Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Days of Mellow fruitfulness

As summer slowly slips away, the last of the evening light fades all too quickly and dawn seems a long time coming in the early morning.

 As the days grow shorter there is a faded softness in the garden on mild days when the sun shines weakly through the layers of cloud.

Even on a bright day when for some of the time the sky is an unbelievably bright blue, the air holds a hint of freshness which makes you shiver when the still hot sun goes in.

But for the most part, the mellow signs of autumn are now apparent throughout the garden and countryside.

The hedgrows are full of ripening and already spent blackberries

in the garden, the roses are gently fading

the tomatoes are gradually taking on colour, slowly ripening in what meagre sun there is

the crabapples are bright red, just waiting to be picked and made into crabapple jelly

the autumn hues are everywhere

the hydrangeas have lost their bright early summer colours of clear blues and pinks, and instead are turning soft rosy hues tinged with green and lilac like soft faded cotton summer dresses worn and washed too many times

bright berries show vividly against the green leaves as yet untouched by autumn tints

and the grapes ripen darkly on the vine, plump and juicy, with a frosted bloom

a little new colour in the garden cheers me, as the garden in general takes on that neglected and faded worn out autumn appearance

the last flush of white roses still softly scented

and the blooms of the sweet smelling honeysuckle are finally over for the year, now given over to berries

the outdoor peppers, although still abundantly flowering, are in a race against time to grow into peppers large enough to eat

and the tomatoes, although the golden variety are colouring up nicely now, the Oxheart still have a way to go

the first beetroots have been pulled and given away, but plenty more for us

and the remaining spring onions have finally reached a respectable size

the sweetcorn has ripened

the runner beans are coming thick and fast now, having recovered from the set back in early June when I first planted them out to be weakened by intense heat and heavy rain which burnt and shrivelled the leaves

the warmth loving hibiscus has only managed to produce a few flowers this year

a ladybird finds a resting place amongst some reddening berries

On the Gillyflower Home News front

 Bella has successfully passed her GCSEs and got her place in the Sixth Form at school - lots of happy dances and sighs of relief and sipping of bubbly for a few days here in the Gillyflower household.

And a new Blackberry arrived in the post as recognition of all the hard work (rather belated as it was  intended to reward the effort before the result)

To her (and our) delight, she managed to secure a couple of A*s, a generous sprinkling of As, a couple of Bs and a rather unexpected D for Drama, which the school are contesting for all the drama students as the majority got unexpected and exceedingly low grades - so hopefully that will be upgraded!

Poor Logan has had a male doggy operation and, as well as the obvious discomfort and confusion, has sadly had to suffer the indignity of wearing a lampshade type of collar for a week to prevent his licking his wound.

This somewhat curtailed his usual mad chasing of Bessie, but all Logan lovers will be pleased to hear that even by the day after he was trying to behave as normal, and we have had great difficulty in ensuring he has had the prescribed 10 days "rest" as he has tried to rush around like a loony as usual.

On the plus side, he has loved the "recovery" food ( a kind of meaty pate, served every couple of hours for the first few days - oh boy he couldnt get enough of it!)and has spent many happy hours on "Mummys" lap just like old times when he was a little pup and has, quite rightly, been thoroughly spoilt and mollycoddled by everyone.

Well, sorry this has been such a long post, thank you all so much for bearing with me, and thank you for all your comments on my last post.

Once School goes back I shall aim to return to a normal routine of posting more frequent but shorter posts!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

It's good to be home.....

Things I love about being home

My pile of books by the bedside - have added a few new titles picked up on holiday

Homemade vegetable soup - who has time for soup making on holiday?


Washing the new "old" fabrics that arrived before we went away - more fun than the holiday washing

Picking the first runner beans I've grown in over 20 years, and harvesting loads of french beans

seeing some colour in the garden

finding a second flush of flowers out on this lovely white scented rose

Discovering that Logan is getting very possessive over "his" chair in the kitchen - he whines and tries to push you off with his paws - we can't have that now!

Displaying the three little vintage pyrex bowls I picked up in a Pembroke CS for £1.75

It's mine, all mine!

sweet peas from the garden

Finding the only hanging basket I got around to planting up this year still thriving - and I had such plans for loads this year!

seeing the ripening grapes

finding the third batch of coriander and basil I sowed this year still alive

admiring the scarlet geraniums that never got planted in the basket they're sitting on - but there's still time....

Oh, and joy of joys, yesterday finally getting a dresser for the kitchen off eBay for a reasonable price - yay!!!!

Is solid oak, probably from the 1980s judging by the style, but by the time its painted.....

It was a "Buy it Now" , and as I was umming and ahhing over it somebody put in a Best Offer so that pushed me - I just went for it.........and two hours later it was in our kitchen - brilliant!

I should add here that I have been looking on and off, and unsuccessfully bidding, for about a year now!

They usually end up going way over my budget - this was reasonably priced I think at £75 and is solid and in very good condition - and I'm so happy about it!

more courgettes and cucumbers

being reminded that I have other projects to finish before starting painting the dresser......

sitting in my favourite reading spot with a new book and a cup of coffee in my new mug

finding enough blackberries in the back garden for a blackberry and apple crumble today

Yes, its good to be home