The Nuttiest Winter Pastime

Chestnut RecipeIt’s that time of the season where the roads and paths are littered with browned leaves and twigs, the sky is largely grey and there’s a new, chilly wind which bites at your fingers – Autumn has arrived.

But before you sulk and mourn for summer, take a harder look at the ground next time you walk through a rural area and notice the treasures the season has brought for us. I speak of course of those spiky green balls which will soon plummet to the ground from the tree tops, our old friend the chestnut.

Chestnuts ripen around October – November and can be enjoyed raw, roasted and used as ingredients in various delicious dishes.

If ever you should fancy a little natural nibble whilst walking in the wilderness, ensure that the chestnut is good, firm and healthy looking before peeling back the brown skin, revealing creamy greenish flesh. Raw chestnut flesh has the texture of a carrot and tastes a little bit like a nutty pea with a slightly smokey aftertaste.

If you’re looking for a more traditional and less Bear Grylls approach to enjoying our favourite wild nut, then collecting a pocketful ready to roast at home is a classical option. Roasting chestnuts around an open fire has been a winter past time going back centuries. So whether you just want a tasty treat or fancy reminiscing your time with the scouts, here’s how to roast a chestnut, the sensible, indoor way.

  1. Preheat your oven to 400ºF (205ºC).
  2. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut an ‘x’ into the nuts to allow steam to escape.
  3. Spread the nuts across a rimmed baking sheet with their cut side up, and slide directly into the oven.
  4. Now you have fifteen to twenty minutes to wait. Make a cuppa or pour some scotch and ready a hot towel and a large bowl. Ensure that the nuts don’t burn by moving them frequently.
  5. After 20 minutes, wrap the chestnuts in a hot towel and squeeze them in order to loosen the skins. Leave wrapped in towel for five minutes.
  6. Now, take a chestnut and peel the skin while the nut is still warm.
  7. Take a bite and enjoy the warm, nutty goodness.

Best of all, unlike other nuts, chestnuts are low in saturated fat, so that’s at least one guilt-free winter indulgence.

KathrynKathryn works on the marketing team and spends most of her time making our website read better.

She has a degree in English & Creative Writing and loves classic cars, 1970s music and ginger beer.

She writes our fictional stories and seasonal posts.

See all of Kathryn’s posts.

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The Heat is On!

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Too dark? Our garden lights and candles will illuminate your evenings!

wedding-meCat works in the marketing team and is responsible for online marketing, social media and the newsletter.

She spends most of her time reading about a variety of interesting facts, such as oddly named Canadian towns, obscure holidays and unusual gardening.

She mostly writes about Primrose news and current events.

See all of Cat’s posts.

Office Kalanchoe Cuttings

Kalanchoe blossfeldiana in a potWe have a whole jungle of houseplants at the Primrose office, including several specimens of Kalanchoe blossfeldiana – a very common succulent that you might recognise by its tiny, brightly-coloured blooms (common name ‘Flaming Katy’).

You can see it looking pretty in a zinc planter on your right.

Kalanchoe cuttings in water

Our kalanchoes’ blooms have all withered away, but they’re still growing rapidly and, to be honest, the biggest of them has been getting tall and leggy.

So, a few weeks ago I gave it a trim and stuck the cut stems in a cup of water.

This is my first attempt at propagating from cuttings, but it seems to be going well. Some of the cuttings are growing tons of roots!

Once they’re long enough (an inch long or more), I will put them each in soil and keep my fingers crossed that they continue to thrive. I’ve just potted up the first two, whose roots grew much more quickly than the others.
Kalanchoe cuttings with roots
It’s really simple to make cuttings yourself – snip off a stem, remove leaves from the lower portion of stem (roots will be growing out of the leaf nodes), and put them in water by a nice sunny window. Change the water once or twice a week to prevent rot. Soon, with luck, little white roots will start appearing.
Kalanchoe cuttings potted up
Lots of plants can be grown from stem or leaf cuttings, some more readily than others. You can also buy rooting hormone to speed up the process, but these cuttings have grown just fine without it.

It seems amazing to me that you can just cut off a part of a plant, and it will grow into a new separate child – a clone of its parent.

Aren’t plants incredible?

Joy PrimroseJoycelyn is a member of the Primrose marketing team.

She is a novice windowsill gardener but hopes to graduate to larger plants one day. She enjoys British food (despite its sometimes bad reputation) and British scenery.

At Primrose, when not tending to office plants, she deals with online advertising and social media.

See all of Joycelyn’s posts.

Caption needed – what is happening with this elephant?

Elephant with birds

We asked for captions on our Facebook page on Friday. Last time we received so many brilliant ones for the bunny rabbit that we couldn’t resist doing it again.

Here are the replies we received:

  • Are we half possom?
  • Are you ticklish?? ooh go on you know you are !!
  • I nose you don’t I?
  • Here… hold on to this n we’ll make a Trunk call to find your Mummy, but we’ll play until we do x
  • Wanna play with me?
  • Baby pals
  • “Ooh you smell nice”
  • Nope your not mine either lol xx
  • Here chick chick here chick chick
  • So your saying I’m not one of you?
  • No your not my mummy, no your not my mummy, nope your not my mummy. Mummy!!!!!!! Where are you?!
  • Who you calling big ears?
  • Give us a kiss!
  • Have you lost your mummy. do you want to make a trunk call?
  • Ur trunk is not as big as mine, why?

What do you think is happening on on the picture?

wedding-meCat works in the marketing team and is responsible for online marketing, social media and the newsletter.

She spends most of her time reading about a variety of interesting facts, such as oddly named Canadian towns, obscure holidays and unusual gardening.

She mostly writes about Primrose news and current events.

See all of Cat’s posts.

What would your caption be?

Get your spring garden ready now with 3 for 2 on all bulbs!

3 for 2 on spring bulbs from Primrose

Choose from the following spring bulb varieties:
RHS_AGM

Bulbs ordered will be shipped in the first week of October so they get to you at the perfect time for planting.

Even better – we quite possibly have the cheapest delivery costs on the internet!

Get your spring garden ready now!

Offer must end Sunday 22nd of September.

wedding-meCat works in the marketing team and is responsible for online marketing, social media and the newsletter.

She spends most of her time reading about a variety of interesting facts, such as oddly named Canadian towns, obscure holidays and unusual gardening.

She mostly writes about Primrose news and current events.

See all of Cat’s posts.