Tuesday 30 August 2011

A tree house....a garden....and the coming season.

 Sleeping in the tree house with the children was fun.    Tiring but fun......
Butterfly cakes are a family tradition. Thank you mother, midnight feasts were most enjoyable.
Old troll guards the tree house whilst the children are not around.  He tired of hiding under the bridge waiting for Billy goat Gruff :)    Tku David for making him.
Next Spring Poppi and I will landscape the decks with old fashioned roses.   At last somewhere to grow them, well away from bunnies harm.
Summer still has a hold on the garden.
Yet I can smell and feel autumn, she has entered the garden in a gentle, subtle way.
September is my favourite month of the year........
where summer clings and autumn makes her approach.
A time for reflection, a touch of nostalgia, a sense of peace.
Time to gather seeds for next Spring, to collect berries to make herbal tinctures.   Tku Lucinda, you are an absolute treasure and an inspiration.
The old girl has done herself proud, her apples are perfection.   I am blessed to have her.
Even the old pear tree has produced a wonderful crop this year.   September, a breath away, my welcome mat is ready.........

Thursday 25 August 2011

What a find .......

A few weeks ago I decided I needed to do some work in the copse.   Rabbit runs etc make this a very difficult area to work, but I did need to clear some of undergrowth, which was totally out of control.    Whilst working I spied this tree trunk and realised I had never noticed it before.    Why, I don't know, I just hadn't.     I looked up at the entangled canopy and could not see the boughs of this very large tree.      Now I was intrigued......first thing to do was get my camera.
Gosh, it's huge, how on earth did I not notice it.         To my amazement there in all it's glory was a medlar tree.    Medlar's were very popular during the Medieval period.    The fruit is picked around November.    It is left to soften before becoming edible.    The softening is called 'bletting'.    The flesh is as soft as a baked apple.    The flavour is refreshing, like an old fashioned apple sauce with cinnamon.      The fruit may have been cultivated as far back as thirty centuries ago.
 During the last few weeks I have been in touch with several tree specialists and the Woodland Trust and they all seem to be of the same opinion, this is an extremely old tree.
Let me leave you with the last paragraph from one of the letters from the Woodland Trust.

Medlars first started being grown in Britain in 995, so it's quite possible that your tree was planted in the garden for the property (medieval period), and it has later become incorporated into the copse.

I feel so honoured to have this ancient tree in the garden.....but I do have one problem how on earth can I reach the fruit to pick it?

Friday 12 August 2011

Sunday safari

Sunday safari will now be posted on ' SANCTUARY'.     I will show images of insects, birds etc that I have managed to capture, with my camera,  during the week.    I hope that you will join me there.

No need to tell you what the weather is doing  :)

Sunday 7 August 2011

Sunday safari

We took the parents out for brunch today.    We sat by the river.
Himalayan balsam was very much in evidence.   I do hope they keep an eye on it, as it will take over and crowd out native wildflowers. 
It is lovely to see so many swans.
I thought of my friend across the pond.  
 When I visited my blogging friends last year I came home with thoughts of bringing a little bit of prairie to my garden.    I knew I would have to be careful as I wanted to keep my 'English cottage garden' type planting.   So I decided to have mixed planting.
 The borders either side of the pond are the result.     Ribbon grass, prairie plants, native wildflowers and perennials come together.      This planting is about friendship.......a reminder of the time I spent with very special people.    Not all the plantings are in flower yet, there are many waiting in the wings.   Let me show you just a few.........
Butterfly weed.....grown from seeds from Rose.    My absolute favourite.   I love this plant and cannot wait for butterflies to visit.
Black-eyed Susan.
Verbena Bonariensis alongside butterfly weed....the perfect couple.
Liatris....love the white.
English lavender....it just had to be there.
Bistort, one of my favourite native wildflowers.
Corn marigold and native marsh mallow.
 Now this has me foxed.   I did not plant this pretty little bloom.     Any ideas please?
Looks like some sort of Dianthus to me.

Happy Sunday safari.

Thursday 4 August 2011

Tick, tock........

I can hear the clock ticking.   Yesterday all I could hear was the sound of children's laughter.
 We sat beneath the old apple tree and had a picnic.    We ate strawberries, blueberries, english cherries and fairy cakes my mother had made.
The old girl is laden with fruit.    In the autumn the children and I will pick apples and make a crumble.
The old tree is sacred to me, I have great respect for her.   I see changes.........we walk the path of old age together.
Temperatures have been high for the last few days.......30C (90F)
Today it is much cooler and it is raining.   I like summer rain.
I wonder how long the butterfly has been sitting on the flower.    Poor thing.   I carefully cut the stem and take flower and butterfly to the shed for shelter.   I leave the door open, she can take flight when the time is right.
The bees have done well.....the warm Spring was good in many ways.
A garden full of gifts.......
I cannot remember, in recent times,  when there was such an abundance of produce.
I watched the greenfinches feeding on the hips in the rain...... 
 I plan to use the haws for herbal medicine.    I believe in the power of nature........
 I put my faith in her each and every day.
I have found gardening quite challenging this year.   The dry Spring,  the cold, wet summer have left me feeling rather confused.    Each year is a journey, each year holds new experiences.      I never tire of the garden.....it can frustrate me at times, but always I love it.