Apples

We have lots of apples this year, some from our trees and others from a glut of apples from local gardeners. My partner bought a couple of bags. We also had some damsons this year off a tree. If you look closely, hiding in the front of my fruit bowl, are three tiny tomatoes which I grew (they didn’t do so well this year).

What to do with them? Last week I made an Apple lattice pie, this time I stewed some of the apples and damsons with a bit of water and some artificial sweetener that you can use in cooking. The result was a pink fluffy mess of stewed apples…

What to have with them? I could have served them with cream, or icecream, or custard. But I decided to try some shop bought organic rice pudding. The result was delicious.

I wish we grew more crops, we got some good red peppers, and a cucumber this year. I might try growing some courgettes and marrows next year. We also grow raspberries and the next door neighbour has wild blackberry canes growing into our garden so I also pick those. One thing that didn’t grow this year was some onion sets off a friend. I think out garden is too overshaded by trees that have grown up. We may have to cut the trees back a bit. We have also grown potatos in the past. That’s something else to grow next year.

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“That spiky things flowering…”

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Conversation:

‘What thing?’

“That thing on the corner”

‘What thing on the corner!  Where abouts?’

“On the corner , you know…”

‘What’s that?’

“The spiky thing”

‘On the corner?”

“By the willow”

‘What willow?’

“On the corner”

‘Oh hell…..what are you going on about?!’

“You know”

‘But I don’t, that’s why I’m asking’

“Its spiky, got yellow and orange berries”

‘Pyrocantha!?’

“Yes!”

Silence. ………

‘What are you doing? ‘

Noises in the kitchen……..

‘Hello? Whats happening?’

“Just mending my steam engine!”

😠 ‘argh!’

Is it like this in your house? It is in mine.

Clematis

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Clematis, blousy and purple,

or tiny and pink.

Growing up walls,

Along fences, up high.

 

Clematis, bell flowers,

Fuzzy seedheads,

Growing round trees

Up to the sky.

 

Clematis, spring and summer flowering

Now monumental,

Grown with great love.

Makes me sigh.

 

Clematis, old friend,

Newly open flowers,

Grow bud and petal,

You give me joy

Hanging baskets

This was my garden…….in 2017….20170831_153616

This was my back yard last year. Everything was lush and green with lots of colour. This year things are not as good, some plants are wilting in the heat, others have only just survived. I haven’t taken photos of them because its all a bit messy. Still I will persevere. We might be getting some rain on Sunday if we are lucky.

There may be some thunderstorms east of us but nothing due here. It’s so strange, we are a wet country usually. We are normally known for complaining about cold wet summers, and grey dismal winters.

Climate change? I don’t know. But something is going on.

Multiply up all the gardens in the country where the plants are struggling. Then think of all the farms that are having trouble, having to feed hay and winter food stocks to there animals because there is not enough grass for them. It’s not normal. While over in Europe temperatures have risen above 40°C.

But we are lucky in comparison with other parts of the world. Terrible floods, droughts. The world’s temperature has risen since the turn of the millennium.

We are worried by plastic in the oceans, maybe we should really worry about the climate before its too late. Climate scientists have reported that the weather could actually become so hot that we end up in a “hot house Earth” scenario.

If not for our generation, but for future ones we need to stop listening to business people whose interest is short term gain and move to a more balanced, less greedy world. If that means that rich western countries should share technology with the whole world then that’s what we should do. Rant for the day over. ..

Icelandic poppies

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Richard just brought a pot of Icelandic poppies in from outside. He said he wanted to enjoy their colours. I understand why. Our garden is not really visible because we have high window ledges so the view is blocked off.

These poppies are nodding their heads because I have the fan on to cool the air in here. Outside it hit 30C again in the yard. It frequently does at the the moment because its very sheltered and south west facing, trees and hedges surround it so as the Sun goes down it gets cooler. That’s when we water the hanging baskets (which keep wilting in the heat).

We are getting green tomatoes but despite the sunshine  they are not ripening much. I think I need to trim some of the lower branches.

I will try and get a good photo of the yard soon, if the plants recover a bit. In the meantime enjoy the Icelandic poppies……

Ripe cherries

I thought we had eaten all the cherries off out two cherry trees, but Richard went out on some step ladders and a broom today and managed to pull down a couple of branches. He came back  with about a third of a bowl of the ripest and darkest cherries we have ever had off the trees.

I was surprised, basically because we leave the top half of the trees to the blackbirds.  Every year they eat their fill of them. But its such a pleasure to have the fruit that I don’t begrudge the birds any of them.

At the same time our pear tree is gradually filling with fruits, they are quite well hidden because they are not very big yet. Our pears are the same colour as the foliage so they just don’t show up much against the leaves, where the cherries seem to glow with their internal fire of red.

Small apples are also growing slowly. The weather is hot and dry and the apples are not swelling up much. I’m not sure what sort of crop we will get. Last year all but one of the apples fell off in June so at least we are doing better than that.

We got all the fruit trees from our local Woolworths store. That was a few years ago before the firm went out of business. They were a good bargain.

What did I do with the cherries? Washed and stoned them, then had them with a small amount of vanilla icecream. Delicious and cool. Tasty.

Weekend drawings

Here are a few more of my drawings from the weekend, I didn’t take a camera but did take a sketchbook. I’m doing that more these days because I joined the local urban sketchers group a few months ago.

The drawings are from the Endon well dressing where their were lots of beautiful dogs entered for a dog obedience show. I drew a little scottie dog. There is also a drawing of a fellow exhibitor.

Then on Sunday we want back to Audlem where I had sung on Saturday and had a better look round the village. There was a Chalmers car there built in 1913. I drew it and gave the picture to the owner who kindly emailed me a photo of it. There is also a quick sketch of the Shropshire union canal looking down at barges tied up near the Shroppie Fly pub at the canal wharf.

The other sketches are of the Dorothy Clive garden which we also visited (busy weekend) the rhododendrons were fully in flower in the quarry garden and the view from the terrace outside the tea shop was wonderful (why did I leave my camera behind) anyway I did some drawings of the view and made notes of the colours of the rhododendrons to possibly do a watercolour later. The foliage is always a challenge to draw, but I did my best.

Note to self, maybe take a small box of watercolours with me in future , or pastels if there is no water…..