Monday, 26 September 2022

In a Vase on Monday - 26 September 2022

 Its hard to take on that it is near the end of September.  After a week away when we had the best of weather and wonderful walks, it is back to our lovely home.  

Our housekeeper had left a little posy on the table in our cottage by the coast, picked from flowers from the very attractive garden.  On one day during the week, it may have been Saturday well it could have been Sunday or even Monday or Tuesday, on holiday I like to forget which day it is, we received a posy.  Mr S called out early in the day, that there people walking past the cottage with flowers in their arms, and in baskets, towards Noss Mayo Village Hall, just a few doors down.  I must have been out on the back terrace reading, and did not take notice.  

After a long walk that day which obviously did not entail walking in the opposite direction from the hall, around tea time, say 5 p.m., we had returned and were enjoying a rest in the downstairs living room, with the Stable door top open, and there was a movement outside, but it was quick.  By the time I had opened the door no one was in sight, but there on the mat was a lovely posy arranged in a jam jar.  There were blue hydrangeas,  pretty pink fuchsias, and a few other pieces.  Sadly I never found out the occasion, but many of the cottages had posies on their steps.  It really touched me. That's an idea isn't it to make a posy and leave it anonymously on a step.



Back to this week's posy arranged in a little blue vase.  The Fuchsia Tom West has soldiered on remarkably well so deserves pride of place this week, supporting it  are Chamomile, some dwarf Verbena: Verbena bonariensis 'Little One', and the seed heads of Limonium bellidifolium, both of these a souvenir from our visit to Beth Chatto's garden last year.

Always with a clever title and props our Chief's anchor point is the one to go to each week, and many others also join in. 


Saturday, 24 September 2022

Six on Saturday - 24 September 2022

 Having just arrived back from a lovely week ago, I was delighted to find my garden still offering a few things to share this week.

1. My pots have been carefully watered by my neighbour Val, who was suitably thanked with a little thank you of Fudge made by Father Francis at Buckfast Abbey.  The gardens, café and fudge is why we stopped there on our way to Devon.

2. A new little Daphne was planted out in the gravel garden before leaving.  This was one of the plants acquired at the Bishop's Palace Plant Sale. It has taken the place of the silver leaved Achillea x lewisii 'King Edward' of which I have now several little clumps elsewhere in the garden. I forgot to make a label, so that is a task for later in the day. 


Daphne x hendersonii 'Kath Dryden'
came from Potterton's stall.  It was by fluke that they came to the event this year, but they had a large order to deliver 'down south', and I am very pleased to say that they hope to come to future plant sales in Wells. I've not grown Daphne before and I am looking forward to it flowering next year.

3. Another plant bought was  Geum Pink Petticoats. .  Alison a gardening friend who was with me recommended this one as one that was also good for cutting for vases,  and the plant has been divided and shared.  All the pieces are in a nursery area straight in the ground, and hopefully will be moved in a couple of weeks to a suitable place. 



4.  The Cyclamen Hederifolium are up and showing pretty blooms, even with very little rain, with clumps of white and pink flowers dotted around.




5. The white flowering Nemesia Wisley Vanilla is still in flower and wafting its lovely scent around.  Of course much dead heading is required, and I shall try to take cuttings to make sure I have some for next year.




6. Those late planted climbing French Beans are yielding good pickings, so Fred was right when he suggested that would be the case when they were planted at the start of July.






Saturday, 10 September 2022

Blackberry and Apple Jam

 It is that time of year again, the time for making use of free pickings and offerings from friends with surplus apples.  



From an old apple orchard same brambly apples, and half an hour walk with a little picking of blackberries along the field edges, this old traditional autumn preserve our grannies must have made will be absolutely delicious cine the winter months. I've picked blackberries without fail each year, and hardly saw anyone doing the same.  It is a different story this year, and it is lovely to see whole families some with young children indulge in such a simple pastime. Yes it is most probably out of necessity, but hopefully at the same time, new and family traditions will be built.

Six on Saturday - 10 September 2022

Leafing through a free paper these few words "Gardening is like a game of poker.  You've got to hold your nerve" written by Ritula Shah, I looked out across the garden and thought that is a bang on description of my 2022 Gardening 'Game'. I don't play poker but I was on the verge of loosing my nerve last week, and just had to take a break and maybe to be point I've had a bout of pain just after I thought I was recovering.  However my chums with their weekly Six things on Saturday from the garden all under the Prop's are often playing the right cards of encouragement.


1. At last rain has arrived.  There is beauty in watching the rain drops and imaging them penetrating the hard baked earth. Even watching the rain pitting patting against the conservatory or dripping on the new table is a thing of beauty. The succulents were removed as they were drowning in water.  Luckily most are in smaller pots or I would have had Mr S's wagging finger, and have been placed under the porch .








2. From my favourite vantage point under the conservatory, I have a long view of the gravel garden, and this clump of  Allium senescens montanum var glaucum, here taken through the double glazing. Planted in 2020, it is now probably as large as I would want it to grow.  I'll be dividing this next spring.












3.  Erodium Fran's Delight rather drastically cut back, it too had outgrown its space.  I wonder if it will survive? I need to hold my nerve. It may grow back, maybe I played this card at the wrong time of the year?  I've placed a few cuttings in the open ground some way away, and hopefully there will be a new plant to take its place if it fails.  I do have a rooted cutting now flowering which was created in the same way last year.  It did survive in the open ground which hopefully can be relied on to continue the line.


4.  There is a nice show of blue against autumn coloured leaves as with this Aster King George and the Dogwood Cornus Sanguina Midwinter Fire, again taken through the glass.







5.  This Summer the Pelargoniums Capricorn did very well, and a few weeks ago I took some cuttings.  They have taken very nicely and this week I potted up the best four separately,  but still couldn't resist setting a few more.

6.  Suddenly seeds are germinating, where other plants had been given a bucket of water, and taking full advantage of gaps such as this nasturtium: what a bonus to have fresh new plants for free late in the season.


That's it folks, off to The Bishop's Palace Plant Fair tomorrow, to view delectable plants and maybe get tempted. 

Sunday, 4 September 2022

Classics from a Home Kitchen - Cucumber Salad

I hardly leafed through this week's Waitrose free paper, that I had wedged it between the washing machine and the utility sink unit waiting to act as my food waste liner, but this morning I remembered a title to an article called 'Classics from a home Kitchen'. Well I couldn't remember the exact quote, so it came out this morning and I've found plenty of articles to while away the post Sunday lunch sitting at the table time.  

This week's lunch on Sunday will consist of smoked trout Pâté, on delicious toast from home made bread, with a little cucumber salad as a side. Just as the Lemon Meringue Pie made during the week, a quick but delicious cucumber salad is one of the 'Classics from my home kitchen'.

I made this salad with just these combinations during the week, and there is no apology for making it again today to compliment the smoked trout Pâté.

Using a home grown outdoor ridge cucumber, peeled with a potato peeler, and cut into chunks.



In the serving dish, I spooned out a tablespoon of sheep's yogurt and mixed it with equal amounts of mayonnaise.  To this I added a tablespoon chopped mint from the garden and this is the little addition that adds that special flavour, a few dill seeds ripe but freshly harvested from the garden. This should not be seasoned but allowed to steep for an hour or so for the flavours to blend.  A little sprinkling of cayenne just before serving is all that is necessary.

These little stainless steel dishes with fitting lids are constantly used in our kitchen, useful for storing, in the fridge or in the freezer, when the contents can also go into the oven for reheating, and also serving straight to the table.  These I believe are obtainable as Puri dishes from Indian Outlets.  These are old, and just stainless lids and no silicone rings have nothing to cause deterioration. These are over 40 years old now.

I shall be making a pea and cucumber soup, in which the peelings will add a great cucumber taste.

Friday, 2 September 2022

Lemon Meringue Pie

 I tend to make Lemon Meringue Pie when my sister visits, so it is some time since I last made one.  Maybe I have made it just the once in between, but it took me ages to psych myself up to make another one, and realised that it was not having the exact details of some of the small things to hand.  

One thing I dithered over was the size of the tin to use, for my future reference it is the smaller of the deep fluted Silverwood flan tins the one measuring about 20cm. 


Remembering just how good Clive Mellum's pastry was, I opted for this again but could not recall how much as required, so went ahead and made 300g of flour up, but I have pastry to spare, and using 200g flour, 100g butter, 50g caster sugar, and 25g beaten egg, will be sufficient for this tin size. I did think that using plain organic flour would be good, but the pastry was far too short and difficult to roll without it breaking up.  Clive's recipe is partly to demonstrate how technique affects how flour behaves, and all his recipes including the pastry one does use strong flour, and therefore when I made this again, it will have to be with strong white flour.


My second quandary was regarding  the lemon filling and meringue on the top.  I couldn't remember which book I took it from, and checked various ones, but lemon meringue pie is not in many of the more up to date books I have, but I did find a good one in Leiths Baking Bible, p 116.  The curd was easy to make and the meringue included an unusual addition of a cooked cornflour paste.

The proof in is in the pudding, and between our friends Colin and Julie, we made a very good indent with a piece small enough to have for a late snack for Mr S. The meringue held very well for the day and did not weep. 


Monday, 29 August 2022

Elderberry Cordial

We love a little warm beverage in the evening during the winter, and these bottles will be stashed away till then.



After sharing my recipe with some friends and hearing about all the health benefits of Elderberries, a fine stand of plump black elderberries yielded sufficient for my little stash of winter elderberry syrup.  


Lee Hooker wrote the following which I am including in its entirety.

ELDERBERRY CORDIAL

 

When elderberries are at their lusciously dark, glossy best they are irresistible, the only tricky bit is deciding what to make with this foraged bounty, will it be jams, jellies, syrups, cordials or wine?

 

Mary Poppins advice that ‘a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down’ was very much in mind as we picked the first batch of this year’s harvest specifically for medicinal rather than culinary use. Sambucol* Black cordial has a long and impressive history of boosting immunity against ‘flu and respiratory disease thanks to its antioxidant and antiviral properties. [*Sambucus translates as ‘gift of the gods’]. Whilst on the linguistics theme, Cordial derives from Medieval Latin, Cordialis meaning ‘heartfelt’.





Since the arrival of novel Covid-19 disease, described by Dr Chris Whitty as a mild seasonal ‘flu, interest has increased in using herbal remedies in preference to pharmaceutical or mechanical interventions. This significant shift has been endorsed by the NHS Foundation Trust at East Kent who trialled this remedy as a treatment for Covid-19 because of its immune-boosting reputation.

 

Our immune systems benefit from extra amounts of the flavonoid Quercetin taken with Zinc. Together they act as an anti-thrombotic needed to regulate adaptive immune cell functions. Plant polyphenols with this flavonoid have the ability to inhibit viral replication at various stages in respiratory diseases such as influenza. Published research articles record its role in inhibiting cellular entry of SARS -CoV-2 and reducing upper respiratory symptoms but there is a caution to heed, elderberries are toxic if consumed raw, they contain sambunigrin but cooking eliminates these cyanogenic glycosides.

 

Israeli virologist, Dr. Madeleine Mumcuoglu, of Hadassah-Hebrew University, found that elderberry disarms the enzyme viruses use to penetrate healthy cells in the lining of the nose and throat. Taken before infection, it prevents infection. Taken after infection, it prevents spread of the virus through the respiratory tract. In a clinical trial, 93.3% of study subjects claimed complete cure or significant improvement within 2-3 days. In contrast, subjects receiving the placebo required 6 days or more to recover.

 

 ELDERBERRY CORDIAL

 

When elderberries are at their lusciously dark, glossy best they are irresistible, the only tricky bit is deciding what to make with this foraged bounty, will it be jams, jellies, syrups, cordials or wine?

 

Mary Poppins advice that ‘a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down’ was very much in mind as we picked the first batch of this year’s harvest specifically for medicinal rather than culinary use. Sambucol* Black cordial has a long and impressive history of boosting immunity against ‘flu and respiratory disease thanks to its antioxidant and antiviral properties. [*Sambucus translates as ‘gift of the gods’]. Whilst on the linguistics theme, Cordial derives from Medieval Latin, Cordialis meaning ‘heartfelt’.

Since the arrival of novel Covid-19 disease, described by Dr Chris Whitty as a mild seasonal ‘flu, interest has increased in using herbal remedies in preference to pharmaceutical or mechanical interventions. This significant shift has been endorsed by the NHS Foundation Trust at East Kent who trialled this remedy as a treatment for Covid-19 because of its immune-boosting reputation.

 Our immune systems benefit from extra amounts of the flavonoid Quercetin taken with Zinc. Together they act as an anti-thrombotic needed to regulate adaptive immune cell functions. Plant polyphenols with this flavonoid have the ability to inhibit viral replication at various stages in respiratory diseases such as influenza. Published research articles record its role in inhibiting cellular entry of SARS -CoV-2 and reducing upper respiratory symptoms but there is a caution to heed, elderberries are toxic if consumed raw, they contain sambunigrin but cooking eliminates these cyanogenic glycosides.

Israeli virologist, Dr. Madeleine Mumcuoglu, of Hadassah-Hebrew University, found that elderberry disarms the enzyme viruses use to penetrate healthy cells in the lining of the nose and throat. Taken before infection, it prevents infection. Taken after infection, it prevents spread of the virus through the respiratory tract. In a clinical trial, 93.3% of study subjects claimed complete cure or significant improvement within 2-3 days. In contrast, subjects receiving the placebo required 6 days or more to recover.

 

 


 

ELDERBERRY CORDIAL RECIPE
[adapted from Noelle’s and others]



Fresh ‘black’ European elderberries

Granulated Sugar [sufficient for preserving shelf-life]

Cloves and other spicy additions [see List below]

Water

 

VARIANTS LIST

Sumac [added to cold infusions for high Vit C content]

Dried echinacea root [immune stimulant]

Dried ginseng root [immune stimulant]

Allspice, Fennel seeds, Cinnamon sticks, Nutmeg, Ginger

 

 Pick berries that are glossy, almost black, reject red and green berries.

     Strip the berries from their stalks with a fork or by hand. I prefer hand-stripping for quality control. [stalked berries can be frozen which makes stripping them extremely easy]

     Wash the berries, unripe ones tend to float to the top along with stray stems and perhaps insects.

     Skim these off, drain, re-wash.

     Put berries in a preserving or thick-based pan with enough water to just cover them 

     Gently mash the berries with a potato masher to release their juice whilst simmering on low heat for 20 minutes

         Strain the elderberry mixture through a muslin-lined sieve/straining bag into a jug or separate pan, squeeze the muslin to extract all the juice

         For each pint of juice, add 1lb of sugar and 12 cloves [optional Variants list below] I add the juice and rind of two small oranges, one lemon, 2 cinnamon sticks, all spice and fennel seeds

         Boil the mixture for 10 minutes until it starts to thicken [add citrus juice if necessary]

         Allow the mixture to cool. Strain it again through muslin sieve to achieve a smooth syrupy liquid, pour into sterilised bottles, add more cloves if desired  then top up with brandy or cherry liqueur to further extend and preserve its shelf life [up to two years if kept in a cool, dark place]

 

If you over-boiled the syrup and invented elderberry toffee along the way, well done, have some apples on sticks ready to hand!

 We just celebrated a house purchase with a glass of Kir Royale made with champagne and our newly-bottled elderberry syrup, the ultimate health tonic. The cordial is also delicious poured over buttermilk soft pancakes and waffles. Next to try on the culinary list is Elderberry panna cotta which substitutes elderberry cordial for the sweet element in recipes.

Thank you Noelle for suggesting All spice, fennel seeds, cinnamon sticks, all of which went into my Elderberry cordials. We’re about to forage our garden for our third batch of elderberries for cordials and will keep going through September until nature closes the supply.

 


In a Vase on Monday - Sea Shells and Oyster Shells

 Of Sea Shells and Oyster Shells....

Script above ' Lobster'!

One's mind can pleasantly wander and create a posy, bring forward pleasant memories stashed away, which is all part of the slow joy of this weekly meme.  Conceived and hosted by Cathy who also wanders through her garden twice a week for this meme, and also to join in with Six on Saturday hosted by another enthusiast. 

Today is Bank Holiday in the UK , and a leisurely breakfast in the garden justified a 'garden' posy.  Cosmos 'Sea Shells' are the star this week.



Joining the sea shells in the vase are Sedum Bertram Anderson, Dianthus Superbus, Aster King George, and leaves from Centaurea Silver Feather which went spare when I was potting up some cuttings yesterday.

Around the base of the vase are some old Oyster Shells which I picked up from the beach at Mersea Island.  We went there are visiting Beth Chatto's garden last year and spent a couple of delightful hours just walking along the edge and viewing a mini regatta of red sailed barges.  

"Oyster shells had collected in vast quantities on the beach. Found on Thames beaches only as a reminder of 19th century diets, the oyster shells of Mersea were displacing the shingle, forming a protective bulwark around a fragile island. The Romans, arriving in Essex to deal with the Iceni, stayed to fortify Colchester and had laid oyster beds at Mersea, where they liked to come on holiday. Oyster farming rights on Mersea dated back to Edward the Confessor, and shellfish were the fabric of the island." Edge Walking #3 Mersea Island by Tom Bolton

I am a 'gatherer' and here I gathered shells old oyster shells some had pebbles embeded in them, others had smaller oysters growing on them. I place the shells often on the gravel to mark the position of choice bulbs, or place them on the garden to deter the many birds from digging around the patches of cuttings I place directly in the soil.

Saturday, 27 August 2022

Six on Saturday - last one in August

How the month has slipped by so quickly I can't explain.  Wistfully hoping for a good soaking for depite a sharp shower in which I got drenched when I was but a mile from home, here, the garden recovered from its hour of mizzle to end up within a couple of hours as dry as ever. I know it will have rained in other parts, and I look forward to reading Jon's post and those of other gardeners later today and during the week.

Here are my Six on Saturday.

1. How long before it is time to bring the succulents indoors?  Some are now on the shelf with some just on the gravel.


2. Acer Corner and its bed are looking weather worn, with many perennials and the annuals cut back to ground level having withered in the searing heat and drought.


Acer itself has done surprisingly well  considering it has not been watered, but maybe the oak on the other side of the wall has given it some shade and who knows what the underground microfungi are doing?

Right towards the front the Heritage Chrysanthemums Picasso which I am 'holding and expanding' for the HPS too are in full sight now all the cosmos have succumbed. I managed to hand back three good plants early this year, from my original the previous year.


3. We weresitting at the round table in the garden yesterday afternoon, having a cup of tea  my dearly beloved and I spied.  Suddenly I saw an unusual small half slug half caterpillar type creature. One of my pear trees has Pear Slug Sawfly and then I found a lone one on the other tree.  


Using the search term half slug half caterpillar, I was able to identify the culprit/

The larvae are important pests that eat the leaves of commercial crops such as cherry, pear, and plum trees, leaving behind a skeleton of veins. The larvae cover themselves in green slime, making themselves unpalatable to predators. When the larvae are fully grown, they drop off the tree on the ground and pupate underground. The adult sawfly emerges from the pupal case and climbs from the soil to mate and lays eggs on the leaves of the host plant, completing the lifecycle.


When I investigated the other pear tree I found another problem!  Could be Fire Blight?


4. I felt it was time to repot the Trapaeolum tricolor, and when upended the pot there were these three large tubours.  They are in a new pot now, and will be destined for the conservatory when bloom start to appear.


5. With their roots constantly in water, these plants have enjoyed the hot weather. I am on the hunt for a suitable container to accommodate the original large one, and the three smaller ones bought earlier this year.


6.  Before the first cucumber plant had tired itself out, or at least looked as if it would stop fruiting, I bought a small plant for £1.50 from the market stall, and by having these plants in succession,  I shall be picking cucumbers from late May going into September.  It is growing outdoors up a string anchored to the outside edge of the conservatory.





Thursday, 25 August 2022

Dinner with Friends

 Last night we had a delightful evening with friends here.  I have days when I am inspired to cook and feel happiest in the kitchen, and yesterday was one of them.  Even before I set off for the market, I knew I wanted to cook a feast to local produce.  

We had enjoyed the bounty from other gardens and had produce in ours too.  Walking along the lanes, we took up offers of tomatoes and apples from two different front garden tables over the last couple of days, just what our hands could hold, leaving plenty for other people.  

We had beetroot and courgettes from our gardens, and tomatillos and white Hungarian peppers dropped round from Tim and Lee's only a few days previously. I dropped them an email early and set off to the market for my weekly local produce, not even knowing whether they were available or canted to come.

I bought a kilo minced meat from Perridge Farm, which is only 4 miles away.  They have a stall in the market and last week we had a steak which was probably one of the best we had had. A couple of excellent cheeses from the Bartlett Brothers again with Wotton Organics being in eye sight of home.

Arriving home, I cooked the mince with my usual mixture of herbs, carrots, celery, onion, tomato passatta, pancetta etc, and all I can say I was spoiled, and for beef, this will be the source for us from now on.  I portion this up and freeze excess to form the basis for future meals.

Then an email accepting the invitation arrived, saying they were vegetarians.  That got my creative energy surging, and with a little inventiveness using store cupboard ingredients, plus pulses ready cooked but frozen, and  quick flip on ideas with quinoa plus a little inventiveness came up with a delicious array for our 'thanksgiving for local produce dinner.'

Menu

Quinoa with our garden courgettes with onion, and chopped salted and spiced cashews.

Roasted front garden stall tomatoes with our garden garlic, and olive oil.,

Roasted tomatilloes from their garden with garlic and olive oil

Baked White Hungarian heritage pepper from Lee and Tim, stuffed with a ragu of black beans, and lentils, onions, marsala infused raisins, spices etc topped with goat's cheese

Our garden beetroot freshly cooked, topped with walnut oil and chopped walnuts

Lee had also brought stuffed peppers with grains and pine nuts topped with pecorino

Desert

Jacket apples, from a front garden table, stuffed with my vintage mincemeat, with lashings of Mr Bird's Sauce first invented in 1837 ably made by Mr S and we had to scramble to find a jug big enough for lashing for 4 people, and the tin of Tate and Lye's Golden Syrup: 70 years Special Edition Tin was also handed round.  

Finally beautifully sun ripened grapes, with a couple of the Bartlette's best chesses, and my freshly made Einkorn Blend, walnut and garden dill seed baguettes. 

Wine brought by our guests, and jar of blackberry jam made just days ago, and this beautiful fasciated Aubergine. Weighing at over 400g, that is my next recipe challenge: Mr S doesn't care for aubergines...but he may yet be charmed!



Conversation was very convivial and free flowing, with titbits brought about such as some rainbow quinoa is being grown at a place not far away close to their village, which means there will be a cycle ride with an aim in view, why Mr Bird invented custard, how we can use tomatillos , etc etc....

A big thank you to Mr S who organised the clear up and washing up and cleaning of the kitchen, without which I would have just gone to bed and not woken up to a lovely clear kitchen, and breakfast already set out in the conservatory this morning.

A lovely day at home with a great end of appreciative dinner guests, one to remember.

Monday, 22 August 2022

In a Vase on Monday - Of Shooting Stars, with Harps and Olives

My sisters and I have had some lovely 'e-communications' this past week that have had us thinking back to our childhoods, with some memories forming the basis of this Week's In a Vase on Monday.

With very few flowers in any reasonable condition and leaves tatty and dry and mostly on the ground, it is time to show this lovely alliumi.  The name Allium carinatum  subs pulchellum ia such a mouthful I call them my shooting stars.



On my Six on Saturday last week, I showed a close up of the flowers in the garden. After guessing at their height in a reply to Anna's comment, I went armed with my tape measure when cutting the blooms in the front garden, and the tallest were around 70 cm.


The leaves are quite desiccated now, and yet the bulb has found some moisture to make the flowers. In normal years it is already growing the new season's leaves at flowering time.  I had the original three or four small seedling bulbs from Alison, and have gradually increased my stock.  It takes three to four years to yield good sized flowers.  I chose the name Shooting stars when I first saw the crazy shapes which probably are more like a little fire work.  My father used to sing 'Catch a Falling Star' to us when we were very little, and I have since found the original sung by Peri Como.

The shells are Olives and Harps: all collected washed up on the beaches. After large cyclones, a little beach combing would yield a harvest, with little arrangements made with seaweed and mostly broken shells and corals on the sand, with maybe only one or two better specimens taken home.  I have a little kilner jar of my objets trouvés which include these beach finds.

This weekly meme links up with others under Cathy's post.

Saturday, 20 August 2022

Six on Saturday - In Search of Blooms

 A couple of hours or so of rain earlier in week very soon evaporated, at least it made it more comfortable for the slugs for a day, now it is back to the normal routine of watching the weather forecast promise rain, but none falling here.  By now most readers will know that I write these weekly bulletins headed by Jon the Propagator for they are the best way of reminding myself of what went on in the garden, with pictures, which I can search later with the clever search facility, and also remind myself that some years plants worked very well, and the need to look forward with hope to another year. If these help you see what plants you may be interested in and how they look in a 'real' not a show garden, then I am also very happy.  I have learnt so much by reading other such posts on other people's blogs.

Let's stay positive and hopeful and appreciate the few flowers that are surviving for our Six on Saturday this week.

1.  Catch these shooting stars. 


Allium carinatum  subs pulchellum


I've been catching the seeds of these Alliums each year, and gradually increasing the little clumps throughout the garden.  Even the ones where the foliage dried out in the drought have flowers opening.


2. The taller Origanum laevigatum  Herrenhausen again now in several clumps is a magnet of interesting hover flies, bees, etc.

 


3. Although bleached out by the strong sun, this dianthus is a favourite of the large Humming Bird Hawkmoths which seemed to appear at the same time these flowers started to open a couple of weeks ago.


Dianthus superbus 

4. The Eryngium Planum Tetre Petra was staked early in the season, and with its large number of blooms is a clear favourite of so many insects too.



5. King George is not quite standing to attention, but that has meant a few stems are languishing in the shade of other plants relishing the cooler conditions there.


6.  I'm not sure whether to be happy or fed up that this plant on the corner of the gravel garden just doesn't know when to stop flowering. I'm happy that it is the longest flowering plant in the garden, starting in the spring, and flowering until I very late in the autumn. Erodium Fran's Delight never fails to please.



A weekly task of dead heading required attention before the sun creeped round. 


Around the garden leaves are drying up, and looking like the Autumn is upon on us. I am already wondering what the next week will bring....