Sunday, November 28, 2010

Reports are finished

Only three weeks of school to go! Sorry for the two week gap between news reports- all of the school work has been making me computer-shy and rather jaded about typing. Arrangements for Christmas are being made and next weekend I intend to begin celebrating Christmas in our house with the erection of the Christmas tree. I would love a real tree, but as it is summer and I like my Christmas to last right through December and some of January as well, pine needles everywhere and a very crispy looking skeleton of a tree would be the result before we even got to Christmas day.

On the summer front, it has been lovely and hot here. In other words I have felt boiled alive and was out gardening this evening until it was too dark to see because during the day I am extremely uncomfortable in the heat of the sun. I planted a few seeds and plants and did some watering. Last night I made some delicious lamb kebabs with a marinade of yoghurt (yuck says Mum) and Moroccan spices. We cooked them on the bbq. We had them with puy lentils- yes Johnny ate lentils and like them!!!!! They are nutty and tasty. Plus a salad from the garden, of course. I was very proud of this romanesco broccoli that appeared on a plant leftover from the winter crop. Wow!
This is the raised bed with some of my lettuce plantation. The slugs are appearing in such numbers I've been wondering if anyone has considered sauteeing them with butter and garlic. I can't use conventional slug bait with a Labrador around. I've got velvety black pansies, and tall, whippy garlic plants, plus some daikon, beetroot and garlic chives in as well as the lettuces.
This is a daikon or Japanese radish. The root is about a foot long. Delicious too - crunchy with just a little heat. They grow like mad - imagine how little radishes grow and multiply the size of the plant by about a thousand. Very rewarding and good to fill me up at lunchtime in my salads.

Now if anyone can explain the appearance of these beauties I'd love to hear it. In 2008 I put in a punnet of soldier poppies. Then when I got the box plants off Mrs CT they were joined by some orange toned shirley poppies. Just a few. This year I've got poppies everywhere- orange, red, pink, burgundy, white and these double ones. I didn't plant them. I'm not complaining at all, they are stunning, but I am very surprised at the development of the poppy empire in my garden. They are like a flu virus, spreading like wildfire and bullying everyone in their path. I have to sometimes come in and show them who is boss, which secretly breaks my heart, but I try to look stern and decisive in case any more get ideas above their station. These ones I am welcoming with great joy. The pink one is actually the same size as the white one, but the camera has to work hard at night and does weird things.
Remember Mrs Bird and her one egg. Well now we've got a family of four rapidly growing, charming, but rather challenged in the beauty department, baby thrushes. I thought they were blackbirds, but Johnny said he spotted Mr Bird working damn hard along with his wife, feeding the gaping maws of his offspring with worms. You can see their beaks poised ready to receive another helping of my hardworking garden helpers. Fortunately their eyes were shut when the flash went off. Mr and Mrs Bird spent considerable time making heartwrenching alarm cries today as I tried to get on with my outside activities. They are nervy creatures who make me feel guilty even hanging up the washing.

I really hope the dear wee family make it to maturity and are the next generation to give the slugs a good hiding.

On my Christmas list this year (first draft)
2 blueberry bushes (they do better with a mate)
Other fruiting plants.
English rose bushes (ones I haven't got, obviously)
Books (another list to come)
Jewellery- the more carats the better
A new car with air conditioning.
Pretty scarves, handbags, accessories.
Vintage china- especially primula or chintz designs.
A very very pretty china teapot (vintage of course)
Big flowered clematis plants
Interesting perennials.
Bedtime. Have a great week.


Jenny at Red House said...

You love your garden so much you can really tell! hope you get all your christmas goodies, notice you slipped a new car in there, tee hee! jennyx

Anonymous said...

Hey there...the garden is looking fantastic and so are the amazing veges!!
I was very pleased to see your Christmas wish list as well...we have pressies for most of the family but I needed some ideas for you, though you are easy to shop for!!
Good luck for the final weeks of term, roll on weasel time.