Sunday, June 22, 2014

Summer Solstice.

Sweet Rocket.
Where has the year gone, already we are at the halfway mark, the longest day is past. The garden is looking very colourful and the air is filled with the perfume of roses.
Somehow we have managed to collect  at least twenty six different varieties of roses, many of these I have done from cuttings.
Albertine Rose
We often spot old roses growing around  deserted farms and cottages, we normally have a pair of secateurs in the car so if we see a nice rose we can take a couple of cuttings from it, now is the ideal time to take half ripe cuttings from roses, dianthus, and clematis. I'm sure there are plenty of other plants as well that do at this time of year, but these are the ones that we go for.
The soft fruit is doing well, we have already picked some blackcurrants and gooseberries, lightly cooked together to be served over
Crema  Catalana, this is more or less the same a Crème Brulee, which is a posh way of saying egg custard. What ever you call it is  delicious, especially served with summer fruits. It is so nice having your own fruit and veg,
Fresh from the garden.
it cant come any fresher than tonight's meal and only the milk was not home produced coming from a farm just twenty miles away. Not a plastic container in sight, even the milk comes in glass bottles which are returned to be reused.
Pippa and Poppy.
The donkeys are enjoying the fresh grass growth and the sunshine, they had their six monthly pedicure last week, although they always feel better afterwards this is not something that they enjoy having done although Paddy the German farrier is great with them.
Over a decade ago Ireland became the first European country to introduce the plastic bag tax, this was supposed to cut down on the use of plastic. It has failed, OK, so you have to pay for plastic bags, and most people now have shopping bags, but this is a futile exercise given that almost all fruit and veg from a super market comes in plastic containers.
 We have two shops, one a fruit and veg shop and one supermarket that give us their green waste for the pigs, and we are very grateful for it but the plastic that comes with it is astounding. We always separate our waste, we have very little, one black plastic bin liner takes us six weeks to fill, since collecting green waste for the pigs we have a sack full every week. 
It is twenty one years since we last had pigs, once a week we collected green waste from an importer, there was no plastic in sight.
 Given the amount of fruit and veg that we get each week from our two shops clearly the use of containers or plastic wrapped fruit and veg is not to save on wasting food, so I wonder what purpose it does serve.
We are now holding our breath that the weather forecast might be correct, we need rain! Again!!
 Unfortunately we have to replant some of the veg crops, purple sprouting broccoli, spinach, turnips and swede, our young male rabbits managed to escape and had a feast, but there is little point in replanting until we can be sure of some rain, promised for Wednesday, I wonder if it will come. 


  1. would'nt mind a bit of rain ourselves, it always gives the crops a boost, much better than any watering. Must take some softwood cuttings myself. They take so well at this time. You should make some cordial from your roses, had some at Saffs the other day and it was delicious.

    1. Well our wish has been granted Bridget, rain at last. Now we can get the washing done without worrying that we will run out of water, the one disadvantage of depending on rain water. Already the plants are looking better, you can see them giving a sigh of relief.

  2. Some tips on propagating from cuttings, please. I took some, tried to keep them watered but they´re all crispy already.

    Love the donkeys.

  3. I have a propagator which I use for some things, dianthus and clematis are in it at the moment, for more woody things like roses I cut below a leaf joint leave three pairs of leafs on, but I shorten them so they don't lose moisture through the leafs take out the tips, rooting hormone on the bottom end, not too much, then into a pot of good compost and sand 50/50 water well and keep in the coolest place out of sun that you have, make sure to keep them damp, but not too wet or they will rot. Let me know what it is you are trying to propagate and I will see if I can help.

  4. The pictures of your roses are beautiful. I too have found old rose plants growing near old stone walls, have rooted some and now enjoy them in my yard. I also get fruits and veg from from my local co-op and its has lots of bio=degradable plastic bags but they still have to be picked out and disposed of properly/ We need rain too

    1. None of the packaging we are getting is biodegradable and we know from the past that it is expensive. Twelve years ago we used to sell ready prepared Blackcurrants, the plastic boxes that we used were seven cents a piece, hate to think how much they are now.
      I love roses BUT they have to be perfumed, we have one which is a beautiful dark red, one I had bought to go up the front of the cottage, it was supposed to be perfumed but alas, no scent at all.

  5. I love that you can somehow, almost casually, at least twenty six varieties of roses!! Brilliant. Lovely pictures, I like the colour of the sweet rocket, it's huge! The desert looks tasty, one Jason likes xx

    1. Roses I find are the easiest things to propagate I hope the Sweet Rocket seeds well, I would love it all round the straw bale barn.