>The hungry gap? / Le trou affamé?

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april harvest_1_1

There isn’t much to harvest in the garden at this time of the year, when the winter cabbages and leeks are finished and we’re still waiting for the summer crops of tomatoes, courgettes, aubergines and peppers. But there is still a huge range of varieties of plants growing in and around the garden which we can eat.

Il n’y a pas beaucoup à ramasser au jardin à cette saison, mais il y restent plusiers de variétés de plantes qui poussent dans le jardin ou près du jardin que nous pouvons manger.

Yesterday we picked and ate 16 different varieties of leaf or flower:

Hier on a ramassé et mangé 16 variétés differentes de feuille ou fleur:

cos lettuce (laitue), spinach (épinards), sorrel (oseille), broad bean leaves (feuilles de fève), wild rocket (roquette sauvage), mint (menthe), parsley (persil), savory (sariette), oregano (oreganum), thyme (thym), chard (blettes), rainbow chard (feuilles de bette) – from the garden / du jardin.

borage flowers (fleurs de bourrache) – from the wild / sauvage.

coriander (coriandre), oak-leaf lettuce (feuille de chêne), mizuna – from the balcony / du balcon.

The chard and rainbow chard we ate cooked with mussels and an onion and white wine sauce. I used the herbs with goats’ cheese to make parcels as I did with the borage leaves the other day. The other leaves made a salad to accompany them.

On a mangé les blettes et les feuilles de bettes avec des moules à la sauce au vin blanc. Avec les herbes j’ai fait des parcelles comme celles à la bourrache. Avec les autres feuilles j’ai fait une salade pour les accompagner.

We’re looking forward to the summer vegetables, but in the meantime there are plenty of exciting flavours in the garden!

On attend avec impatience les légumes d’été, mais pour le moment il y a beaucoup de saveurs dans le jardin!

>Borage and butterflies / La bourrache et les papillons

>Borage has one of the prettiest flowers of all the herbs: purple stars which line the roadsides and the vineyards here in spring. The flowers can be put in salads and in drinks, the leaves can be cooked in soups and sauces. Today we picked leaves and flowers and I made borage and cheese parcels – the recipe is on the Mediterranean cuisine blog.

borage 1_1_1 borage parcels_1_1

La bourrache a des belles fleurs: des étoiles pourpres au bord de la route et des vignobles en printemps. On peut mettre les fleurs dans les salades et dans les boissons et les feuilles dans les soupes et les sauces. Aujourd’hui nous avons ramassé des feuilles et des fleurs et j’ai fait des pastelles à la bourrache et au fromage. La recette est sur le blog Mediterranean cuisine.

Borage is a good plant to have in the garden as it attracts bees and is said to improve the flavour of tomatoes grown nearby. Traditionally it has medicinal uses, including the relief of stress. But for me it adds colour to salads and flavour to dishes like these parcels. The older leaves have prickly hairs on them and so they need to be cooked. The young leaves are delicious in salads, with a taste like cucumber.

Two swallowtail butterflies were chasing each other around the garden and refused to stay still and pose for the camera. The best I could do was this action shot of one of them:

swallowtail_1

Deux machaons se pourchassaient autour du jardin et ils ont refusé de s’arreter pour le photo. J’ai dû prendre cette photo d’action.

and a butterfly coincidence …

I had just posted my swallowtail photo when I looked at the Jardim com gatos blog and found I had been given this award – thanks gintoino!

I don’t usually participate in these blog awards and games, but I can’t resist this one! I read so many interesting blogs, but I’d like to forward it to the following blogs, the first two are about gardening in Mediterranean climates, like gintoino does in Portugal and like I do in the Languedoc, the third has beautiful photos and makes me laugh, the fourth is a good mix of campaigning and gardening …
http://fromseedtotable.blogspot.com/
http://www.citygarden.eu/
http://inelegantgardener.blogspot.com/
http://homesteadinginacondo.blogspot.com/

The tulips were easier to photograph / les tulipes étaient plus faciles à photographier:

tulip1_1_1 tulip2_1