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"Flowers out, spuds in!" —Rachel Darlington

01 April 2015 13:21:50

In light of her growing awareness of the need for environmental sustainability, my wife Rachel Darlington has made the dramatic decision to turn over her garden, DOUENTZA, to the production of potatoes. On 1st August 2015, the ENTIRE SITE will be ploughed, so it is strongly recommended to take advantage and visit this charming garden for the last time during her open days this summer. Naturally, Rachel feels somewhat emotional on the subject, and has asked me to make this post on her behalf. Thanking you all for your understanding and support.

TinaJ TinaJ 01 April 2015 13:24:59


In your dreams cup of tea .Lol

LindaB LindaB 01 April 2015 13:43:28

Ha Ha Norman Darlington!!!!!!!  Not a chance!!!!

Gracedieu Lass Gracedieu Lass 01 April 2015 13:53:48

Are the Irish going to use potatoes as a form of currency from next year. The primulas didn't work for the French as Rachel pointed out this morning. Happy ..... ..... day to you, Norman. 

fran m fran m 01 April 2015 14:01:26

Norman, you need stronger tablets ....................... :))

Like it.

PeterW PeterW 01 April 2015 14:50:32

hahaha you will have to have a weekly video on your potatoes and recipes etc

Rachel Rachel 01 April 2015 17:08:27

Jeez. I go out to the garden to do some work and come back in to this!!!!!!!!!!

fran m fran m 01 April 2015 17:23:11

Rachel, that's just what the settings within the computers are for ................

keeping the children out ;)

Jacky Quirke Jacky Quirke 01 April 2015 18:07:21

April Fools


Lìga Lìga 01 April 2015 19:08:43

Ha,ha..spuds or not,,garden is wort to visit even if she change mind :)

TheH (Hazel) TheH (Hazel) 01 April 2015 22:49:38

What day is it????

Nice one Rachel and Norman!!!!!!

cuppa_tea cuppa_tea 02 April 2015 20:36:05

Of course, I'll be taking over the YouTube channel too: "Spuds @ Douentza". Well, I can dream :)

garden.fr (Limerick)

27 November 2012 23:59:06

There's this bloody French gardening site
keep mailing me reams of their sh*te
Since there's no "Unsubscribe"
I'm resigned to imbibe
20 litres of Merde de Vache Lite®

PeterW PeterW 28 November 2012 09:35:54

Too cold now for ice cream haha

ladygardener ladygardener 28 November 2012 11:29:12

Gosh the French must have a strange sense of humour, Ugh.

Myrtle Myrtle 28 November 2012 12:42:50

You just spoiled all the lovely photos!

Dick Dick 28 November 2012 14:57:31

I scream:)

Myrtle Myrtle 28 November 2012 15:27:01

Good one, Dick:)

Conrad Conrad 28 November 2012 16:28:55

Sacré bleu!!!


Dick Dick 28 November 2012 17:23:23

Conrad, what is Sacré bieu?

Dick Dick 28 November 2012 17:30:34

Not my cuppa tea:) 

Scrubber Scrubber 28 November 2012 18:34:13

Dick i've tried all the dictionaries i have and all I get is 'good grief!' Sacre is 'Holy' and i thnk bleu is blue. I used to think it was sacred blood but apparently not! Sorry norman for using te site!Im gone off ice cream for life!

Rachel Rachel 28 November 2012 19:22:01

Some people...

Conrad Conrad 29 November 2012 10:10:56

Dick, as far as I know scrubber is along the right lines, it's a very very mild swear word, I don't think it's really used much any more.
Hercule Poirot used to say it from what I remember but it has been a long time since I've saw him on TV.

Rachel Rachel 29 November 2012 10:21:09

It is a very mild and old fashioned phrase, Dick and Conrad. Scrubber's 'good grief' probably covers it.

I've written a Christmas play for my primary school French students and one of them has to exclaim 'sacre bleu' when he realises the jam is missing!

There will be no mention of merde de vache, lite or otherwise, cuppa tea!

Dick Dick 29 November 2012 12:37:50

Conrad, I never heard of Hercule Poirot. I was corrected when I used Irish.

Elderberry Jelly

15 September 2009 14:31:08

In half an hour yesterday I gathered a bucketful of elderberries from the hedgerows nearby. Stripped off the twigs, that amounted to over 6lbs weight, so I grossed up the recipe below. I got over 9 lbs jelly out of it. I've a couple of French jam-making books which I usully use, but this recipe is adapted from The Farmhouse Kitchen by Mary Norwak.

3lbs apples (I always use windfalls)

4 lbs elderberries (weighed off the stalks)

 Rind of an orange

½ cinnamon stick (or ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon)

2 pints of water



Chop the apples whole (no need to peel or core), put into pan with elderberries. Pour in the water, cover, and simmer to a pulp. Strain through a jelly bag/muslin/cheesecloth/pair of tights. Give the solids to the pig. Measure resulting liquid and add 1 lb sugar per pint. Add orange rind and cinnamon. Heat gently and stir while dissolving sugar, then boil hard till setting point. This can take a while depending on the shape of your vessel. That copper pan I use is ideal.

 To know when you reach setting point, drop a teaspoon of the liquid onto a cold saucer and shake it around till it cools. It should show some resistance to flowing. It's no harm if this jelly is a bit runny. Rachel makes a gorgeous layered cream sponge cake with it in between the layers. I love it (the jelly not the cake) in my porridge!

Gismo1981 Gismo1981 15 September 2009 15:00:29

Thank You :O)

Mairin Mairin 15 September 2009 20:49:15

How did you manage to get Rachel's photo?  Have we another husband & wife team on garden.ie?

cuppa_tea cuppa_tea 15 September 2009 21:10:10

Yes, you have, Mairin :) It's more like, how did Rachel manage to get my photo actually!


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