Thursday, 31 August 2017

Good timing!

No sooner was the roof complete than the heavens opened.
No wonder everything looks so green.
Nothing to do but skulk indoors.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Bank holiday

We had been waiting for a reliable spell of dry weather for a while, at least three good days needed during which we could dismantle and reroof the old dog pens. We had done a shoddy job of it before, not putting down a solid substructure so that the roofing sheets had sagged over time and were no longer weather proof. I think it had lasted no more than fifteen years or so. The pens abut the former gamekeeper's store with it's pantiled roof. The scaffolding tower, here partially erected, is one of the most useful pieces of kit that we have ever bought. (Along with the workbench that Himself put on his wedding gift list when my mother asked him for suggestions!)
Well, we certainly got dry weather for the job, this bank holiday weather was the hottest on record. Not very British! My role in the rebuild was as goffer, go for this, hand up that, to save Himself from having to climb up and down. It was hot up there on the roof!

Far more pleasant under the trees.
This warm weather is ripening the fruit beautifully.
Perhaps we shall have an Indian summer.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Plum chutney

It's a busy and gluttonous time of year with so much food in the garden to eat or preserve in one form or another. I've been making chutney with the plums. It will need at least three months to mature so should just about be ready to eat by Christmas.

3lbs stoned plums
1lb grated onion
1lb grated apple
8oz raisins
8oz grated dates
1lb dark soft brown sugar
1lb demerara sugar
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons salt
2 heaped teaspoons ground ginger
2 pints vinegar
Wrap in a muslin bag a dessertspoon cloves, a cinnamon stick, and 1oz juniper berries.

Put  the plums in the pan followed by the grated apple and onion. Add the other ingredients, sprinkle on the salt and stir. Pop in the muslin bag and bring to the boil then leave it to simmer for a couple of hours or so until everything has thickened.
I hate to say it while we are still in August, but there is a decidedly autumnal feel to the days.
The garden is looking a bit raggedy.
The leaves are dieing away from the squash plants so I can now see what has been growing beneath.

One or two monsters.
I've lost track of which varieties are which.
The sweetcorn is ripe - and tasty!
After chopping back the delphiniums,
a second flowering!

I've moved the scarecrow to a new position to warn away the deer.
Ever the optimist.

Monday, 21 August 2017

Smoked and Uncut

At the weekend the Pig hotel shared it's garden with a host of festival goers and we went along with friends to share in the fun.
Is it a tree?
No, it's a green man.
And, unlike the fairy, he's rather scary.
They were handing out the programmes.

Our gang started by sampling the flavoured gins and vodkas
And then had a sit down on the sofa!
We were at the festival to enjoy good food

good music
and dancing
and we did all of that!
Wearing traditional English summer clothing, wellington boots,
waterproof hats and macs.
Plastic ponchos were handed out for those optimists who came unprepared.

were GREAT!
It was a lot of fun!

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Sunday morning

First thing in the morning I like to walk around the garden.
It promises to be a beautiful day.

There was a deer in the orchard at dawn, 
time to check the veg!
I've netted the brassica against pigeons 
but deer are another matter.
Things are shaping up well.

Here's my little Meyer bush sitting out in the sunshine.

Some parts of the garden look really scruffy
and the roses need treating for rust and black spot.
The weekly food shop is dangerous at this time of year as I have to walk past the outdoor plant section to access the trolleys. Yesterday I couldn't resist Mrs Cholmondeley. I've planted her to climb up the back of the arbour.
In the greenhouse there isn't much room to sit.

 The ginger plant has thrown up a beautiful flower
but it's fading already.
This plant from Sally is labeled, 'Uganda'.
It's bright red flower produced this little pouch of seeds.
Another gardening challenge!