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Q & A with Ellen Mary Gardening

19th March 2018

1 - How long have you been cooking and what made you decide to become a Gardening Blogger? 

I am more of a keen baker! My love of cooking started when I got my own allotment and so much produce was overwhelming so I had to learn to cook and fast! Then as I started writing articles regarding kitchen gardening I also had to devise recipes to match the harvests so cooking is now high up on my agenda most days. 

2 - Can you talk us through your style of cooking? 

I am a particular fan of using what would be considered a savoury vegetable in baking - so beetroot in cakes and courgette in scones. I have to think creatively to use up all of the allotment produce. Of course, there is lots of fruit as well, so raspberry and apple crumble is a big winner for dinner guests. Cut flowers are perfect for decoration, so I always plan well in advance so I can garnish with edible flowers. 

3 - Which chef has influenced you most during your career? 

I can't pick one...there are so many but more recently the rise of Instagram has given me so much inspiration for baking especially. There are so many extraordinarily talented bakers who post the most beautifully creative photos of cakes. I love Little A's Cakery and Cakes by Anna as both use so many flowers and nature inspired decorations. 

4 - What are your favourite garnishes to use when plating up? 

Pea shoots are great for so many dishes and I love using any edible flowers I can get my hands on. Orchids undoubtedly provide a stunning effect, especially on a cocktail, but it depends on the dish really. Nasturtiums for salads, Dianthus for smoothies and can't beat sprigs of Thyme or Rosemary on a roast dinner.  

5 - What is your favourite product to work with? 

I am a big fan of ready to roll icing. I just don't have time to make my own stuff so generally I cheat! Plus, a wheel of edible flowers of course...just receiving one is inspiration enough to get baking. 

6 - What does the future hold for you, what is your ambition? 

I would totally love to make wedding cakes, made with vegetables from the allotment and edible flowers so all very rustic glam with organic, home-grown food. It's a dream...maybe one day.