Saturday 29 June 2013

Flowers in the house

Here's the last of the lilac for Jane's flowers in the house at Small But Charming.
And a bit of sparkling pink and some biscuits.
Oh, yeah!

Friday 28 June 2013

Summer season - elderflower cordial.

It's Glastonbury Festival and Wimbledon this week, so, of course, we are getting a fair bit of rainfall - what's Glastonbury without mud! The garden is happy to receive a good soaking, although some plants appreciate it more than others.
This purple iris was looking beautiful before the rain spoilt it's petals.
And the clumps of geraniums have fared no better.
But in general the garden is refreshed and growing well.

'Charles de Mills' is such a good doer, although he does tend to wander all about the border.

And this is the first flower from the 'Reine des Violette' rose that I bought at the seed swap and potato fair in the spring. ('Cinderella' is in bud but has yet to bloom.)
The 'Sarah Bernhardt' peony buds have finally deigned to open!

Before the rain set in Himself hacked back an overgrown elderflower shrub on the border  and I gathered the flower heads to make cordial. 
50 or more flower heads.
4lbs sugar
2oz citric acid
2 sliced lemons
2 pints boiling water
Pour the boiling water over all the other ingredients. Stir well, cover the bowl with cling film.
Stir twice daily for five days, then strain into bottles.

Sunday 23 June 2013

In the garden

What a joy for gardeners, some sunshine in the day and a bit of rain at night. I'm busy in the garden trying to catch up with the effects of such good growing conditions. (Don't wish to brag but I think that I am probably growing the best weeds in the entire neighbourhood.)
In the early morning I look out of the bedroom window to see what sort of day lies ahead.
A misty start to a promising day.
The far section of the herbaceous border that I cleared last autumn is starting to to fill.

'Coral Reef' poppy, a lovely, delicate colour.

The alliums have been good but now they are going over.

The self-seeders, foxglove, campanula and aquilegia always do well.

We dug this round bed last year. It was a mist of forget-me-nots in the spring but now that I've pulled them up it's looking rather bare.
I call it the 'municipal bed'.
I love it when the roses start to bloom.

And things are finally looking up in the veg garden
where I've put up a few barricades to try to stop the pigeons from eating all the crops. 

A few roses to enjoy in the house.

Wednesday 19 June 2013


After our visit to Ludlow we stayed overnight in a farmhouse bed and breakfast. The least said about it the better. The vase of wild flowers in the bedroom was lovely but that is about the only compliment that I can give. As we were leaving, driving out past the broken gate and the lopsided sign, Himself said, "Cold Comfort Farm!" Our room had been very small and tired, very like spending the night in an old caravan!
Never mind, a day with friends was ahead of us.
First we stopped off at Hay-on-Wye, a small Welsh town famous for it's literary festival and it's many bookshops
and a great sense of humour!

Then we drove up a winding country road to join our book group for Sunday lunch
where a jolly time was had by all
greatly helped by good puddings!
In the evening we drove over the bridge into England
and were home before dark.