|Fuggles hops & home dried flowers|
|Before the clean up!|
Last year's home grown hops were looking very sparse, tired and faded. A little late but, at last, I got around to replacing them. I adore the smell of new hops and this variety is Fuggles (isn't that a great name?!) This year I went to The Haven, Dilwyn in Herefordshire where a lovely lady helped me choose a bine, carefully wrap in a dust sheet and even carry it out to the car. If you're in need of hops, The Haven is well worth a visit.
Their use in the kitchen is more than just decorative. They absorb cooking odours really well. I know that with an Aga, there are no cooking smells but, a garland of hops has to be nicer than a loudly whirring kitchen extractor fan and, dare I say, 'greener' ? Well, their colour does fade over the year.
Of course, there were hops E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E! In my hair, stuck to my clothing all over the floor, the kitchen surfaces, trails of them from the back door and utility room but I just didn't care. I added some home dried Roses, Hydrangeas and Achilleas to fill out one end of the beam and, job done. It was huge fun and an equally HUGE mess. A good clear up followed and, the kitchen is now filled with the scent of hops! In a few days time when the scent fades, I'll spray them with hair lacquer to reduce petal fall but, until then, we're just enjoying them.