Friday, 31 July 2009

July Flowers

July in our garden:-
The flowers,
the hanging baskets,

the frogs (frequently bothered by Ella!),

and Maurice and Ella enjoying a sunny spell on the lawn.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

A Lazy Weekend

We started the weekend with a family visit to the cinema, on Friday evening, to see the latest Harry Potter movie - "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince". Fay is a big, big fan of Harry Potter.
Then Saturday afternoon, my OH and I went for a spot of Geocaching in some local woods owned by the Nation Trust. There were lots of butterflies and fungi to be seen. J didn't join us this time - he has become addicted to Wii Fit at the moment. We are teasing him that he is trying to get some muscles to impress the girls!
I have been tying up plants in the garden. These pollen beetles, in their perfect circle, had me reaching for my camera.
Had a slight accident with this clematis whilst training it around a rose, but it is looking lovely on my kitchen windowsill. S dug up the tiny horseshoe recently at the allotment, I haven't ever seen one so small.

Today I am working on the Union Jack cushion. I am hand-stitiching the tape on to form the crosses. I have been deserted by the rest of my family :) so it is nice and quiet here for an hour. Just me , the cats and a cup of tea.
Hope you are all enjoying your weekend, Pj x

Friday, 24 July 2009

Domestic Goddess

Only kidding! ;) This post should be titled "In The Kitchen", but I can pretend ;)
When it has been too wet to be in the garden, I have been playing in the kitchen. This bubbling cauldron is a sourdough starter. I love sourdough, but have never tried making it before. After watching it being made on a recent River Cottage programme on television, I though how hard can it be? I'll let you know as the weeks go by! Yesterday I started it with flour and water and the fermentation began quite quickly. I fed it in the evening and it is bubbling nicely.
In the hedgerows the wild cherry plums are ripe and beginning to fall to the ground. I couldn't let them go to waste, so we collected 3 lbs of them and I have made some jam.

Each type of wild plum tastes different. Previous years I have used the red ones that grow near our home and they are quite sour, although my OH and Jay loved the jam. This year I used only the yellow ones, growing elsewhere in the village, and the jam tasted of apricots. I'm picking some more!

Besides all the cakes that I have been baking, I made these individual strawberry cheesecakes. I had to take a photo as I thought they looked pretty. I based the cheesecake on a Nigella Lawson recipe, but used smaller quantities.

On the savory front, we are eating beans, beans and more beans! I think I planted too many at the allotment, and there are still the runner beans and borlotto beans to come! We are also eating a lot of lettuce!

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Okay, I know this is The Snail Garden, but ...

... this is a bit cheeky!
I was working in the garden and felt something tickling my leg and this little snail was crawling up it!
The snail incident happened whilst I was planting some new Clematis. I visited the garden centre to purchase one Clematis to train up my Magnolia and came home with three!
Clematis Texensis - Princess of Wales

Clematis Viticella Purpurea - Plena Elegans

Clematis Viticella - Betty Corning

I like the small-flowered Clematis and have several dotted around my garden.

The bees have been enjoying this lavender - I have counted three different types on it.

At the end of the afternoon Jay and I were treated to our very own airshow. Two jets flew past accompanying the last flying Vulcan - it past directly over our house three times and once one of the jets was upside down!

Monday, 20 July 2009

In the Garden

My Buddleia has lived up to its name - "The Butterfly Bush" - as it has been covered in butterflies during the sunny spells. The bees love it too. The garden has been alive with the buzzing of the bees and the fluttering of the butterflies. We also seem to have a lot of Sparrows living in our hedge, which is good as, nationally, they are in decline. Unfortunately I have also discovered two types of Harlequin Ladybirds in the front garden - not good news.

These are some of the butterflies that have visited my Buddleia. They are Gatekeeper (top left), Peacock (top right), Painted Lady (bottom left) and Comma (bottom right).

My collection of "arty bits", as I call them, seems to be growing. These are just a few of them.

I'm looking forward to spending more time pottering around my garden during the summer holidays. My garden may be small, but I can spend all day in there! I also have a long list of craft items to make over the holidays. I have recently completed a "bee" item for a swap on the CL forum, I can't post a photo as the swap items are meant to be a surprise. We also have a few days booked in a caravan and plan to visit my family in Norfolk. I'm wondering if 6 weeks is long enough! :)

"Happy Summer Holidays Everyone"

Pj x

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

July Nature, Weather & Greenhouse

Okay, so the title is a little iffy, but the photos in this post are quite eclectic.

Whilst getting lost on a Geocache last week we came face to face with this beauty, who wasn't at all bothered by us.

We then walked through this cornfield, which reminded me of the cornfields of my childhood with the poppies and other flowers. If I hadn't misread the directions to the cache we wouldn't have seen any of this.

Back home I spied this Six-Spot Burnet Moth on my lavender. I love moths so I took lots of photos!

In the greenhouse we have had the first cherry tomatoes, baby beetroot, radishes, lettuces and lots of basil. The chilli's are starting to develop too. The little gnome was a gift to my Grandad, from my children, one year for his garden. He has made his way back to us to live and now keeps an eye on my greenhouse. I'm not one for gnomes, but this one is special because he used to belong to my Grandad.

After the hot weather we have had a lot of rain. These pictures were taken early yesterday evening, during a thunderstorm. It rained so hard that the rain bounced in the puddles on the road and my candle-holders filled up!

More rain is forecast for the rest of the week - a typical British summer! Fingers-crossed that it improves for the summer holidays.
Just to end on a positive note - I am having a spot of summer madness at my Etsy shop - all postage is free throughout July and August to anywhere in the world.
Best wishes, Pj x

Monday, 6 July 2009

Allotment Update

Not the allotment, but this Buddleia is looking so good against the elder leaves and blue sky in my garden at the moment, that I couldn't resist a photo.
Borage, Calendula, Lavender and Potatoes.
Purple Dwarf Beans and Sweetcorn

Yellow Courgettes

Sunflowers and Pumpkins

Peas, Sweetcorn, Dwarf, Borlotto and Runner Beans

Some Buddleia from the allotment car park with Perpetual Sweetpeas from my front garden.