Friday 23 September 2016

Skywatch Friday

A promising start to the day for Skywatch Friday
 with home-grown figs for  breakfast
 and more to come in the greenhouse.
 It's officially autumn,
but let's not rush towards winter!

Monday 19 September 2016


No sooner had I been bragging about how much white chard I had grown than the deer jumped back over the fence and had a go at eating the lot. We've strung up yet more lines above the fencing, hung with strips of metal foil, and the scarecrow, who had been put away, has been put back on duty. I've thrown a bit of netting over the chard. Can those deer eat!
 The courgettes and beans are still cropping but I've picked the squash whose leaves had fallen away. Two other varieties with good leaf cover remain on the ground but I doubt they will make much further growth.

 The apples are keeping me busy. This is the time of year when it's difficult to find enough space in the freezers. (I have three!)
 I'm making juice to freeze,
 filtered through a piece of muslin into whatever containers I have.
It tastes as good as it looks!

Friday 16 September 2016

In Wiltshire

Yesterday evening we had an invitation that took us into Wiltshire and we drove through the village of Biddeston with its many attractive houses.

 The ducks had abandoned the pond to sleep on the village green.

It was a warm evening with  a mist hanging over the landscape.
 Long vistas all around us.

When the sun sank down behind the garden as a bright orange globe people took out tablets and phones to capture the sight
but there were disappointed voices because the camera lenses were unable to pick up the vivid orange glow that our eyes could see.
 I walked up beyond the garden and looked across the fields to try to get a better shot for Skywatch Friday, but my camera was having none of it.

Wednesday 14 September 2016


After yesterday's dramatic storm we woke to a far more promising early autumn day. We decided not to make the longer drive that a trip to the seaside necessitates but instead to jaunt out to somewhere near at hand. We chose the small town of Bruton in Somerset, stopping at Hauser and Worth for brunch. Kedgeree for me.
 Field mushrooms for Himself.
 Oh, go on then, one cherry sundae....... with two spoons!
The gallery was closed but we had a leisurely stroll around the garden designed by Piet Oudolf.

 Dramatic mass planting and great use made of grasses that gave movement and light to the beds.

 Blanket weed. Now I don't feel so bad about mine!
 Can you see the metal edging to the pool, set to just the same level as the surrounding land? The same metal strip edged the borders throughout the entire garden.
Eye benches in black granite by Louise Bourgeois.
 We shall be returning to see an exhibition of her work at the gallery next month.

The we went into Bruton town and visited the museum. From its windows there is a lovely view of the ancient dovecote on the hill. The building probably began life as part of the Augustinian Abbey until the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII. Pigeonholes were put into the building in the 18th century and the birds were a valuable source of eggs, meat and manure.

We always enjoy small local museums like this one because they give particular and often surprising information and invariably the local people manning the rooms are enthusiastic and engaging. I was surprised and delighted to learn that John Steinbeck and his wife had lived in the town for several months in 1959 while he was working on a retelling of 'Le Morte d'Authur.' Steinbeck was one of my father's favourite authors.
 Another American link was a temporary display of plain black shift dresses worked on as a student project.
 There were examples of a patchwork friendship  and a graffiti dress
 and a plain black shift for visitors to the museum to embellish. It kept this woman very busy!
 Along the High Street we peeped into Hugh Sexey's Hospital,  a 17th century alms house with a Jacobean chapel, now used as sheltered flats for the elderly.

 A lovely, tranquil place.
It was a good day out.