June view 2009

June view 2009
View of rose and herb garden, June 2009

Small Garden Story

Over some 15 + years, I have been photographing the evolution of my small (85 x 15 foot) garden and it seems a waste not to put these records into some sort of context. Beginning here in April 2010 this Blog is intended to both act as a diary and to share past and present successes (and some failures), pleasures and disappointments with fellow garden-lovers. In due course, I intend to fill in some of the background and early days but that will have to wait until the winter months!

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Swifts and lillies

Lilium regale

I notice that the RSPB are on the look-out for sightings of swifts.   I was only just wondering what these dynamic swooping, peeping birds were - I always confuse swallows, swifts and martins - but now I know and I am very chuffed that they have been whizzing about in the most dynamic fashion over my garden for years and particularly this week.   

It has been a good week for unusual flying things.   I had to rescue a bat which was flying in a panic round the gym. last night - to the horror of the staff!

The garden is really way ahead of its self this year.   So much so that it is almost about to enter what I think of as its high summer quiet patch, before the dahlias and late shrubs get going.   Best at the moment are the regal lilies which, along with honeysuckle, are filling the air with heady scent.   I could never have too many of them.  

Lilium album reflecting in bird bath
Lilies with Rosa Pat Austen

Monday, 27 June 2011

Favourite fruit tart...

On Sunday I made a fruit tart which I had thought to photograph - but it didn't last long enough.   Using up some rich sweet pastry (with ground almonds) and an assortment of fruit - mostly picked on Saturday - it made an irresistible treat.     It has to be made with fresh fruit or it lacks texture.   I usually use red currants and raspberries but this year it was an assortment of 7 things - red and black currants (the very first of the season), raspberries, loganberries, strawberries, fraise de bois and pink gooseberries.   Good job this mix of fruit is only available once in a while!.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Dorset cottage windows

We just spent a lovely weekend with my sister-in-law at her cottage in Dorset.  It was Netherbury's Gardens Open weekend and - unsurprisingly - we had a Sunday of torrential rain but luckily we had made the most of Saturday!

Sadly, it was probably the last time I shall visit the cottage that my brother and sister-in-law restored as reluctantly Lulu has decided to sell it.

It is a happy cottage with 250+ years of history, a delightful cottage garden and some picture-perfect windows - as you can see.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Rambling Rose

When I bought the rose labelled "Kiftsgate", it seemed like a great idea.   It is a common mistake when starting to plant a small garden to buy things that will grow fast but there has been a lot of time when I have wondered at the wisdom of this purchase.   I'm now not even sure it IS Kifstgate.   However, I have now decided that I don't care at all how dominating this rampant beast is - it just turns the garden into fairyland for at least 3 weeks every June.   It is just about at its most explosive best just now.   I thoroughly recommend it!

Sunday, 5 June 2011

More crazy poppies

Mutant poppy centre in Saturday's sunshine
as above, today, fading in the rain

What a business woman - redcurrant story

Having had a surplus of redcurrants for the past several years, this year I thought I had come up with a bright idea to get some recompense for the hours and hours it takes to pick them.   So, I rang up the Waterside Inn in Bray and asked if they would be interested.   Chef was duly asked and said yes, they would like them if they are not too acid.   Hmm, well I thought it was worth a try.   So I wrapped the bowl up and beetled off to Bray this morning.   The charming young lady on reception said she would take them through and came back a few minutes later with my empty bowls (I had also taken a handful of alpine strawberries literally because I thought they would probably really appreciate them) and said:   "Chef said they are very nice.   Thank you very much."   I left chuckling to myself that I will never make a business woman, although I did have the presence of mind to leave my number and say I had some more but I would like some recompense for them.   Still, it is rather nice to know that the guests at the Waterside Inn are enjoying the fruits of my gardening labours - literally!

Here is a little shot of the very first pickings of raspberries and redcurrants last week.   I can't pick any more just now as - happily - it is raining!