Baking bits!

We have a few too many brambles, and I left the biggest bunch too long! Soggy mouldy blackberries don’t make super crumbles… we made two sponges today and that wasn’t using too many berries so I’ve gone out to pick some more and with my Apple catcher pulled off some largish apples from the tree. The sponge mixture was a bit soft because I decided mid mix to double the quantities and went a little off recipe… And we are getting a chorus of sorts from the apples, and I get the feeling we may lose a few more smashing onto the Perspex of the greenhouse.

I love the little buds on verbena boniariensis.

Lots of sweet little flowers around and about in the garden at the moment and I had thought all the best things were past. I discovered a penstemon or two coming through. I’m not sure whether that is perennial or not. Will watch out for it next year!

Penstemon planted in the spring.
Oxalis? Peeking through in one of the raised beds…
Apple and bramble sponges. They do look a bit flat…

Some tidying before the end of summer?

I don’t like driving up to the house and being confronted by weeds and all things needing trimmed. Even worse when we have been away? So the garden bin was collected this morning and I’ve hacked at the golden rod and spiky buds and remains of valerian. And that’s before I can get out of the front garden.

Hosta flowers. Maybe it’s in a better place.

So the back was full of windfalls… makes the bin heavy and I am bushed. Thankfully I only get to the windfall apples every few days, as the waste of apples makes me sad. We have some brambles so I shall make a crumble or a sponge when I get some energy back.

Bud on my passionflower.

The house is looking tidyish but I am loathe to muck up the kitchen making sponge… but it’s the one I prefer. Sponge it is!

Still turning red.

Random continues…

I drove a little way away from LGC and bought some gravel. Four bags full. I am now questioning why I do these slightly random things? Not part of the giant scheme of things for sure and not identical to previous freecycled gravel…

Before decanting the umbrella…
Now the bench and table get respite!

All will come good for sure. Maybe it’s the time of the year or the random things that being stuck at home do to you. Maybe I need to go and take the lumps out of the patio slab space? Then we can use the gravel from the herb garden to level it… not sure how, we don’t have a roller?

And today the umbrella was moved so the corner I’ve been eating my lunch is sheltered. More weeding and pruning was needed as bindweed went mad unchecked. Lots of areas being changed for the better and trees are being dug up too.

This spiky plum? tree which has only produced fruit this year is being pruned heavily. The gooseberry bush at its base had dried up so much it literally snapped apart so I could get to the ivy on the wall that was running amok. That’s given me a dry throat so needed pulling for sure. But spikes and dust made me want to stop for lunch. Bon appetite!

You can see the woodpile behind the ramshackle shed after clearing that corner…

Transformation!?!

It’s one of those days: neither hot or cold but a mission to clear the ground by the middle shed of gravel and herbs has given us lots of tasks.

Painterly…
Seiving the gravel…

I also have a helper who has now turned her attention to the bench I inherited from a friend when we were sharing a flat many moons ago. She found me through FB at the start of lockdown but I didn’t hear back from recent posts. It was a while (20 years?) Blimey! I feel old!

Muddy knees!

We have moved some bricks to form a path from the greenhouse and replanted a rather woody thyme. I’m smelling rather herbal and it’s not my medicinal marijuana! Which has raised my mood and possibly my energy. Life seems good in the garden!

Moved the path… or work in progress?

Hot again!

Those two trees got a serious trim. They are spiky too which adds them to my least favourite options for keeping in the garden of the future. It seems the chop they got last year encouraged them to produce fruits but I’m not 100% sure what they are…

Lots of spiky things growing here!

Why do plants in some places grow well and others they fail to thrive? Buddleia grows amazingly in the bed by the house but there is a narrow spindle I have identified next to those spiky trees as buddleia which must have been planted 3 years ago. We struggle to stop the monster by the house…

Straggly buddleia… (before brambles were culled)
…monster three buddleia after a trim?

But the culling better stop as it’s brown (garden waste) bin tomorrow and I have filled as much as I can with the weeds I don’t add to compost. I feel sure my energy levels are rising again and I have to say it could be down to the cbd capsules I am taking. Still only one tablet but much higher concentration. Reading the small print it says to disclose it to an employer in case they do random drug tests, but it’s thoroughly tested to not contain any credible levels of the stuff that can get you in trouble. Not working through the summer so not panicking about it either…

I have lots of seeds to scatter and lots of places to put them. To have a garden with lots of flowers next year would be fabulous. Need to decide where they go! Random as ever and reallocating herbs along the way is interesting too, as I think I will not lay out a herb garden again but integrate them with other perennials.

Significant apple drop from the tree that failed to fruit last year. And a drum beat from landing on the Perspex…

The garden is growing organically!

Weeding again!

Rome wasn’t built in five years, and wandering round our shambles I felt despair and anger! But I’ve given myself a talking to. And started in on the mares tail. Front garden full of lots of seed heads from alliums and other beauties we have enjoyed this year but the mares tail, bindweed valerian and other pests also threatened to do away with the things I have planted. Nothing a bit of elbow grease and perpetual vigilance won’t do away with.

Must give you some flowers…
Look at that mares tail!

I’ve read on forums that some of these thugs need to be beaten over a long period and I have left them alone because I’ve been working and down in the dumps. I’m not blaming anything in particular but my screen time has been through the roof. And the weeds are overpowering every area I have worked hard to clear.

Clearing an area where we have the littlest shed, I asked a question. My other half has been planning to build two more sheds, but I think we are still better to use the area I’ve planted herbs. I can replant a herb garden and we can move the quite diddy greenhouse onto the cleared slab? Hubby has agreed to rethink. Well I think we both are, as this garden is still a work in progress and doesn’t have a particular area which gives me joy. Working on it! Calla lilies are shooting up in some boxes atm. Yay! More flowers to come…

Hope it’s not a weed!
Phormium is getting strangled. Think it’s vine weevil…

Spotted!

The eagle-eyed spotted that we have a tomato! The tomato plants are definitely coming on. I think they might be cherry tomatoes and I am looking forward to having some.

Baby Tom!
Passionflower is looking happy…

We’ve enjoyed potatoes and I think we will do something with an alarmingly yellow courgette! The veg beds have not suffered under my neglect… except the spinach which grew well but went to seed before much was picked. I have lost interest in cooking and have managed to put on a stone in weight since lockdown started. I blame the uncertainty of the pandemic and losing my sense of optimism. It’s the summer holidays now and we will have to try and get motivated and off computers more! I vow six weeks of change! Starting tomorrow?

Courgette!
Lovely purple flowers on oregano
One of three lavenders doing well…
An ants nest has appeared too!

Feeling invigorated!

I’ve started to feel like I can foresee new avenues opening up again. Lockdown is over, for whatever that means, and I have now worked through two weeks of exams. I have work next week and I have applied for several new things to keep me feeling like a useful member of society again. I have been out in the garden and applied the trimmers to the hedge to cut away the corner of the hedge so the neighbours can see out of their drive.

If we can have some rain free days, like on Sunday, we will be doing some more garden maintenance, making some more changes. Hubby went and purchased a stand today, and before you ask, is that like fork handles, it’s a short stand to cut up logs on. We’ve had lots of logs drying out in the rear/side of some sheds to make firewood with but I knew something was holding us back; the stand will make log cutting safer. We also have lots of extra shelving from blowaway greenhouse to stack cut down logs on? Stuff comes in useful if you hoard it? I also wonder if it got stacked along the walls of a work shed it will add an insulating layer when winter hits. Because I see my husband home working for the foreseeable future, like many others, fingers crossed, if their companies make it through the pandemic unscathed.

Love this astromeria!
Need to add this ivy etc to the green bin…

Life after lockdown is slowly looking like it will start returning; my youngest went to school to pick up her things from the year before homeschool and she felt better for seeing her friends again. She said they sat in hula hoops to keep 2 metres apart! So whoever is making hula hoops will be making it through the pandemic for sure…

I’m sure I planted more than one of these spherocephalum but I think I pulled some up in a vigorous weeding moment…

A select view of Life?

I mentioned before that I try to always be a glass half full type of person, but I apologise if what I feel at the moment is largely angry, depressed and hopeless. If I am honest I can’t even go for a coffee and discuss it with a friend, only meeting people fleetingly on my exercise excursions isn’t the same.

We are having a morning of making plans I think, before taking a run over to grandmas with her 83rd birthday presents. She has been horribly curtailed by C19, as she had a senior adventurers pass to get around Greater London and used it daily until lockdown. We have things to return too as she stayed in February and left behind a handful of her belongings. In return I will take her some brightly coloured flowers for the garden and a pot we picked up from the Best Before Cafe in town. We also got some brownies from The Cakey Lady, which I will advertise as a hardworking family business. (And they were enjoyed by all!)

Lily just flowered!
Freeby…
Osteospermum

But working all week (four mornings) has made me feel more positive, and the discussions of shed development has made me feel a bit more positive about life in our little enclave of LGC. Life is good here and we do have lots of projects to start/finish if we can stop spending time on our gadgets. We bought the house as an ongoing project, and the garden is constantly changing with new things in bud. And I know I concentrate on blooms mostly in my photos but that’s because often the flowers grow alongside the weeds! I edit those out…

First (red) crocossmia!
Not sure what this is? First time we’ve seen…