The Kitchen Garden


Here is another look  at our existing kitchen.

The section alongside the hobs is effectively the Culinary Queen’s current work surface. As shown in ‘Before The Makeover 1’ the oven, microwave, and fan occupy the other side of the small area at the back. The shelves to the right of the picture occupy a former fireplace. So encrusted with caked on grime were these hobs that, when we moved in, we did not know they were induction. Neither did we know how to use them, nor that we would need new saucepans.

This is how lunch is prepared on this surface.

When the hobs are in use, as for cooking tonight’s jalfrezi, life becomes somewhat more complicated, chopping room being rather limited.

For Your Eyes Only pruned

One of Aaron’s tasks this morning had been to prune some of the roses, like the prolific For Your Eyes Only.

This afternoon I took a walk among the flora. The winter flowering cherry, the bergenia, the pansies, the cyclamens, the iris, and the vincas have been in evidence for a while. The little yellow bidens have continued to self seed since they first occupied the garden last Spring. The camellias are covered in buds, their first blooms having appeared in recent days. Jackie is particularly excited about the prospect of the Daphne odorata’s scents bursting from their expanding cases. One solitary Winchester Cathedral bloom stands tall in the Rose Garden.

With the aforementioned chicken jalfrezi, Jackie served her special savoury rice and Tesco’s pakoras and onion bahjis. As can be seen, she drank Hoegaarden. I drank more of the Malbec.


  1. This is a gorgeous collection of flowers holding on to life despite cooler (cold) weather. I was impressed once again at the kitchen where Jackie creates feasts of plenty. She’s a magician for handling the small space and so happy an upgrade is in progress, Derrick.
    I don’t have more than five guests at a time, while having a tiny apt kitchen. My grown children expect me to bring beverages, salads, veggie or fruit tray. Luckily, my hostess duties were put to rest in 2008. ?

  2. I love the flowers especially the perfect shot of the rose. And I thought those flowers with the red tips are bleeding hearts but the lives are different. what do you call them?

    It seems Jackie is just happy preparing meals for you.

    1. Not sure which you mean by the flowers with red tips. If you hover over the image or click to see the enlarged gallery you will see the name. Many thanks, Arlene

    2. I have just bought two Dicentra (Bleeding Hearts) tubers! I did not have any in this garden, and I love them, hope they thrive in this neutral soil because I suspect they prefer alkaline soil. Cooking is one of the more creative jobs of the housewife and I do like to cook. Like most people there are times when I don’t feel like it, so I get taken out!!

      1. Hi Arlene, The bleeding Hearts that you have are very different from those that I can grow. Here the Bleeding Heart you grow is only grown as a house plant, as it is not hardy, it is a clerodendron (not sure of spelling!). I have looked at images of them on google and can see now why you thought that the bi-coloured cyclamen was the tropical bleeding heart that you know, they are similar.

  3. Holy guacamole! Jackie certainly proves the adage that where there’s a will, there’s a way. After seeing where Jackie cooks, I will never complain about my small kitchen again. Can’t wait to see the new kitchen!

  4. Derrick, what are ‘hobs’? Are they ‘burners’? The kitchen must be an important spot for you because you describe such delicious plates. Your gardens are beautiful.

  5. I would flatly refuse to stand and cook in such a place.The War Office would have to starve.!

    I trust that nearly empty glass in the CQ’s hand is for her sanity and not for the pot!

  6. It must be a delight to have such beautiful mind weather over winter. All the tender plants in your garden a sold at the grocery market here. They could possibly be placed outside in the summer but not too many do this. The camellia’s are my favourite!
    jackie is a culinary magician to make your wonderful sounding meals in such tight quarters. The Hoegaarden must be her secret weapon, LOL x B

  7. I also make use of my stovetop to assemble sandwiches. It’s amazing how fast counter space is filled up with appliances, paperwork, etc. I have never heard of jalfrezi, but I will look it up. I always like to learn new words and recipes.

  8. I can see why Jackie is very eager to have the kitchen remodeled!
    It is lovely to have such beautiful flowers–especially this time of year. Thanks for sharing, Derrick.

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