I did get out in the garden after all today. Did a bit of weeding round the front, cleared out the dead annuals from the hanging baskets and cleared up what felt like a million oak leaves. I now know how Cinderella must have felt, picking out the lentils from the ashes.
I didn’t really enjoy the actual gardening. It always makes me feel a bit queasy, like how I used to feel after cross-country running at school. Must be all the bending over on a full stomach of tea.
But I did enjoy being out in the sunshine, so after another cuppa I caught up with the after-school frolics that were unfolding around me. The photo shows the calm before the storm. Children of Mine had the hose on full blast to clean the slide; it wasn’t long before this culminated in the first water fight of the year.
Ah, Spring! The beauty of daffodils, crocuses and the gentle warmth of the sun finally persuades me to venture into the garden.
Yet my Spring mostly looks like this. There always comes the moment when I actually ‘see’ the things in the garden that any self-respecting home owner would have dealt with at the end of the season.
Every year, I am mystified as to how many plants have died without me actually noticing – how selfish of them! Of course, even with my limited gardening knowledge I know that hanging baskets consist merely of annuals and therefore death is inevitable. I even had a task on my never-ending to-do-list – ‘plant winter pots / hanging baskets’ – yet clearly this was never done, why?
Because I am not even a fair-weather gardener. Instead, I describe myself as a ‘no-weather gardener’. Maybe that’s why I like mountain scenery so much – all that untamed natural beauty, with no trellis, pot, basket, compost or trowel in sight.
And yet I love the formality of colourful displays such as this one, taken last Sunday in Priory Park in Chichester.
So I have now well and truly shamed myself into going into the garden today. No excuses. I am not at work, the sun is shining and the housework can wait until another time (no change there then!).
lankyshire sent me this link to the BBC’s confirmation that the Cumberland sausage is now a protected species, ranking alongside the likes of Champagne, Parma ham and Greek feta cheese in having Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status under EU law.
“Good job too”, says Son of Mine, pictured here tucking into a very delicious specimen recently at the Four in Hand in Keswick.
Hard, tricky to peel
Plantain? Not a banana?
Cook. Do not eat raw
Thank you everyone, for your kind words of advice on how to resurrect my bananas, and the lovely fruit-inspired haikus. Sadly, they are beyond hope; it is now 17 days since I bought them and they are still rock hard.
Now searching for plantain recipes – I hate waste…
Woody bananas, untouched by the Family; a fortnight old
Posted in response to today’s Plinky topic – a haiku about something that drives you nuts:
Uneaten fruit in general. And these bananas in particular, delivered to my door by an online delivery service on Tuesday 1 March. Completely impenetrable and as hard as anything, they haven’t ripened even a little bit – this attempt by Daughter of Mine to peel one some days ago failed miserably.
Poetry now, eh?
“A good rule of thumb for an English-language haiku is somewhere between 13-17 syllables.” (this must be good advice, it’s from the BBC)
The cottage we stayed in this time in Keswick was called Quaver Cottage. A fitting name, I thought, for a musical person such as me.
Although modern, and a tad small for us (Children of Mine had to share a room – never again), it was definitely my kind of cottage.
(Most importantly) IN KESWICK.
RED. Red sofas. Red curtains.
SHEEP. A sheep mug. Sheep tablemats and coasters. A book on sheep breeds on the bookshelf, sandwiched between the Wainwrights. Sheep bedspreads in the twin room.
MUSIC. Musical references were all around, like these quavers attached to the kitchen window, and a framed tapestry of the cottage’s name with quavers all around it, made by the owner’s mother as a present.
Son of Mine of course had a different take on the meaning of the name, exclaiming, “I could eat Quaver Cottage – it’s so lovely!”
Speaking of eating, this pheasant appeared in the garden within a few minutes of our arrival, but alas, didn’t make it to the table for that night’s supper!
Robins also were regular visitors, as were ducks, as the cottage garden backed on to the River Greta – a beautiful outlook, yet sadly one that led the cottage to be flooded in the devastating floods of November 2009.
These feathered friends even inspired Daughter of Mine to pick up a bird book momentarily…
The view from the garden changed by the minute, with the massive bulk of Skiddaw appearing and disappearing in the low cloud that the February skies offered for most of the week.
Quaver Cottage is available to rent from Keswick Cottages – a helpful independent holiday cottage rental company who I have used several times now as they specialise in properties in and around Keswick. I expect I shall need their services again before too long.