• Kay

Magical Silvenberry


The very hot weather continues, we are back in the mid-thirties today and the nights are hot and airless. I did not have a good night because Minxy managed to unlatch an upstairs window (already partially open but not enough for a cat) and disappear out into the night after she had eaten her supper. This is not good news because she then has no incentive to return. She finally sauntered back across the garden at 2:20am to a very relieved mummy (me) who had been calling her on and off since midnight! I then found it too hot to sleep and just dozed fitfully until getting up around 7:30am.

I continued with my plan of the last few days, which consists of lots of careful watering, keeping a sharp eye out for any plants in particular distress then retreat to the music room for more ‘sorting’. Patrick is working hard on the transformation of the downstairs of his office and it looks brilliant. I have said to him that I will have to be there when his secretary returns from furlough to catch her when she faints from shock at how organised he is…however, I suppose you can’t catch people with social distancing, so we had better warn her in advance!

Having thought of the idea of plums and figs for breakfast yesterday, I tried that today with raspberries, strawberries, Greek-yogurt and honey and it was amazing! I’ll have it again tomorrow! I also suggested that Aideen made plum ice-cream which I’ve never seen before and it looked very promising when she put it in the freezer.

Today, I picked the first Costoluto Fiorentino tomatoes for lunch. These are quite large with deep ribs and contorted shapes, I adore them, they look like the type of tomato that you would see in a French or Italian market. They are not a ‘conveniently’ shaped fruit making them unsuitable for a supermarket but they are full of flavour.

I grow many different varieties of tomato of various shapes, sizes and colours, this is part of the luxury of growing your own, you can try everything. My tomatoes are free range, they will grow very tall and bushy, I do not pinch out side-shoots. Some of them will touch the ceiling, competing with the sunflowers. They happily jostle for position with sunflowers, tobacco plants and fennel and some have the odd stray ipomoea climbing through their branches. I like to think that maybe tomatoes in the wild would look like mine…anyway, they thrive in these conditions and soon we will be inundated with fruit.

When watering this evening, I notice the silvenberry is fruiting. This plant was given to us by our friend, Violetta, one of our first visitors to the garden. She pulled up a sucker from her own plant and told me it was delicious. I had never heard of a silvenberry before, so I carefully planted it in the fruit cage at the beginning of the year. It has produced a few long ‘blackberry type’ fruits…it is still only a small bush. I eat one, it was deliciously sweet and before I knew it I had eaten all of the ripe fruit.

Today is a tomato day, costoluto for lunch and a mix of yellow and cherry tomatoes for dinner, with home-grown potato salad and lasagne.

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