn-sown broad beans do much better here, as shown by the 4.5 kilos we picked today.
These (most of which will be frozen), another small artichoke, some wild thyme from the garrigue and some wild flowers Lo Jardinièr had brought home to identify made the kitchen table look full of possibilities:
I cooked some of the broad beans straight away for lunch, in an earthenware dish over a low heat in olive oil, adding chopped garlic and oregano leaves and some tomato concentrate, then, once they were cooked which took only 5 minutes, some chopped leftover cooked artichoke hearts.