Updated: Mar 14, 2019
It took a frustratingly long time to get outside this morning, particularly annoying as it was a sunny day! I was delayed by a trip to the supermarket - we had run out of too many basics (pet food in particular) to put it off any longer- I go as infrequently as possible. There was also washing to put on, this combined with some other irritating situations that had arisen meant that when I finally got outside I was a bit stressed!
Well all this recent publicity about the benefits of gardening as therapy for stress and depression is definitely true. I started by sowing another tray of 40 tomatoes (yes I will probably have too many tomato plants, but there are so many that I want to grow!) - and I literally could feel the tension in me trickle out of my fingers. I was reminded of a conversation I had with my daughter Aideen (presently studying Classical Harp at Guildhall). She said that she found if she went outside and worked hard during the day and came in physically tired, she then found practice was much more relaxed, her muscles were less tense and her mind was more clear. We should encourage people to come and help with the weeding to ease their stresses and strains!
The tomatoes I planted today were 5 each of Red Cherry, San Marzano Red Plum, Roma, Royale des Guineaux, Marmade, Alicante, Gardeners Delight, three Money Maker, and two Harbinger. I removed the seedling onions from the old propagator and replaced them with the tomatoes. All the propagator space is full at the moment. I then carried on pruning the big border and discovered there had been a casualty from the wind. One of our 'waist-high' outside lantern lights had blown down and broken.
I didn't have long outside before coming in to teach, but I nearly finish the border and then collect some butternut squashes from the store for dinner. Some of the squash have started to rot so I pick up four with different amounts of damage. Inside I cut away anything unusable from the squash, and put some in my dinner for this evening. The rest go into the fridge, where they will keep well, now the rot is removed, until they are made into soup. Tonights dinner is a pasta dish with chicken and butternut squash. The squash is cooked with chicken fillet, onions, garlic and passata in a pot on top of the stove. It can cook for as long as you like, but when I am ready, I will mash the squash into the sauce which produces a beautiful thick sauce to which I then add black pitted olives. This is then heated through while the pasta cooks. Mix in cooked pasta and cover in grated cheese and/or parmesan. A quick, easy and delicious dinner that uses up butternut squash!
I noticed a new bulb that had opened in the Alpine bed - species tulip- Turkestanica- very delicate and pretty.