Monday, 14 January 2019

Beating the Blues

Every year at this time, I edit my photos and discard lots.
As I trawl through them all, I can`t help but get carried back to warmer months. When the garden is so bare, it astonishes me to see the abundance that was summer. And indeed autumn.

I am actually enjoying January, so far .... a huge beach quilt on the go, a living room to decorate and on fine days, lots to do in the gardens. We`ve enjoyed walks on the beach collecting precious seaglass and myriads of shells, walks in the unusually dry woods and we`re keeping warm indoors burning all the old fencing.
So far it`s not been particularly cold but it may all change.

Here are a few of my flower pictures to cheer up anyone with the January blues.


 Wallflowers and tulips.

The wisteria over our shed. 

Oriental poppy. 

 My first sweetpeas.



 More sweetpeas, my favourite flower.

 Cosmos grown from seed.

Our front door step.


 Passion flower.



My biggest dahlia.

I dedicate this blog entry to Mary.
Hope you enjoy it.

Friday, 4 January 2019

Steaming Heaps and Daring Delphiniums

My blog review was mostly photograph based, but I will try to describe the feelings of being at the garden on a day like today.
It was sunny though crispy cold.
Tim was shovelling manure and it was steaming in heaps with the sun`s rays shining through.
 Birds were singing, the robin following our movements and hoping for worms. 
It was very peaceful and a good day for various jobs.
Steve was spreading rich manure.

I decided to make a start on the big path alongside the barn.
Lots of weeds have died down so it was a lot easier.
Nettles, comfrey, brambles, deadly nightshade, elder, hogweed, thistles and goose grass.


 And still to go. Bit of fence repair work to do as well.

After clearing the dead comfrey leaves I could see the new shoots peeking through.
Astonishing sights for January.

And a sweet smelling winter flowering honeysuckle much loved by my sister Lee.
 A couple of general views.
 A job for next time ..... pruning.
And a beautiful sunset to end the day.
What more could we want from the start of the new gardening year.


Thursday, 3 January 2019

Honey, Gold and Sunflowers Review 2018 Part 2

By June and a flaming July, the yurting season was in full swing and what a great year for it.
Despite the drought conditions, the garden looked beautiful.
We had many lovely and very welcome comments from campers as they came to see the growing menagerie ....

 ..... often receiving a few salad veggies for the bbq. 
Sunflowers were thriving in the searing heat.
However watering was beginning to create problems due to the fact that we only go to the garden every two days in the height of summer.
Tomatoes responded by decreasing the surface area of their leaves.
 The polytunnel was in fact far too hot and often reached 50 degrees.
But tobacco plants loved it.
At the end of July the barn dance was held in its usual venue, on the same day as the Flower Festival, so a rather busy day.
By August the sweetpea row was really suffering and was pulled out much earlier than usual.
 But some areas continued to look lovely.
The grass suffered but is always so quick to recover.
 Harvesting continued.

And I tackled the over-grown hornbeam hedge.

In September Steve created a much needed extra compost heap.
Tim brought us a very welcome load of manure,
 The garden was still beautiful.
Gifts of honey in exchange for jam were left in the polytunnel.
 The cobshed got a bit more coating on its crumbly parts.


By October there was a fantastic pear crop. 
I made apple and pear chutney. 
 The Michaelmus daisies buzzed with bees.
It was quite mesmerising.

 There were hazy days of sunshine ....

.....and armfuls of dahlias which we sold at the village coffee mornings to raise funds.
 Crabapples turned golden yellow.
And sunflowers just kept flowering.
It was a golden autumn.

By November we were still picking bunches of flowers ....
.... and Florence arrived.

In December we helped to plant up the new wood which was a real privilege and a once in a lifetime opportunity.

And finally 
Carols in the Barn 
held on a dreadful night of cold, wet and wind.
Well done to all those who ventured out.
What an incredible year.
There are so many things I haven`t mentioned, the many people we meet and of course Tim and Anne always at the heart of the farm, with minds always open to new ideas.
We love it all.

Here`s to 2019 and whatever it brings.