Freezing February

A very cold area of high pressure has swept across Northern Europe from Russia and we are experiencing the first really cold spell of this winter with daytime highs of around -6°C. I would love to join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for a vase again today, but there is not yet anything I could pick!

So instead a couple of views from brisk walks in the sunshine…

I can feel the cold just by looking at this picture… 😉

This pathway is along the edge of an area of woodland where only beech grow, and being on a south-facing slope it catches the sun nicely, melting the snow and warming the ground enough to allow the first little flowers of our native Hepatica (H.nobilis) to start unfurling…

It is always a major event for me when I see these first blooms! I looked in vain for some Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara), which is also one of the very first wild flowers to appear here, but perhaps that needs a few more days of sunshine.

Up on the hills above us the woodland contains mostly evergreens, and the view is quite different…

Sunday afternoon walk (-6°C)

I wonder how your season is progressing this week, as we in the northern hemisphere slowly but surely move towards the spring equinox. I hope you are getting some winter sunshine at least!

Stay warm and cosy!


In a Vase on Monday: The Fair Maids

“Wait! the world shall waken;

It is not dead, for lo,

The Fair Maids of February

Stand in the snow!”

I finally picked a few snowdrops today, after waiting in vain for them to open outdoors, and put them in the little blue pottery vase I bought at the Christmas market especially for them.

The words above are from The Song of the Snowdrop Fairy, and along with my little flowers they offer me hope that spring will indeed come soon. What a grey winter it has been here. But we are practically half way through February already… 🙂

And just 20 minutes later they were opening. 🙂

With little to share the past few weeks I shall take extra pleasure today in viewing all the other vases posted for this lovely meme, which is hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden. As always I will start with Cathy’s very own creation, and I do suggest you take a look too!

I hope you have a sunny week!

I Love 💖 Black Bean Burgers!

Yes, they are my favourite veggie burgers ever, and I can’t believe it took me so long to try making them!

They are so full of flavour, so quick to make, and so good for you too.

Here is my recipe, which has been tried and tested several times. I have tuned it to our taste, but try adding other herbs and spices if you prefer.

Black Bean Burgers

For four burgers you will need:

  • 1 (400g/14oz) tin of black beans, drained and thoroughly rinsed
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 4 tbsps oats
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed (the sort that is like flour) or soya flour
  • 2 tsps mixed herbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • dried breadcrumbs for coating
  • oil for frying

Place all ingredients except the breadcrumbs and oil into a food mixer and process to a slightly chunky paste. Form into four patties, coat in the breadcrumbs and chill for at least thirty minutes. Then heat the oil in a frying pan and fry until golden brown. Serve in buns with fries and all the trimmings (e.g. gherkins, salad, ketchup and mustard or mayonnaise). 😀