Gather ye rose hips while ye may

Sunday was another great day to be out in the garden. Now that TB has recovered from his lurgy we had lots of planting to do out in our new beds. As forecast these are going in bit by bit as we are moving existing plants to different parts of the garden to make way for our new beds. Our first plantings were of broad beans – the Aqua Dulce I had sewn on the 11th of April – and TB planted out his green garlic – we’ll just use the shoots this year as the bulbs are small (all 87 of them) – purchased at the Lambrigg plant fair.

Having watered everything in we decided it was time to go and do some foraging. Yes we’d been re-watching the DVD of River Cottage Autumn the episode where Hugh F_W was out gathering rose hips which he used to make rose hip jelly and some sort of chutney (as I recall). Last year TB made a lovely rose hip and lemon cordial which was very refreshing in soda water. The cordial was made from rose hips we’d gathered, on spec, from Urambi Hills one winter’s afternoon.

Earlier this year, while blackberrying around the Cotter we’d noticed the feral rose bushes all over the place, so we knew where to head for our harvest. We pulled up off one of the hills coming up from the Cotter River where there was plenty of fruit to pick. We managed to collect 2.1 kgs of hips from less than half a dozen bushes. You will see our harvest tastefully displayed in one of my wonderful birthday presents from TB – my very own Sussex Trug!

What we didn’t realise was that we had also picked a great vantage point to see the Canberra Tour (road cycling) competitors on their King of the Mountain leg. It was just like being at the Tour de France minus the thousands of lunatic spectators! I did just manage to restrain myself from shouting “allez, allez” to the last cyclist going up the hill (known as the “lanterne rouge” in Tour-speak – or the red tail-light).

BroadbeansHipsHipbasketCanbtour

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