A Risky Venture

DSCN1440If I had realised what a risky venture it was I wouldn’t have put the first coat of preservative paint on the lychgate yesterday, as much of it has washed off as it had little chance of drying since then because of the continued mist and fine rain. I could see part of the structure from the house – a greenish upright but a definitely new wood-coloured horizontal! Never mind – the thrill of the sound of cowbells in the tree every time I knocked them and the joy of green freckles and drips down my cuffs made it all worthwhile, even though the lychgate still needs three green overcoats.

At least the dampness  and the different contrasts thrown up by the wet soil has brought things to my attention that I had missed before, being blinded by snowdrops and hellebores no doubt: numerous grass-like spikes of fritillary foliage  and a clump of tiny hellebore seedlings a few inches from the parent plant (I wonder how promiscuous she was, or if it was a purely incestuous relationship?).


DSCN1445I shall probably have to keep the lid on my paint tin for a little while, although the Cuprinol Garden Shades dry within an hour or two (in dry conditions) because showers, possibly with some snow, are forecast for the next few days – if it lets up I shall be out there in my overalls in an instant! In the meantime I shall continue with some seed sowing, having quite a pile of packets waiting in my ‘March’ pile – probably keeping the trays in the house rather than risk the currently unheated greenhouse. On my ramble this morning I checked progress of the January sown salad seedlings and other bits in the greenhouse and on impulse popped the rhubarb forcer over the emerging rhubarb shoots on the way back. We bought the forcer years ago mainly for its decorative role and don’t use our rhubarb as much as we could, but I am awaiting this year’s crop so I can try out Croft Garden‘s recipe for rhubarb spelt cake, which was posted just after our rhubarb breathed its last for 2012.

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10 Responses to A Risky Venture

  1. croftgarden says:

    What a magnificent rhubarb forcer! Don’t forget rhubarb crumble (add some chopped stem ginger or some orange jest and juice).

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, that would be yummy – and for some reason I am equally fond of cold crumble with hot custard. Unfortunately we don’t have the same kind of appetite as we get older and rarely feel up to a pudding, but as I enjoy making them I thought we should perhaps have a weekly pudding night

      • croftgarden says:

        We only have puddings when we share supper with friends, however, crumble can appear on the breakfast menu. Cut down on the sugar in the topping and add muesli or oats/ seeds and nuts and serve with yoghurt. Rhubarb compote also gets mixed into porridge!

        • Cathy says:

          One of my new good habits is adding some of our frozen (but defrosted) fruit to my breakfast – the reduced use of fruit for jam and puddings means it was not getting used, so I am making good inroads into the loganberries in particular, and it is now part of my routine which is good. I like the idea of the muesli crumble for breakfast – gooseberries would be good too. I’ll let you know how I get on and thanks for the suggestion.

  2. Pauline says:

    So sorry your painting efforts were wasted by the weather. The forecast for snow isn’t good either, poor flowers! Love the rhubarb forcer, can I add rhubarb fool to the list, lovely for a summers lunch!!

    • Cathy says:

      Haven’t made that for a long time – and my Mum used to make a pudding with rhubarb pureed and thickened with cornflour

  3. If I can give you any advice re Cuprinol GS – please leave well alone til the wood has completely dried out. I painted in similar conditions last year – 3 coats. 1 year later, I am soooooo disappointed in it’s performance!
    That rhubarb forcer certainly makes a statement as well as being functional!

    • Cathy says:

      Oh – that’s a surprise, as I have used it copiously for years and haven’t had a problem, but then again I normally avoid painting when it’s damp! I wonder if the timber made a difference – the dampness didn’t seem to affect the rougher sawn timber as much. I gave it another go later today but from what you say it may have been a mistake 🙂

  4. Anna says:

    Oh definitely not the weather for painting Cathy – seed sowing and eating rhubarb spelt cake sounds a safer bet 🙂

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