Mel’s garden


Yesterday I went round to Mel’s for afternoon tea. Before we all got a bit giddy on prosecco, smoked salmon sandwiches, scones, crumpets, chocolate brownies, jelly and ice cream and ginger cake* (phew), I had a nosey around her garden. Mel is chairwoman of Plant Heritage’s London Group and her garden, not surprisingly, has the mark of a plantswoman. It’s packed to the gunnells with interesting plants and she often opens it for the Yellow Book.

The peachy-coloured rose that you can see in the foreground is ‘Compassion’. It smelt amazing and Mel says it hasn’t stopped flowering since early summer. She’s pruned quite a lot of it back but leaves some to climb up the house – a prickly burglar deterrent.

*Mel’s ginger cake came courtesy of the National Garden Scheme website – they’ve started publishing recipes on there, which is a nifty idea.

6 thoughts on “Mel’s garden”

    • Dear Huw and Naomi, especially for you…
      Ginger Cake Recipe ( originally taken from the NGS website)
      50 gms black treacle ( 2 tablespoons)
      50 gms golden syrup ( 2 tablespoons)
      100 gms butter/marg
      100 gms soft brown sugar
      170gms plain flour
      1 tablespoon ground ginger
      1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
      1 egg, beaten
      1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
      140 mls milk
      a pinch of salt

      Prepare a 7″ cake tin, greased and lined.
      Set oven to 170c in readiness

      Melt treacle, syrup, butter and sugar gently in a pan. Stir in flour, salt, ginger and cinnamon. Allow to cool.
      Heat the milk until just tepid, remove from heat, add the bicarb.
      Stir into the pan the beaten egg, milk and bicarb.
      Mix well.
      Pour into the cake tin and cook for approx. 1 hour. In a small or fan oven cook for about 10 mins less. The top should be springy.

      Treacle/syrup slide off a tablespoon without leaving much behind if you put it into a mug of hot water beforehand.
      Silicone cake tins are magic – you don’t need to line them and cake doesn’t stick to the sides.
      Don’t overcook the cake, it is much more yummy when it is gooey!
      What about adding some crystallised ginger to the mix?
      Great with vanilla ice-cream!

  1. I thought you were on a diet dear?
    I myself am on a diet at the moment. I have been forced to be on one because I have not been able to fit into
    my jeans. However that did not stop me scoffing down not one, but two profiteroles on Saturday night. So I can only blame myself for my current weight concerns.

    • Mrs Coates, lovely to hear from you! I’d been wondering where you’d got to. Did you by any chance have a cheese platter as well? I shouldn’t worry about your diet, I’m sure you look lovely just as you are!


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