Herb Garden

It’s no secret that I REALLY dislike winter so to wish it away even faster (it hasn’t even officially started yet – we are still in Autumn) , I sat down and redesigned my herb garden for in our courtyard area, so by the time Spring shows it’s beautiful face, I will be ready to rock and roll.  We have a designated triangular area which is pretty bare at the moment except for a ever thriving bay tree which is smack bang in the middle.  In hindsight, it was probably not the best place to plant it.

The only “open” piece of the triangle is the bottom, both sides are walls so no moving the herb garden to a better position; only remedy is to keep the herbs in pots and move them around.

I have tried to work around companion planting, perennial versus annual herbs and which plants want a little less sunlight and below is a rough sketch of what I have in mind.

Herb garden design

The strawberries, mint and baby tomatoes are in their own terracotta pots which stand separate to the herb garden.

What do you think?

Mint Jelly

With the holidays in full swing, and all the family gatherings with copious amounts of eating, plus the fact that we have just gone halvies on a lamb with my folks, mint jelly was high on the list of have to makes.  I got this super easy recipe from my SIL and modified it ever so slightly.  Sadly the picture doesn’t do the jelly any justice, plus I am sure you could yield a lighter result using white sugar, either way it is absolutely delicious.

Mint Jelly

Ingredients

450g tin smooth apricot jam
460g (500ml) sugar – I used brown
250ml white vinegar
1 cup fresh mint chopped
5ml lemon juice

Method

  1. Combine the jam, sugar and vinegar in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce the heat to a simmer and reduce by one third.
  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the mint and lemon juice.
  4. Bottle in sterilised jars.
  5. Can be kept in the fridge or on the shelf until opened.