Monday, 28 July 2014


The wonderful weather continues and I'm slobbing about the garden in comfortable old cotton clothes for Patti's  Not Dead Yet Monday. The top and skirt are old, bought for just a few pounds years ago. 
The top has lost it's shape and is skewed to one side and the skirt is baggy to put it mildly - perhaps that's why these clothes feel so comfy!
The cowhide belt is a hand-me-down from a daughter and the beaded sandals are old favourites from Duo. (I'm sitting in the rowing boat seat - the only boat I'll be in for a the foreseeable future!)
There is plenty of summer colour in the garden
and a good choice of flowers to pick for the house.

On Saturday evening friends came to supper, a good opportunity to use some garden produce. I made zucchini ripieni  
and a curried potato salad with the Charlotte potatoes.
We got out the deck chairs,
and set tables on the lawn. It was our book group meeting to talk about Ian McEwan's 'Sweet Tooth', so, of course, there had to be puddings! As with the critics, the book divided opinion but provided a lively discussion. We sat outside well into the night with just a few lanterns on the tables to cast a bit of light. If only we could have summers like this every year!
Vanilla says, phew, it's hot. 
Well I suppose it is if you're wearing a fur coat!

Friday, 25 July 2014

Glorious weather

After a week in Croatia ('All at sea' on my Miss Cellany blog) we have returned home to equally glorious weather and any number of things to do in the garden.
Gooseberries to pick and to top and tail.
Spuds to harvest - a job for a Murphy!

The dead cherry tree is down,
  the wood cut and split to store and dry.
The various citrus trees are loving this weather.

The 'Meyer' remains the best cropper.
After my gloomy predictions about the pear trees one of them seems to have hung on to a reasonable amount of fruit.
And the cucumbers are rioting in the greenhouse!

My neighbour had quite a task to keep the pots watered while we were away.

( But it will be my turn to water her HUNDREDS of pots when they go on holiday next month!)
It is especially nice to be in the garden at the end of the day. The temperature is comfortable and the light very beautiful.

The stipa grass catches the light and moves gently in the lightest breeze.
I've cut back many of the early summer flowers

but other plants are just coming into their own.

Only the lawn is feeling a bit parched and dry and fed up with all this sunshine!

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Dales garden

We hadn't been to Yorkshire since last December, what sort of state would our small front garden be in?
The paths had disappeared beneath weeds
and Rosa Mundi was being choked by the small and pretty, but very invasive everlasting sweet pea.
I didn't want to cut it back so I did a bit of untangling to give the rose a chance.
There's a garden seat somewhere under here!
No path visible.
But it didn't take long to find it.

Some of the edging plants had suffered but I'd brought up some new lavender seedlings, a new variety for me, with a fern-like leaf. Hopefully they will soon clump up and release their perfume as we brush past them to the door.

As I was bending down grubbing out the buttercups groups of cyclists were coming through the village, the leaders calling back to the other riders giving them information about the places they were passing through. One man called out, "This has become a very expensive village, but it's the middle of nowhere." I stood up, emerging from the vegetation and shouted after him, "What do you mean, 'the middle of nowhere'!" The leader had gone ahead and didn't hear me but all the other riders laughed and waved.
Our neighbour, Jim, wasn't staying around to watch the Tour de France. His attitude, to mis-quote Orwell, is 'two wheels good, four wheels better'.  He was off for the weekend to race his 1930's Alvis.
This charming hare on the petrol cap is the Alvis mascot.
Himself looks rather envious!
In the village the old hall and its outbuildings lay in ruins for many years but have recently been beautifully and sympathetically developed. The garden of one of the former outbuildings has been equally well thought out, with wild flower planting
 and a meadow lawn.
It looks just right!
The old dales houses are very beautiful,  especially so at this time of year when everything is lush and green around them.
We've driven past this old caravan for a great many years. It's becoming rather frail and I thought I'd better stop and photograph it before it falls apart.
Doesn't it look snug!