Summer has landed in Molesworth

As the rains seem to have receded, I realise the dry weather will soon inevitably have its effect on my lovely green grass. So I took a little stroll around the garden at dusk to take a few photos before the worst of the summer heat sets in.

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I’m not much of a gardener really, not too successful. My strategy is probably a poor one by most people’s standards, as I like to see things grow wild and free. We’ve planted bit and pieces, cuttings people have kindly given us from their own gardens, plants as well and every now and then I scatter a handful of seed, such as Sweet William and wait to see what will survive and thrive.

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I’m very happy with how things are looking now, and even better, the aromas from herbs (we have 42 at last count) and a whole range of flowers.

Tom has a favourite and most appropriate spot where he suns himself each morning, under the cat mint bush.

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There are lovely shady walks and archways fragrant with jasmine and honeysuckle.

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The wet winter has certainly pleased much of the garden here. There’s even a little spring of sorts come up under the large shady elm where tiny little frogs have taken up residence.20170106_205352

The raspberry canes are still quite badly affected by last summer’s onslaught of little green beetles, but are slowly showing signs of recovery. We finally were able to pick a few ripe raspberries this morning – hopefully the promise of things to come.

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The jostaberries and red currants have thrived though, black currants and white currants also.20170106_20555520170106_205615

The lemon tree, so ravaged by possums a couple of years ago, has flowered since it’s been enclosed in a large protective cage, but the fruit has never formed. However, there are now dozens of tiny lemons very evident.

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I am ecstatic – I love this tree, it’s one of the reasons I was attracted to the property. Its neighbouring lime tree is in full fruit also, even the orange tree and cumquat are looking very healthy.

Grandchildren came for a sleepover on Saturday night. This always leads to a lovely baking session with Charly (while Jacob goes exploring). This time it was jam drop biscuits and Minecraft shortbreads made with special cookie cutters.

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Finally, a hastily prepared lunch of a pasta bake with lots of herbs from the garden. We also prepared fresh baked focaccia plus coleslaw made with all vegetables from the garden, all in readiness for the rest of the family to share when they arrived.

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I hasten to mention that this very dark photo – look carefully – you will see the long awaited solution to the destruction wreaked by possums in our orchard over the last four summers. Those are flashing solar powered Christmas lights. Nothing has worked before – not even loose chicken wire or electric fence.

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A mere 140 metres of LED lights means we now have fruit on the trees at last. As I mowed the grass of the orchard I was able to pluck dark sweet cherries to eat, and there are plums, nectarines and medlars ripening.

All things considered, not much not to like about this little spot in the Valley.

And so back to work (if indeed it can be considered such) – I need to pressure can some chicken stock I’ve made, and bottle (water bath) nectarines, tomatoes and plums….

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