Sunday, 18 August 2013


. . . flogging an old gardener. I have been in the far boggyland digging out the streams. They were clogged with vegetation and not draining anything. As I splattered through the mud, sodden turf and jungle of plants a big nettle side swiped my cheek - lovely! Ah! The tribulations a gardener must face.

Other tribulations emerged this morning - a fat rabbit on the banking eating, at first I thought the ground elder, but only grass. The the squiggle-monster on the peanuts. It has chewed through the wire of the feeder! Now there are proper teeth for you!

It poured with rain yesterday and we awoke to another downpour. The stream is clogged lower down and has decided the lawn is a much preferable course to take - more clearing to be done.

Autumn is approaching - the rowan has berried and the hips and haws are ripening. One of the mature hawthorns in the far wood has died - do not know why, just turned up its roots and withered.

What are these you may ask - well they are lovage stems, cut and dried. To make what you may ask - the pea shooters is the answer, light hard hollow tubes. The perfect gift for a bored irritating man (child). Just need a bag of dried peas and look out!

One of the eight foot teasels at the end of the flowerbed path has fallen over, such shallow roots. It must have been the gusty wind last night.

I have just noticed our tall thin eucryphia is coming into flower - big white cups at an unusual time of year for a shrub.

At this moment there are six juvenile bluetits on the feeder outside my window. They have been breeding like rabbits this summer (except rabbits would find it hard to get up a tree and into a nesting box?) Flying rabbits - now there is a thought!

This is one of our small courgettes. They have such a great personality. The two marrows continue to grow, too late for most of the shows but not my kitchen table. I love marrow (unlike the rest of my family and most of the people I know) because, I think, as a boy they were a once a year event. Marrow stuffed with lamb mince and onions and baked in the oven - yum!

So much is not seasonal any more - tomatoes, salad veg, rhubarb, damsons and plums. Before freezers it was all bottling and clamping, racking and drying. Fresh herbs in winter except for the evergreens were dried, spuds, carrots and swedes in clamps, fruit in Kilner jars, those were the days.

Panic outside the window as the pigeon squadron zoom in and scatter the smaller birds. They are great lumps of birds, clattering about, stuffing their crops.
A pheasant wanders by - a title for a book? Must go and write it.


  1. Always wondered what to do with lovage! I read that you can use the stem to sip a drink through, like a straw, which sounds very elegant and fun but I never have the time!

  2. You can, of course, also make whistles with them.

  3. And wrap fish in the leaves to impart a lemony flavour