Sunday, October 25, 2009

Tidying the Garden for Winter

   Sunday was a mizzly sort of day, not heavy rain but a light persistent drizzle that would have soaked me in minutes so I abandoned any idea of working in the garden. Monday was sunny and dry so I put on my work boots and gloves, took spade, rake, hoe and trowel out of the shed and set to work. 
   First to come up were the two espelette pepper bushes, grown from seedlings that I bought months ago at the market. Espelettes are a type of chili, and a key ingredient in Basque cuisine. 
Because this is my first go at growing peppers, I don't have any experience in drying them so I'm trying two methods, suspending the whole bush, and threading individual peppers. Both are now hanging beside the fireplace. Any woodsmoke they inhale can only add to their flavour. 
    Next to come up were the tomato plants looking sad and dejected by now after last week's frost (night-time temperatures are now back to around 10 degrees but that one frigid night really did damage to plants). Lots of green tomatoes remained so I've gathered them and plan to fry them or maybe make a jar or two of chutney. 
     The verveine--lemon verbena--needed harvesting too. I cut all its leaves and have hung them below the bunch of lavender on one of the vertical supports in the living room.

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