Three ways with wild garlic

The wild garlic we planted two years ago is now growing strongly in the garden and so we were lucky this month to get our first leaves off the plants.

They have a mild garlic/strong leek flavour and we used them in three different meals.

All recipes serve 2 people.

Wild garlic risotto

I have always made risottos using Jamie Olivers basic recipe from “Jamie’s Italy” but I only use this as a guide and below is my amended recipe.


6 ounces (170 grammes) arborio rice

1 onion

1 or 2 garlic cloves

1 small glass of white wine

1 pint (500ml) of vegatable stock (I use cubes)

handful of wild garlic leaves (to taste) roughly chopped

parmesan cheese


In a large pan, fry the onion and garlic in olive oil until tranlucent but not brown.

Add the rice and the wine, and cook the wine out.

Then add a ladle full of stock and cook out, repeat until the rice is cooked and the risotto has a thick soupy consistency. Do not let the risotto dry out!

Add the wild garlic and cook for a couple of minutes.

Add a good handful of grated parmesan, and season to taste.

Take of the heat and place a lid on the pan.

Leave for 3 minutes then serve.


Wild Garlic Omelette

I’m not going to tell you how to make an omelette!

Just add a handful of wild garlic leaves to the beaten egg.

I also dot with goats cheese and finish the omelette off under a grill.


Wild Garlic Pasta


6 ozs (170 grammes) pasta ( I usually use wholemeal penne for this recipe)

4/5 anchovy fillets in oil

1 or 2 garlic cloves

4/5 chilli flakes

6/8 cherry tomatos or similiar

handful of wild garlic leaves

parmesan cheese


Prepare the pasta as per its cooking instructions.

Meanwhile heat the anchovies and garlic until the fillets melt and the garlic is cooked but not burnt.

Add the tomatoes and cook until you have a thickish sauce consistency.

Add the wild garlic leaves and cook for a couple of minutes.

Drain the pasta and add to the other ingredients.

Serve into bowls and add some grated parmesan.



uninvited guests


It’s very interesting to watch their comings and goings.

Originally posted on la petite maison bijoux:


We seem to have some uninvited, though not necessarily unwelcome, guests taking up residence in the outside wall of La Petite Maison.

We noticed a couple of bees buzzing around the house yesterday, and on closer inspection they were busily flying in and out of these little holes in the south-facing end wall. I assume that the holes must have been drilled to fix something to the wall in the past, but they are now clearly very attractive to these bees.

We think that they are red mason bees, but we’re happy to be corrected if anyone knows better! In any case, they are obviously solitary bees, which are not aggressive, and do not swarm, so they are very welcome to make their homes in our wall. Hopefully they will repay us by pollinating our flowers, fruit and vegetables throughout the spring and summer.

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Early april days

The weather is set fair at the moment and we are having a lovely period of cool nights and warm sunny days. The sky is strangely clear of vapour trails these past two days – french air traffic controllers strike!

Lots of work is getting done in the garden and the views from the road above the house are shimmering in this early springtime heat.

Spring flowers

It’s going to be one of those spring Auvergne weeks weatherwise, with daytime temperatures ranging between 16C – 19C but below freezing at night.

In the garden lots of spring flowers both cultivated and wild are now at their best, the first to appear were the crocuses, but these are now over, with the  violets and primroses taking the main stage. All these early flowers are much appreciated by the many bee species we have in and visiting the garden.

The narcissus and cowslips are now also out along with some grape hyacinth, though the daffodils need another few days to open.

Elsewhere in the garden the flowering currant and forsythia are just coming into flower and the wild garlic and bluebells are putting on lots of growth. Even the humble daisy is welcome at this time of the year.



A dead hedge


new dead hedge on the east bank

I’d read about “dead hedges” and thought they would be a good way of putting some sort of – cheap – barrier up on the bank between us and the forest on the east side of the garden. It hasn’t happened yet but wild boar and deer could easily wander in one night and eat through the garden!

It would also be a way of disposing of the large amount of “brash” (foliage, small branches etc) we seem to generate. You just need to select some thickish branches to form the stakes for either side of the hedge, then infill to form the hedge.

Its going OK at the moment and looking just like the photos I saw online, which is always heartening. We will extend as we generate more brash and coppice and “lay” some of the smaller trees on the bank to help form the barrier.


looking along the top of the hedge, stakes at either side.


dead hedge with forest behind

You can more information about dead hedges at the following links.

March Calendar 2015

It’s always good to move out of winter into March and the beginning of spring. The first flowers are appearing in the garden and the first seeds sowed.


Sowed this month into modules in the shed

  • Tomato (Marmande, Sweet 100, Moneymaker)
  • Broad beans (The Sutton)
  • Peas (Provence)
  • Sweet Peas

Directly into the ground

  • Radish

And we also have potatoes chitting (Belle de Fontenay, Sarpo Mira), these will be planted out in the second week of April.