London (change)

Shrinking Violet

Latest posts by Shrinking Violet

Wartime Farm

Posted: 05/09/2012 at 20:08

I loved the previous series, so look forward to this one.  Having been born just after the war, I remember the privations that still existed for many long years.  The flower nursery at the end of the garden was just a tiny bit too small to be forced into food production.  I don't know what they did grow - but they certainly kept chickens, which attracted the rats, which attracted the cats - which is why our moggie had lacy ears - the trophies of many fights with competing toms!  This was in North London.  I looked the area up on Google Earth - built on and unrecognisable!

Relatives in Kent were very much part of the food production imperative.  And they lived beneath "Bomb Alley" - the flight path of the Doodlebugs - so it wasn't without its dangers!  Re-visiting the area around Coxheath some years ago, it was hard to imaging it as producing anything - except houses! 

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 05/09/2012 at 19:44

Hot and sunny here in the West.  Wall-to-wall sunshine.  Bliss.  After all the work in the garden I decided to make the most of the good weather, and spent much of the day reading (with a glass of chilled white wine at my elbow) or having a leisurely lunch on the patio.  Looks set fair for the rest of the week, too.

Hope you feel better Maud to enjoy this fleeting reminder of summer! 

Btw my hardy fuchsias have never looked better - so they, at least, must have relished the rain. 

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 03/09/2012 at 19:48

Glorious day here in sunny Somerset.  And some real warmth in the sun, too.  I'd almost forgotten what it feels like!

Gave the front garden a good sorting out.  It faces north, and can be cold unless there is real warmth.  It was so good, I stayed out much longer than intended.  One trailer load of green stuff taken for recycling.  All the rain had put lots of growth on the shrubs etc.  But it looks so much tidier now.  Looking good for the rest of the week - hope to take a trip to RHS Rosemoor on Friday. 

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 31/08/2012 at 21:47

Lovely day - lots of sunshine, which clouded over from time to time - but it was a treat to have the brightness and relative warmth.  Good day for drying washing, and it's now all ironed, too, so lots of self-awarded brownie points!

Cleared what was left of the sweet pea plants, cleared a lot of excess foliage at the bottom of the tomato plants, and spent a goodly amount of time going round the garden dead-heading - a never-ending task.

Sat down this evening to enjoy a feast of gardening programmes:  Hidcote for a full hour, Mastermind for amusing interlude, and GW.  Bliss.  (Monty is much more relaxed in his own garden - his personality has grown on me.)

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 30/08/2012 at 23:29

Grandad's magic green fingers, eh Frank?  I bet the memory will stay with her for the rest of her life - and what a wonderful memory to have.

When my son was a young Beaver Scout, he was helped by the leaders to plant a daffodil.  It came home in the pot, and he had to nurture it in readiness for next spring.  It did so well, it flowered weeks before he was due to take it back to Beavers, so we had to take a photo to prove that it had flowered.  He (now mid twenties) still remembers it - and we still have the photos to remember it by.  Now - where did all those years go???

Talkback: Bats

Posted: 30/08/2012 at 20:33

We had bats in the attic!  No - really:  the extension part of the house has a separate loft, and they took up residence.  Quite something to be out in the garden at dusk and see them emerge and fly over the garden. 

That said, the downside was that they would creep through gaps in the brickwork into the main part of the attic, and leave their calling cards all over he place!

I also recall taking kids down the end of the garden, and showing them how to attract bats:  throw up into the air, as high as you can, a small handful of dry soil - the bats think there are insects there, and will swoop down.  Super, thought I.  Until one of the cherubs decided to chuck a stone into the air.  At an angle.  And it came down in the GH.  Crack!!! One broken pane of glass.  (Oh, well, he learnt the lesson, as did I ),

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 30/08/2012 at 19:50

Oh, Frank - as ever, you have the ability to bring a much-needed smile to one's face!  As a description of the British weather, it seems to me you're spot on! 

It's been OK-ish here in the West Country.  A few occasional drops and drips, but mostly breezy and bright.  Looks good for the weekend, so fingers crossed on that one! 

For the record, my tomatoes in GH are stunted (about 3ft high, couple of trusses per plant - Italian plum variety) but the tried and trusted Gardeners' Delight in troughs outside are performing well.  I pick the toms like little sweets, so a reduced amount end up in the kitchen!  But the chutney made with them and chillies from the GH is superb (according to neighbour, the recipient of a jar!).  Hope to keep cropping for a good few weeks yet.  Who knows!  Wettest summer for 100 years - and most of it has been here in the West, methinks

Deformed beans

Posted: 30/08/2012 at 19:37

I positively relish the quirky and the mis-shaped veg.  It reminds me of my youth (OMG - you just wouldn't want to know how long ago that was ) when the local market had all sorts of veg and fruit in huge piles, and no-one cared about the shape or the dirt on the spuds etc.  We ate loads of seasonal stuff (none of these beans from Kenya and the like, let alone "mini sweetcorn" which, in my eyes, is unformed, under-ripe and flavourless!).  The worst time of year was late spring.  Green = cabbage.  And more cabbage.  And more . . .   well, you get the picture.  Boring doesn't come into it.  But it meant that the first peas and new potatoes tasted wonderful!

Aaaah! nostalgia - it ain't wot it used ter be

Deformed beans

Posted: 29/08/2012 at 19:44

Actually, the one on the top left of the pic looks like . . .  a Turkey Twizzler - the thing of infamy highlighted by Jamie Oliver as the nadir or school lunches!  Now, if they could get all the beans to grow like that, we might be able to get the little darlings to eat their greens

Deformed beans

Posted: 29/08/2012 at 19:36

It always happens to me - or to my FBs to be more accurate!  It's as if, as the plants age, they are less able to maintain the straight form.  And I believe that the problem is more to do with the very young beans having new bean shoots curling around them and causing them to become twisted.  Makes no difference to the taste - but you wouldn't see them on the shelf at Tesbury's!!!

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