Making me smile this week Mid February

Good friends and family came to stay so that they could go to watch the England v Italy rugby match in Rome last Sunday; the weather for the time they were all here was forecast to be wet, wet and more wet but it wasn’t quite as bad as that; we had some warm sunshine at times but also a 15 minute hail storm on Monday.  Sunday afternoon was mild and although grey, it didn’t rain so that the match was enjoyed (and the victory savoured).  Not being a fan myself I went with a friend to Rome and instead of rugby enjoyed the Capitoline museum.

In the garden the (mostly) mild temperatures and rain means that spring bulbs are growing and flowering.

Anemone coronaria 'The Bride'

Anemone coronaria ‘The Bride’

Anemone coronaria 'The Bride', lovely but all the stems are short, I've no idea why!

Anemone coronaria ‘The Bride’, lovely but all the stems are short, I’ve no idea why!

Newly planted crocus under the pomegranate

Newly planted crocus under the pomegranate

Anemone 'Sylphide'

Anemone ‘Sylphide’

Muscari are flowering in various places around the garden

Muscari are flowering in various places around the garden

These tulips in the garden (I think they're Exotic Emperor) already have buds, I'm sure this is because I chilled the bulbs before planting them in mid December

These tulips in the garden (I think they’re Exotic Emperor) already have buds, I’m sure this is because I chilled the bulbs before planting them in mid December

Peas ready to plant out

Peas ready to plant out, they were planted out last Tuesday

I can’t say I really enjoyed the hail but I’m grateful that nothing seems to be damaged.

Hail on the terrace

Hail on the terrace

Hail on the evergreen beds

Hail on the evergreen beds

Hail on the evergreen beds

Hail on the evergreen beds

The peas don't seem to have suffered damage from the hail storm, thank goodness!

The peas don’t seem to have suffered damage from the hail storm, thank goodness!

An update on Monday’s vase (actually picked last Thursday) and a second vase of more tulips in the kitchen.

The tulips picked last Thursday have become beautifully wayward.

The tulips picked last Thursday have become beautifully wayward.

The mutated T. Purrissima

The mutated T. Purrissima

I incorrectly described the orange tulip as Ballerina when it is actually T. Request

I incorrectly described the orange tulip as Ballerina when it is actually T. Request

More T. Request and T. Purple Peony

More T. Request and T. Purple Peony

T. Request and T. Purple Peony

T. Request and T. Purple Peony

So despite the hail, plenty to keep me smiling including being able to pick vegetables from the garden for our guests.

I'm proud of this radicchio, it's never closed to form good hearts in the past

I’m proud of this radicchio, it’s never closed to form good hearts in the past

It was delicious cooked in the oven and then topped with a little Gorgonzola cheese and walnuts.

I hope you are finding things to enjoy in your own gardens this week; do let us know so that we can share your enjoyment.  That’s half the fun, isn’t it?

43 thoughts on “Making me smile this week Mid February

  1. I’ve never tasted cooked radicchio but your home-grown must have tasted delicious. Lovely colors in your tulips. My anemone stems are quite short also. Perhaps they’ll lengthen as the weather warms?

    • The stems are either short because they are white or because they were newly planted last autumn. All the others in the garden have long stems despite the wind trying to knock them down.

  2. I’d be thrilled to have grown radicchio like yours Christina, your recipe sounds delicious too. The peas look good, I haven’t started mine yet, I like the dip into what veg you are growing mainly because I imagine you to be a very good cook and grow food to enjoy eating rather than randomly grow vegetables and then wonder what to do with it.

    • Yes, I do love cooking, it is my other passion. I choose to grow either things it is hard to buy (limes were almost impossible to find when we first moved here but are now readily available) or that are best freshly picked and then eaten like salads, sweetcorn etc. This year I’ll try to write more about the vegetable beds and perhaps what I cook; I did start doing that but when became sidetracked and short of time to write about everything.

  3. You have described those tulips perfectly – ‘wayward’ sounds so much better than wild or floppy! 😉 I love the pink anemone. Do you have blue ones too? I hope mine flower again this year as it has taken a long time for them to get established and I only had two flowers last year. (Much later than yours of course!) Do you give yours any special treatment?

    • No, no special treatment; no irrigation. I would like to have a lot more so I intend collecting the seed this year and trying to grow some in trays or modules. I think they might need chilling but I’m not sure. They are the ideal plant, their foliage is visible mostly in winter and is fine and feathery and then disappears in summer when it is hot and dry. I would love them to colonise the whole garden!

  4. How wonderful to be picking your own veggies already! Your anemones are looking wonderful and your muscari is ahead of mine.
    I’m glad to hear that the hail didn’t damage your flowers and see that the hail wasn’t as big as your white balls!

    • The hail was already melting by the time I photographed it but you’re right it wasn’t very large. I plant the radicchio out in August or early September as a winter crop. I like the leaves in salads, I love it grilled over charcoal too but as I said it rarely forms lovely firm hearts as it has this year.

  5. It looks like spring, Christina! Is hail a common occurrence this time of year in your part of the world? I swear the weather becomes less and less predictable here with each passing year.

  6. Christina su huerto, sus tulipanes y sus anemones aguantaron muy bien el granizo y están preciosos. Como los jarrones de tulipanes – magníficos – y la achicoria que nunca la he comido, pero tiene muy buena pinta. Saludos
    Margarita.

      • Hola Christina: España linda al norte con Francia y en 1984 nos incorporamos a la Unión Europea y nuestra moneda es el Euro.
        Lo que ocurre es que nunca había visto la achicoria y la voy a plantar este año ya que vivo en una zona de España muy fría y montañosa: yo estoy a 1200 metros de altitud. Aquí se suelen poner los plantones a mediados de mayo, excepto las cebollas que se ponen a últimos de abril. Por cierto la achicoria la guisaré con su magnífica receta. Otra cosa estoy utilizando mi cuenta WordPress.com. La dirección es http://margarita141.wordpress.com. Muchos Saludos Margarita.

      • Hola Christina: España está en Europa. Hace frontera por el norte con Francia, desde 1984 estamos en la Unión Europea y nuestra moneda es el Euro. Lo que ocurre es que nunca había visto la achicoria que voy a plantar este año en el huerto. Vivo en una zona de España muy fria a 1200 metros de altitud y aquí se plantan los plantones a mediados de mayo, excepto las cebollas que se plantan a finales de abril. Y pienso cocinar la achicoria con su magnífica receta. Mi nueva dirección de WordPress es http://margarita14111.wordpress.com. Pero sígame mandándome mensajes a margaritaecologica@live.com que es mi correo. Quizás ya no aparezcan aquí comentarios y para verlos tenga que ir a WordPress , esperemos que no. Muchos Saludos Margarita.

      • Hola Christina: España linda por el norte con Francia, somos de la Unión Europea desde 1984 y nuestra moneda es el Euro. Lo que ocurre es que nunca había visto la achicoria. La voy a plantar este año, pues vivo en una zona muy fría y montañosa de España, a 1200 metros de altitud. Aquí no se plantan los plantones hasta mediados de mayo. Pienso cocinar la achicoria con su magnífica receta. Saludos Margarita

  7. My nephew is just back from a long weekend in Rome where he enjoyed the rugby as well as eating a meal cooked by one of my cousins there. A good weekend was had. How exciting to be planting out young vegetable plants Christina. My mum would really appreciate your radicchio but I find them too bitter. A shame as they are so appealing to the eye.

      • Hola Christina: España está en Europa. Linda al norte con Francia y en 1984 nos unimos a la Unión Europea y nuestra moneda es el Euro.
        Lo que ocurre es que nunca había visto una achicoria. La voy a plantar este año, pues la zona de España en la que vivo es muy fría y montañosa a 1.200 metros de altitud y no se sacan los plantones hasta mediados de mayo, excepto las cebollas y los ajos que se plantan a mediados de abril si no hay nieve o muchas heladas. Y la voy a cocinar con su receta que me parece magnífica. Saludos Margarita.

  8. I love all the bulbs coming up but it’s the perfect radicchio which impresses me the most. Beautiful and tasty I’m sure. I’ve never been fond of it in a salad but now if I ever have the chance to try it roasted I most definitely will!

  9. Oh those mixed tulips look lovely – really looking forward to the first of mine! Will have to make do with yours in the meantime… I had to smile at the pictures which showed your hail – and also your globe lights which could have been masquerading as HUGE hail stones! 😉 Glad the hail didn’t do any damage though

  10. It is nice to seen signs of spring in your garden, though I also had the thought that your globe lights could have been monster hail stones! I have never tasted radicchio, but yours with cheese and walnuts sounds mouthwatering! And your casual arrangement of various tulips is marvelous. Have a great week!

    • I hope you have a good week too Deb; Italians eat lots of different kinds of endive/chicory, including many bitter leaves found growing wild. They like bitter tastes and aren’t very fond of sweet things. The radicchio isn’t bitter once its roasted or grilled.

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