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.
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 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.
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.
I live with Himself (husband) in a former gamekeeper's cottage in the South-West of England.
All text and photographs on this blog are
copyright and property of Rosemary Murphy unless otherwise stated.
I have three blogs;
Share my garden,
My life in one hundred objects and
The 'Himself' blog consists of short stories and artwork, copyright of Peter Murphy.