Monday, 26 September 2011

Red Hot Chilli Peppers at Dobbies

I don't like chillies, I don't like spicy food but my husband does. So, when we had put all the perspex into the greenhouse and installed the tomato plants, I decided to have a look at the local garden centre to see what we could do for a hot chillie plant.

About 20 minutes away is a Garden Centre called Dobbies. It's my kind of garden centre - clean. A huge selection of plants and paraphanalia to make gardening enjoyable and a great coffee bar as well. It's part of a chain and I'd never heard of them until a work colleague told me of our local one during a discussion about coffee.

It's almost as if they have taken over in the few years we lived in Spain.

So a few weeks ago we took a drive over to Dobbies to look at pre-grown pepper plants.

I have previously tried growing things from seed but I've always failed at the second hurdle - transplanting them into larger pots. They always seem to give up. We found several good-sized pepper plants but were dis-appointed to find they were bell-peppers rather than chillie peppers. It wasn't really what we wanted but decided we would chat about it over a cup of coffee.

This all happened on the weekend after Neil had pulled his back so, I left him in the coffee shop while I went for a 2nd look at the pepper plants. There, right in the middle of them I found a chillie pepper plant with a number of flowers on and several peppers already growing. It was reduced to half-price and so it wasn't a huge decision to buy it.

And so, over the last few weeks I have lovingly cared for it, along with the tomato plants of course, and finally the love & care have paid off. The peppers have started to ripen and turn a lovely orangey/red.

Yesterday, I decided one was big enough to pick. I brought it in for Neil's judgement on the flavour. And apparently, it passed.

It's a real, home grown red hot chillie pepper!

Success.

All we have to do now is wait and see whether the tomato plants are going to ripen as well. Otherwise, we'll be having a lot of green tomato chutney this winter!

http://www.dobbies.com/
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