‘I do sincerely trust
that the benediction
that is always awaiting me
in my garden may by degrees be more deserved and that I may grow in grace and patience and cheerfulness, just like the happy flowers
I so much love.’ Elizabeth von Arnim
There are fairies at the bottom of my garden peeping out between the remains of the old ash tree, their faces hidden during high summer by the pale blue bell-like flowers of the trailing campanula.
They’ve already begun to weave their magic and made the rhubarb sprout early. Forced rhubarb has a more delicate, less acidic flavour than the thicker and coarser main-crop stalks. Its clean taste makes rhubarb an ideal dessert to have after fatty or stodgy food and its acidity can be diminished by adding ginger, cinnamon and the juice of an orange. Soon we’ll be enjoying the first of the rhubarb pies, flavoured with ginger syrup and topped with tiny pieces of finely chopped stem ginger and demerara sugar – delicious.
The upturned plastic pots I use to force rhubarb in my garden
I keep on hoping that the little people will wave their wands and transform the plastic plant pots I have to use into the wonderful terracotta forcing pots like those originally used in Victorian kitchen gardens.
Maybe next year if I wish hard enough miracles will happen.