Thursday, 19 May 2016


Three pics of Muncaster Castle gardens - two of the bluebells and one of the view over the shrubs to Scafell.

Back to earth after such heavenly gardening delights - The Conference pear and to some extent the Bramley apple have, I think, canker, Nectria galligena and dead twigs coated in lichen.

Enough - I am scratched to bits by brambles - still clearing the jungle in the far corner. Just as I was about to start the wheelbarrow had a puncture so had to wrestle with a new inner tube and all that.

I could start a forest with the tree seedlings in the garden - mainly ash and the dreaded sycamore.

Whilst we were at Harlow Carrr, the RHS gardens, the other day we bought 2 good sized earthenware pots (2 for the price of one so R could not resist the offer)(but they were good value) so I have crocked the bottoms and filled them with compost. Now we just need something to go in them. (Saw same offer at Beetham, same price, yesterday).

R decided she would read a Harlan Coben paperback I had just finished but gave up when a woman was shot in the knees - not for R - Miss Read come back, all is forgiven. (Actually my knees are pretty shot at.)

Garden getting dry, the big yellow scabious collapsed and had to be watered. All the pots need regular attention but the weather girl on the BBC says it will piddle down on Tuesday and Wednesday - so what's new?

We have been to Holker Hall gardens - we can get in free as we are both members of the RHS.
The bedding in the central beds was a delight - 
forgetmenots, pink and white tulips. And the wild ramsons (garlic), despite the pong, was in wonderful carpets by the ha-ha and the great lime trees.

We do not have tree sparrows in the house martin nest this year - we have house sparrows. I can see them flying up to it past our  bedroom window as I sup my morning cuppa.

Last autumn my daughter gave me a paper bag full of calendula seeds and I have been travelling the garden looking for bare patches sowing them - we will see. I have also found a jam jar full of poppy seed I collected for cooking but have spread some of that about as well.

The aquilegias that self sow (Granny's Bonnets) are out as are the yellow azaleas, first oriental poppies and wall flowers.
The abutilon has survived the winter and a plague of whitefly and is now out on the table on the paving, fed and tidied.

Come Wednesday morning, it has rained last night, not a lot but I liked it.

As the house martins are trying to build outside the kitchen window and we remember a grey squirrel robbing a previous nest the squirrel trap has been out again - one caught, more to go.

The garden from the west.

Gardening, in fact anything to get away from this stupid referendum - only a distraction from the real politics going on (perhaps that is politics?) - both sides unable to admit the other has anything worth saying - I hope when all is over we can get on with being part of Europe again and business can move ahead knowing where it stands.

Off to the kitchen where I have just baked a loaf of spelt bread - half wholemeal, half white, very easy -

250g white spelt flour
250g wholemeal spelt flour
1/2 teaspoon dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
300ml warm water

Mix it all together and then knead for a good 5 minutes, slap in a well oiled tin and leave to rise somewhere warm - about 60-90 minutes.
Bake at 200C - 25-30 minutes in our Aga.
Eat with melted butter (or marmalade)(or marmite)(or syrup).


  1. Love that panorama photo. I would like to take a chair and a little table to put my coffee and book on and sit out there all day.

    1. So would I but after mowing the mains it began to rain.