Saturday, 20 July 2013


Today was a lovely summer day, less hot than the last few days with a light refreshing breeze. I spent part of the day in the garden, lying on the lawn, looking up at the blue sky and the sun shining through the oak trees

and enjoying some home grown strawberries.

The rest of the time was spent getting ready for our holiday.  We leave tomorrow - for Iceland, somewhere I have wanted to visit for as long as I can remember, so exciting. See you when we get back.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

poppy fields

I posted pictures of poppies last year but I am repeating myself because they are stunning, whole fields turned white with poppies.

The flowers are actually a pale lilac colour with slightly darker purple markings but in bright sunshine the overall effect is a snowy white field.

Opium based drugs are extracted from the latex in the stems of the poppies and the seeds are used in the food industry. Last year I wondered about the thousands and thousands of seeds that must be in each field and wondered it they would all be collected or whether some would remain in the soil.

The wheat field below answers the question - when the crop was harvested, a few seeds must have been left behind!

Saturday, 13 July 2013

a day in my life

13th July and I am already passed the half-way point of my day in my life posts for this year. When I read back through previous posts a few years ago, it seems that I was always busy no matter what day of the week the "day in my life" fell. Giving lifts to the children, working on the allotment, cooking, there was always so much going on.

Life is less rushed now, the children grown and independent, though still often wanting lifts and the day passes at a slower pace.

Today was particularly slow because it has been so hot. The hottest day of the year so far. On a Saturday with nothing planned I was able to spend much of the day in the shade in the garden.

It was nice to relax and read the papers in the fresh air although it was very warm. I did two loads of washing and it all dried very quickly. I did manage to iron the cotton items before they were completely dry which makes it easier to iron out any creases.

We had lunch in the garden. Here is my half eaten salad as I remembered to take a photo. Slices of apple and plum together with raisons with a lemon tahini dressing served on a bed of watercress, rocket and spinach. In hot weather I like the mixture of fruit and green leaves.

Continuing on the theme of food, the redcurrants are beginning to turn red, there are loads at the moment but pigeons come into the garden frequently and seem to be very fond of redcurrants. I hope there are some left for me.

This little white flowered plant is stevia which is a natural sweetener. The leaves taste sweet, I have added a few to stewed apple as a sugar replacement. I remove them before I serve it. I haven't tried drying the leaves yet but after drying they can be ground to a dark grey powder which can be used to replace sugar. I wonder if I should remove the flowers to encourage more leaf growth?

The rest of my day was spent reading and relaxing. We had salmon and vegetables for dinner. I have spoken to my parents and youngest son on the phone. Now my husband and eldest son are watching a film and I am writing this post.

A very slow day indeed but sometimes that is just what I need.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

West Green House

I visited West Green Garden back in March when it first opened for the season. I posted a few photographs in this post. The bones of the garden were clearly visible and the spring flowers were just starting to appear - spring was very late this year.

Going back three months or so later, the garden is at its summer best,

especially the roses.

The vegetable garden was just as neat but now full of flowers, vegetables and fruit trees in full leaf.

There were wild orchids in patches of grass left unmown

and stunning arrangements in pots in the greehouse.

A very peaceful early summer garden.