Growing and cooking and taking no chances!

It is chilli drying season here in Kirazli.  Elegantly strung along stone walls and garden gates are garlands of chilli’s turning from stinging green to pale orange to dark crimson in the autumn sun, drying and baking and preparing for winter.  I am badly letting the side down as usual because I have left my chillis on the bush because they look pretty.  I really am a disgrace in this village where self sufficiency and accepting nature’s bounty is as natural as breathing.  I tend to bugger off down to Migros for what I need – life’s too short to flake chillis!

Still, I have to say I do enjoy food and cooking here more than I did at home.  In the UK you get used to just having what you want when you want it.  Here I have to make more of an effort, to find a recipe (good old Delia Online!), to adapt the ingredients, to remember all the things I learnt in home economics.  It takes longer to make Thai fishcakes than to pop down to Tesco’s and buy them frozen but you end up with more of them at a quarter the cost – great for piggying out on.  And you get huge kudos from husband and visiting friends for actually producing something more challenging than a salad.

The garden is growing like mad at the moment.  The jasmine is behaving and is twining itself lovingly around the wrought iron and flowering pleasingly, the bougainvillea is being energetic and is scrambling up the wires towards the second floor, the rambling blue thing that I don’t know the name of is weighed down with powder blue flowers and the palms are all still alive…..

……..but the ground cover in the planter is being, to put it mildly, a little over enthusiastic. 

I wanted randomly rambling ground cover, spilling out over sun warmed bricks, creeping over terracotta terracing, blah, blah, artistic image of quietly riotous planting.  Usual stuff, for me.  And of course I wanted it now.  So conversation is garden centre with beloved garden expert friend goes like this –

Me – “That’s pretty.  Does it grow fast?”
Garden expert friend – “Yes”
Me – “What, really fast?”
Garden expert friend – “Yes”
Me – “Cool, I’ll have 30 of ‘um”
Garden expert friend – “Don’t you want to know what it’s called”
Me – “Nah, I’ll forget by the time I get home”

So rambling pretty ground cover plant must now be tamed, probably with a scissors.  Garden expert friend looked at planter the other evening and shook his head, “God those have grown” he said.  Indeed, it is my loving and nurturing approach to gardening no doubt, that and the threats levied at them every day at watering time and the several bucket loads of fertiliser I sneaked in and the fact they are planted in super grow giant beanstalks compost.  Maybe it was overkill but I wanted an instant garden and I got it!

The villagers would be disgusted with me as tending gardens means chucking the dirty washing up water on it once a day and it still grows like mad, but I don’t dare take the risk, I am notoriously crap at growing stuff.
posted 25-09-2007