Monday, 5 September 2011


I haven't posted for months. I'm sorry. The whole point of a blog is to post regularly. The whole summer has gone by. Lots has happened. I'll catch up subject by subject.

First of all, I've started a new blog just for creative stuff, please go and have a look, and sign up in the column on the right to receive it regularly. The more people sign up, the more visible I am, so please do it (that includes family and friends PLEASE!). Do the same for this blog. It's not the same as "stuff" in your mailbox, it's ME, you'll get a little bit of my life every morning!

Let start with the garden.

Have a look at this link. It's the most beautiful film of a rose blooming.

With the rain we had in July and August, the garden has taken on jungle-esque proportions. My neighbour's son came round in June to cut back my apple tree which had grown so large as to be shading a good half of the garden and cutting out all the morning sun. Not a good month for dealing with trees, but when you have someone on hand to help you, you don't ask them to come back in December! To begin with he was very careful where the branches fell, but it soon became impossible (it is a very large tree) and my lovely little flowerbed underneath was crushed to pieces. And the pile of branches in the middle of my garden enormous. He did offer to get rid of them, but I wanted to get as much firewood as I could from the pile. Two months of rain later, the pile has only just disappeared (well not disappeared really, I threw it down a level to be burned soon), but I do have a growing stack of little logs and kindling wood! (it is the gry green tree in the middle in the photo below)

Although it has been very pretty in Spring, it is at least 40 years old and produces loads of apples that fall off early in their career and rot on the ground. So maybe cutting it back will also do the tree some good.

My veg garden has benefitted from the rain of course and my water bill won't have grown as large this summer as it did in the spring, but the rain has also revived all the slugs and snails that I didn't see earlier on and they have wreaked havoc just about everywhere. They completely ate all the salads that were almost ready, baby courgettes, pumpkins, beans, strawberries, you name it...

But I have managed to harvest quite a lot of stuff. A few blueberries (the birds here don't seem to notice them, or maybe there were too few for them to bother!), lots of raspberries (which are now preparing a second crop), a steady trickle of strawberries. Cherry tomatoes galore, and a few large old variety tomatoes which ripened early. A few courgettes, lots of broad beans  artichokes, rhubarb, and yesterday I harvested my garlic, not spectacular, but enough to keep me going for about 6 months... The rest was still to come: potimarrons, one spaghetti marrow, aubergines, peppers, beans and tons of tomatoes. And one very large apple from my new espalier apple trees!

But, then, mid August, with all the wet and mist (and, I have to say, I did plant things much too close together) all my tomatoes, literally tens of kilos of them, began to blacken and rot and I had to pull them all out. I was stricken, after all the work I had put into them, and the promise of tomatoes all summer and autumn. None left. My aubergines never got pollinated, there are few bees around here at the best of times, but what there were must have drowned in the deluge. The weeds overgrew my strawberries and it was too wet to go and pull them out. Of my row of french beans, only two plants produced, so I had about two succulent helpings. You wonder whether it was all worthwhile...

All my terrace plants suffered terribly from the heat in the spring, no amount of watering seemed to really satisfy them (I have a lot of little trees, a crab apple, buddleias, maples and bamboos), and although the rain has done them good, they are not looking on fine form and I shall have to plant some of them out in the garden, goodness knows where, in the autumn to resuscitate them.

So there we are, that is the "gardening" bit of my blog brought up to date. I'll catch up on another subject tomorrow!

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