Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Lots can change in a week.

Flowers this week have to be the Dahlias.
A week go we were struggling to find courgettes for the local agricultural show, suddenly we have a glut, but they aren't the nice small ones,
they have ideas of grandeur and tried to become marrows, some of them were just flowers a week ago, now they have taken over. Unfortunately courgettes are not the easiest things to give away, all our friends grow them and have the same problem. We could freeze them, to be forgotten until space is needed in the freezer, but the hens like them so that seems to be the better solution. We had the same problem with runner beans, just a week ago all we could find for the show was a handful, now we can eat them daily and have already given away a couple of pounds to some friends.
Summer vegetables all seem to mature at the same time, we are spoilt for choice,  what shall we have tonight? Cauliflower, runner beans, courgettes, chard, or garden peas, the list goes on. There is such a thing as too much choice.
This year we made the decision not to incubate anything other than the Quail, we have a good source for the Hubbard table birds which we buy in as day olds, we were also given a contact by  'The Friendly Farmer' for day old ducklings. The Friendly Farmer now does all our processing of table birds for us. Buying ducklings in as day olds means they are a fairly uniform size depending on sex. On Sunday we took the chickens and ducks on their final journey, they will be ready for us tomorrow, all nicely bagged and freezer ready.
 When we got home Simon had the usual evening chores to do, scratch feed for the hens and ducks,top up of water etc.,he then discovered that one of our Muscovy's had hatched a clutch of eggs, it wasn't until today when he sorted out a goose proof run for the new arrivals that he found out just how well she had done,
ten ducklings out of eleven eggs. I don't quite know what we will do with this unexpected arrival, we have all the duck meat that we need for the next year, so we will probally sell them at one of the poultry sales. They are so cute, all yellow and fluffy, we can't  get a good photo of them as mum is extremely protective. We will have to do another batch of Hubbard's this year, as apart from six birds all the others have been sold to various Organic friends, word soon goes round as we have found in the past when you have Organic birds for sale, although we are no longer registered, we are well known enough to be trusted that what we are selling is not only done to basic Organic standards, but higher than is required.
All the outside onions have now been harvested, along with the ones which we grew in the tunnel we have more than enough for the year. The outside ones were grown from sets but were first planted into individual modules,  then planted out when they had a good root system, this seems to have given them a very good start, the wild birds were unable to pull them out which is what normally happens, so the onions get replanted several times and we often lose a few by direct planting, we will certainly use this method in the future. I don't remember who's Blog I picked this tip up from, but many thanks for the tip!
We are now picking lots of peaches and eating a lot,
they taste wonderful, nothing like the dull ones sold in shops.
The early summer flowers are now giving way to  the late bloomers,
Lucifer looks lovely,
especially when planted next to Hypericum or Aconite,
I will have to check the label of this one but I think it's called Potluck.

The Bishop, I love the dark foliage.
Add caption
the Dahlias are all looking great
and the perfumed lilies are now in full bloom.
The Passion flower
and Oleander are also putting on a great show.
Kiftsgate now supported.
Simon finished building the new rose arch and Kiftsgate now has a secure support. Everything has grown so much this year, a sever hacking back is needed, the Rosa Rugosa has also gone crazy, we have suckers all over the place, these will get dug out in the Autumn and replanted into the bank at the back of the cottage.
I've used Goldfinger on this one, I will keep experimenting.
Watching Country File a couple of weeks ago gave me an idea for a new craft project, making castings of seed heads, flowers, foliage and seed heads, I'm still experimenting with different plant materials and finishes, but it could be a nice winter project.
The art of relaxation, Zara has a cat nap.
How much is that doggie in the window? Meg looking cute.


  1. Awww, those little ducklings, I wouldn't be able to part with them, nor would I be able to take chickens and ducks I'd reared myself on their final journey, I'm just too sentimental. We're big meat eaters but I couldn't raise anything for the table myself, I'm too soft. Talking of cute, Meg looks like a little ornament sat on the window sill, bless. Your dahlias are fabulous, gorgeous colours and a good variety.

    1. The duckling are so cute, Simon thinks he might has miscounted, there might be eleven. We raise our own poultry as unfortunately we know how commercial poultry is raised, if we had to buy meat from a shop we would go vegetarian. Meg can be very cute, she also can tell the time! I am very pleased with the Dahlias, I have grown the whole lot in large pots, planting in the ground they would have been decimated by slugs, especially this year.

  2. What a grand surprise of the ducklings. The peaches look wonderful. In my area we won't have a peach crop this year. The winter was to warm and not enough snow cover. Zara is beautiful in her zen position and the picture of Meg is adorable Cheers

    1. The ducklings are real cute and as you said a real surprise. Zara is beautiful in any pose, and she knows it. Meg is a lovely dog, such a nice temperament and she likes to have fun.

  3. Gosh there is so much you could teach me. Why do you have to be on the other side of the world!!!!! No fair.

  4. Missing your blog Lynda, how has your winter been this year?

  5. The peaches look great! Glad you get to enjoy them this year! The flowers are just beautiful, so much colour. I really love the Dahlias x Lauren