Welcome to family, friends and visitors. Here you will find interesting (hopefully) pictures of my part of the world, news of our household and probably, long ramblings about anything that catches my interest.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Tip Time.

We've had a mixture of sun and clouds but it was good to see blue skies. There was quite a breeze so it was good drying weather and I got several machine loads out on the line. I will admit to also finding a sheltered spot and spending time simply reading and enjoying the scree garden. Th butterflies are visiting the bright purple buddlia (my favourite one) but nothing more exotic than cabbage whites, peacocks and some ringlets flitting about.
The blackcurrants have been hanging like luscious bunches of black grapes so today while the grass was not so wet I picked 6lbs. I had planned to use them in a couple of crumbles when the family come to stay but with so many I think I might have to make some jam as well. I freeze them as they are as they are much easier to top and tail when they are frozen (is that a tip, I'm not sure). I thought that I would pack the ones intended for desserts into separate bags with the sugar and cornflour already mixed in. I'll also mix up some crumble mixture and freeze that separately so that it will be quick to make the crumbles when everyone is here. Tip 1- I always grow my blackcurrants near the hen run so that when I clean out my hens (Tip 2 - deep litter hens on wood shavings usually free from a local joiner/wood store. Its so much easier to clean out), the dirty shavings can go straight on the blackcurrants which are shallow rooted and can use the nitrogen for better fruit production. The local blackbirds were not that impressed with my fruit picking and as I worked at one end of the blackcurrant bed they were at the other picking their own fruit. There are raspberries growing there as well but I'm not sure if the birds will leave me that many. Maybe this year there will be a good wild blackberry crop. We're always a bit later than other parts of the country. Sam - what's the blackberry situation in Gloucestershire? and last year there were none.

I've also started tidying up around the pond. Everything has got very overgrown and needs a good sort out. Already I have cut back all the alchemilla which has finished flowering and was flopped right across the path. A final walk in the evening sunshine to collect the re-cycling box and that was my day.

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