I've had a superb weekend, best for a long time. Why? Because my brother came to visit us, all the way from Perth, Western Australia. The children and their uncle quickly formed a mutual adoration bond and there will be talk of Uncle Pete for a long time to come.

Quake in your slime slugs - Uncle Pete left heaps of DB export in the fridge and some of it is going to entice you to drown in it. Maybe the slugs will die drunk and happy but the main thing is that they die. We got the last of the whitebait from 2008 out of the freezer for Pete and it was lovely to have such a delicious food (500g whitebait mixed with one egg and quickly fried and then served with lemon and pepper - none of this padding it out with flour nonsense) served with our own eggs and home made bread.

Today I made something called country apple cake which the children asked for more of. Such a request baking-wise always counts as the pinnacle of success round here. Tonight I baked more sourdough bread. Andrew Whitley's cromarty cob recipe (which is on this or my old blog - Sandra in the garden - somewhere I'm sure) makes excellent sandwich bread. I use tins as you can fit more in the oven this way and get a better shape for school/work lunches.

Moved some sunflowers outside today. They will have to do well under the lean-to - there is no way I would remember to bring the plants in and out each morning and night for the proper hardening off technique. They are giant russians which I didn't get to seedling stage last year. Properly tall sunflowers - very exciting.

Gardening roundup:
Vegetables in the garden (some growing, some currently producing): some Maori potatoes, cabbage, broccoli, leeks, lettuces of various kinds, miners lettuce, various asian greens, rocket, beetroot, garlic, celery, globe artichokes, florence fennel, jerusalem artichokes, rhubarb, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackcurrants, lemon.

Herbs in the garden: coriander, Italian giant parsley, chives, garlic chives, marjoram, oregano, English winter thyme, lemon thyme, French summer thyme, sage, curry plant, feverfew, comfrey, bay trees,

Flowers in the garden: roses (pink, red, white and yellow), gladioli, marigolds, livingstone daisies, red poppies, chysanthemums, dianthus, pansies, irises, bluebells, one tulip still going, fuchsias.

Seeds in a tray or pots in or outside the house: sunflowers, lettuce, silverbeet, basil, coriander, pumpkin, squash, zucchini, basil, coriander, beans, tomatoes (sungold and tigerella), chillies, celery.


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