Friday, 3 July 2015

July....


July has more than made up for the cold spring and early summer...it's been so HOT !










I like to mark the seasons with different traditions...
now it is elderflower time so I went with my sister to gather fresh elderflowers to make some cordial ..... it's almost ready to be bottled....this year I will freeze some to enjoy later ...maybe in ice cube trays so I can use a couple of cubes in a glass of water on a hot day ....mmmm!
The grass is long and dry and the trees and hedges have that lovely feeling of abundance that I love....

wishing you all a happy and peaceful summer weekend !
Gail x




Friday, 26 June 2015

Summer delight...

On a recent visit to a lovely friend of mine...a very talented and knowledgeable gardener....
not only did I get to look around her beautiful 
garden and home but also to taste a new 
recipe...


add 2 tablespoons sugar to a pestle and mortar..
 gradually add a big handful of fresh mint...
freshly picked out of the garden!
bash away until you have a lovely syrup...


add more mint if desired...
bash away until it is syrup...
prepare a ripe pineapple...
drizzle mint syrup over...
and try to resist ....


resistance is futile !!
I think this is a lovely way to use mint from the garden for a nice, simple, refreshing treat on a summer's day... so thank you kind friend I have already made another batch myself....
and it seems to have disappeared already !

Have a nice weekend...
Gail x



  

Friday, 12 June 2015

A summer's day...

Finally a summer day arrives....it's been like October for the last 6 weeks...so it's off to the woods to explore...

a beautiful cascading hawthorn...


A happy face says "summer is here !"


abundant birdlife ....

thrush...




nuthatch...


thrush...


cutest little dumpling...
a wren...


tree creeper...


lots of nests...
some nearly at ground level ....



unidentified insect !!


cow parsley (Queen Anne's Lace) and ferns...


mother nature knows just how to position plants perfectly !


beautiful bird's eye speedwell....


and last but not least....
a cheeky robin...


the woods were full of wildlife...birds with their fledglings so busy and noisy...squirrels, weasels ....the trees so verdant and fresh...woodland flowers so very pretty...
and the temperature amongst the trees was perfect....
the silence of the woods except for the sound of nature is like music to my soul ...
I drank heartily from this cup and returned home refreshed and renewed...
thankyou mother nature !

Have a lovely weekend everyone !
Gail x

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Frothy hedgerows...

Neath billowing skies that scatter and amass. All round our nest, far as the eye can pass,
Are golden kingcup-fields with silver edge where the cow-parsley skirts the hawthorn-hedge. 'Tis visible silence, still as the hour-glass'. 
Dante Gabriel Rossetti, (1828-1882)


At the moment our hedgerows are so lovely and frothy with cow parsley...it's nice to bring a small bunch home to sketch or paint... the hand embroidered sheet I used as a back drop was made at the turn of the last century by a talented local lady called Agnes Brown, she was born in 1897 ..I am always left in awe at the beauty of such creations...all the work and details and care that went in to such lovely hand made treasures...and it's an extra bonus to know the name of the lady who created it....









cow parsley is so pretty and looks quite delicate but it manages to hold it's own in our unpredictable May weather ...feels rather more like October around here at the moment !!
This week we have finally tried a recipe with "nettles" ...I made soup with onion, garlic, potato and a handful of nettle tops and parsley ...and it tasted lovely.....it seemed strange to put something so well known for it's nasty sting in my mouth ... but once I got past the "fear" stage I really enjoyed it...

Wishing you all a lovely Wednesday evening !
Gail x 

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Ten things I love ...part 3..

Old churches....
I love the architecture ...the stained glass...
the wooden interiors...the paintings and details...
and especially, I love the feeling
of peace and tranquillity and of history that 
I get when I'm within.... 
you can almost feel the souls that have 
been sat amidst the pews....

  






It's been a busy month....now the garden is romping away there is no time to waste ! The allotment is full of seedlings and blossom...it's a wonderful time of year ....
I had a "special" birthday last week and my husband bought me a juicer ... some of the recipes sound a bit dubious ...for example....cabbage, carrot and cranberry...!! what seriously ?? Well time will tell but I think I will start with "apple, cherry and fig" ...now that does sound appealing ....


We have enjoyed a lovely walk in the woods.....


And Tripod has enjoyed finding my secret cat-nip plant !


Have a lovely weekend !
Gail x



Thursday, 23 April 2015

This green and pleasant land....







I love this time of year...well I actually love the fact that here in the UK we have 4 defined seasons. England's climate can be described as a temperate, maritime climate because of the Gulf Stream. Spring is a time for sudden showers and blossoming trees and plants. It's also generally a calm, cool and dry season..full of promise of the summer to come....
Yesterday I noticed the first swallow and even though every year we have the swallows visiting it is still a pleasure to see that they have finally arrived....
Also the potatoes that we planted earlier in the Spring are suddenly in full growth and need earthing up ...this is another thing that happens year after year and yet I never tire of seeing that first flush of green and saying "the potatoes are up" ...
It's all the little markers of each individual season that are maybe reassuring ?? things are as they should be....it is late April and the potatoes are up...!!
And having the 4 very different seasons helps us to appreciate what each season brings as the cycle is always changing ....


I wonder what marks the seasons for you ?
Wishing you a lovely Thursday evening wherever you are...now I must go out and earth up those spuds...!
Gail x


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