Saturday, 4 August 2012

Garden of delights

Long grass with a purpose
I'm in a bit of a garden mood just now; that's probably because we did a dinner for friends last night, and the kitchen is still in need of time spending on it, and I'm trying to avoid it. But the garden IS a delight to be in, and I just thought I'd do a few hours on it when I don't just cut the grass, which I do every 4 days. I told myself I really need to do a session in between the grass cutting, when I clip, tie up and weed. So today I tried to do just that, and the place is getting towards a 'tended' look. This is what I want to achieve; not a spend-a-lorra-money-on-it look. We HAVE spent a lot on plants in the past, but now it is a self-supporting system, with an efficient composting area which is the gold mine of the place. What it craves is a gardener on her knees. So today I reconnected with the delight in the place, and these are some of the things that I found while trimming, weeding, savaging even. The long grass round the apple trees is deliberate, but I was going to give it a tiny bit of a trim but had to change plan: these nasturtiums are floating on it, and I can't do anything till they finish.

18thC brick wall
We do have a lovely bit of wall, a run of 18th C brickwork. It's hard-going keeping it from being overrun by ivy. I do like ivy, but we have plenty of it, but not much 18thC brick wall.

Ghosts of Christmas trees past

I don't throw anything away; here are the ghosts of two Christmas trees past. They will come in useful for something, I know they will. The one on the left was jolly good at not shedding its pine needles - a posh one we got a couple of years ago.

Along with using my laptop in bed, I'm not really 'allowed' nasturtiums as they tend to run amok on the veg plot and elsewhere, but you know already that I have them. These are some huge leaves on a variegated one, which I tend to expect are going to be small and perfectly formed and acceptable, but then this giant turned up.

Variegated nasturtiums that just happen
Unplanned colour scheme
And look at the colour combination created by the arrival of nasturtiums under the cool blue of the eucalyptus bush (I intend it to stay a bush).

Another blue thing I found today
A wild blue thing I found today
This blue wild geranium appeared from nowhere in this weedy border, and I love that shade of blue. Only today I bought a linen dress in the same colour from the hospice shop, already broken in and softened by many washes.

Holly the Dolly
I discovered that what we call Holly the Dolly was alive and well when I'd done some clipping at the base of the 18thC wall. We had a lot of tall skyrocketed holly trees when we first moved in in 2005, and this was one of the sections of one I chopped down to a stump, which sprouted again; they always do, and you can do topiary on them then. She used to be even more anatomical, but now she has matured into an older lady she looks less brazen.

T'owd man's beard is flowering
It gives me great pleasure when a wild species starts to feel at home in my garden, and I have two old man's beard plants, now rampaging about the place. They are both supported on structures about 6 ft tall, one a holly stump, the other a dead shrub from the very harsh winter of 2010-11. They seem to be going to flower this year, yippee!

Spectacular light in spring. The walnut tree dances for joy, doesn't it!
I didn't seem to take a pic of anything very spectacular today (so let's find one!); the joy was in a lovely feeling of abundance and just tidying up the edges, but hopefully not getting in the way of any exuberance.

Hair-burning opportunity! I'll be careful, really I will!
So now after all that exertion, I'm going to get myself in the bath by the light this huge scented candle that a dear friend gave me who knows how much I love my bath. She asked me what the colour scheme of the bathroom was; it's, well, whatever there is around, and this looks pretty good to me. Maybe tomorrow the boots will come off the windowsill.


The grass. I go on about it. This is what it looks like on a good day.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

The stripper

It's summer, I believe, and I must apologize to all my readers, if I have any, for the sparse nature of blogging these days. It's not as though there aren't lots of things that I regularly sound off about to t'owd man or anyone else who will look as though they are listening. For example, I was busy on Ps 119 and had the Olympic opening ceremony playing on the laptop, just to see what it was all about, and just as I was doing the bit  for 'Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path' (I know, I know - we do lapse into KJV don't we?) the Olympic flame was being lit. If you missed it, then this is worth looking at so you can nod knowledgeably about the Rowan Atkinson or whatever. Olympic highlights
Unfinished Ps 119
Pic from the Wiki article
I did watch the whole thing, but am not sufficiently steeped in popular culture to get the full value of it. The fact that this psalm illustration has pointy bits drawn from Arab lattice work patterns had also made me think of the Shard that has been put up in Southwark, financed by Islamic investors. I have watched it being built, and somewhere have a pic of it; I had no idea that it was the tallest building in Europe. Somehow its shape made it look just like a kind of playground spike, that I almost wondered why I was photographing it. My eyes sort of shrank it The Southwark Shard ; which just goes to show how we can be terrible judges of the size of spaces and structures.

Olympic flame
So I'm really busy just now trying to fit working on the Project in between maintenance of the house and garden - the grass is always with us and has to be done every 4 days or it gets out of hand - and no-one accuses me of being a diligent housewife, but I do try to bring in the harvest and process it, and lately I've spent about 2 hours a day on reducrrants, stripping and freezing. The bush still seems to have loads on it even though I've worked my way along it. You'd have to be really starving to have to get every last one off; I wonder whether anyone ever does? But they do look beautiful in a colander waiting to be processed.