It’s that time of year when we can’t keep up with what we’ve grown.

P6300040I am taking courgettes to work with me.  If you knock at our door, you have to be prepared to take a bag full of runner beans.


We send our youngest to the fruit cage every evening to pick raspberries for pudding and she has to come back for another mixing bowl.

The strawberries are over now, but for two weeks the strongest smell in the garden was coming from the fruit cage: sun-warmed, ever-more-sweet strawberries nestled in their bed of hot hay.


Dinner is simple in summer.  It will be pasta, stirfry, salad, omelette or pizza.


So long as we have a few ingredients (olive oil, garlic, parmesan, pancetta, pasta) we can just add whatever is bursting out of the allotment.


My favourite creation is ‘hummus’ with peas or broadbeans: just add garlic, olive oil, parmesan, lemon juice and mint and blitz in the food processor.


It might look revolting to some, but to me it is ambrosia.  It is also good to know that if I ever lose my teeth, I can still enjoy my two favourite garden indulgences: pea hummus and simmered damsons.

Stevie has made batches of strawberry, raspberry and blackcurrant jam and they are heavenly.  He is the best jam-maker in the world.  Homemade jam has a tart freshness that feels healthy.  It is, right?

We still have lots to come.  Damsons, peaches, grapes, apples and pears are ripening.


Redcurrants and whitecurrants can stay where they are for now.


But one thing needed rescuing this morning.  We have one apricot.  Not one apricot tree, but one apricot.  The tree was newly planted this winter.  Stevie and I have watched our one precious fruit ripening and made a pact to share this one treasured fruit when the moment comes.

I will just now share with you a text message conversation this morning at 7am.  Stevie was boarding his train to London and I was just opening the curtains in the living room when I peered out to the apricot tree.

Me:  Your apricot has fallen off!!

Stevie: What!??!??   [pause for typing]   Any slug fang marks?  [pause for typing]  I need to see the evidence for full forensic analysis.


Me:  GAH!!!  Ants are coming out of it!!

Stevie: Can you wash them off and we’ll taste it this evening.

[long pause]

Me:  I just did.  Delicious.

Stevie:  All of it??!?!?


Stevie: I should think so!

Oh, but that (half) apricot!  It was worthy of a French apricot.  The main reason we go on holiday to France is for the tomatoes and the soft fruit.  Because we are that greedy.  Well now we have some délices in our garden.  Maybe next year we’ll get one apricot each?

My aim on this site is to share the sense of wonder I get from gardening and being outdoors.

If you would like to join the joy, click on the ‘Follow’ button at the end of this post. You will receive an email each time I post a little pop of wonder.

43 Comments Add yours

    1. Ali says:

      Thanks Rupali!

  1. Heyjude says:

    You are living in Paradise! Home grown fruit and veggies AND heavenly flowers. I actually prefer tinned apricots – not that I have had them in years – the fresh ones always seem to lack that tangy apricot flavour. I am sure yours tasted as they should, but I am most envious of the broad beans and the gooseberries.

    1. Ali says:

      I know exactly what you mean re: tang, and this one had it! And juiciness. Supermarket apricots are weirdly dry! Broad beans are my absolute favourite, and I love gooseberries, but my children don’t share this opinion!

      1. Heyjude says:

        Gooseberry fool. Gooseberry ice-cream!!
        And yes the supermarket apricots are dry.

      2. Ali says:

        Yes. Love gooseberry fool, but slightly frightened by all the double cream! We made ice cream last year, but only I liked it.

      3. Heyjude says:

        I would have come to help you eat it. What about making the fool with Greek yogurt instead of cream. Would that even work?

      4. Ali says:

        Ooh. Good idea! And maybe some crumbled up ginger biscuits on top?

      5. Heyjude says:

        Won’t that negate the calorie savings 😉

      6. Ali says:

        Er…yes. But worth it!

  2. What a bountiful crop you have! I think now that I am older and tired of preserving veg all these years, I’m enjoying having cut flowers in my garden instead of veg. It’s so enjoyable to walk out to the veg garden and see happy zinnias instead of veg that mean lots more work to preserve. A sign of getting old I guess.

    1. Ali says:

      I completely see why you would choose zinnias. Veg is a lot of work and some crops fail.

  3. janesmudgeegarden says:

    How wonderful to have such bounty from your garden! I can’t even imagine having all those raspberries, and your hummus would do me any day. And bought apricots are tasteless, as Jude says, so even your half would be ambrosia, I’m sure.

    1. Ali says:

      It was the most appreciated Apricot ever!

  4. pommepal says:

    Brings back memories of me as a tiny tot being sent down the garden to pick the gooseberries then topping and tailing them for my Mam to make gooseberry tart. I wish I lived next door to you….

    1. Ali says:

      Ah, I do too! No one appreciates my gooseberry crumble here!

      1. pommepal says:

        They obviously have no appreciation of a good thing

  5. bcparkison says:

    and ..I wish I lived next door.

  6. FlowerAlley says:

    Many years ago, my dad had a tree with one precious plum on it. He built a special cage to put around the plum to protect it. The cage was too heavy and the branch broke. I must find that slide. That would make a great post and life-lesson about parenting.

    1. Ali says:

      That is a wonderful allegory!!

  7. 😋 What a yummy post! Your garden is an inspiration with every post. There is one fig on my tiny fig tree this summer. I’ve been keeping a close eye on it to hopefully get it before the birds! Now if only my apricot and plum trees would get back to producing some fruit!

    1. Ali says:

      Ah! No figs for us this year, as the tree got blasted by the Beast from the East. It has got leaves again, but as the fruit can take two years to develop I’m wondering if we might have two years with no fruit! Enjoy yours!!

  8. Angela says:

    How absolutely gorgeous!

    1. Ali says:

      Thank you Angela. X

  9. sgeoil says:

    Now I just feel sad, looking at my store bought apricots and waiting for them to ripen.
    I have apricot envy!

    1. Ali says:

      Aw, I did not mean to spoil your apricot joy!

      1. sgeoil says:

        It’s all good. I had the first one and it was juicier than expected!

  10. Oh my first comment didn’t show up! Anyway, it looks glorious Ali. X

  11. Emma Cownie says:

    Oh it all looks delicious (except the ants)!

    1. Ali says:

      There’s an aphorism there somewhere: to enjoy the apricot you have to wash away the ants…or something!

  12. Nicky says:

    Fabulous and amazing, it all looks delicious. I had an allotment when my children were small, the flavour of the food was something I shall never forget, and miss terribly. It’s surprising what bugs you’ll put up with when you’ve nurtured the food, I’m sure it adds to the protein, vitamin and mineral content anyway!!

    1. Ali says:

      Absolutely! Our meat consumption goes down in summer, and we get protein from between the leaves of lettuce!

  13. M.B. Henry says:

    Yum!!! It all looks so delicious! (except the ants! lol)

  14. To be your neighbor 💟 looks so wonderful!! Darn ants…

  15. Eliza Waters says:

    I’m salivating! 😉 Your garden really is a paradise!

  16. Driftwood says:

    It’s so inarticulate of me to say this but, just ‘wow’. I’m not sure there is anything greater than tasting the bounty of your labour of love. Really great post

    1. Ali says:

      Thank you, that’s very kind.

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