Saturday, 25 June 2011

The end of June.

There has been a slight improvement in the weather today in that it is a few degrees warmer and now and then the sun manages to come out. At other times there is a fine, warm drizzle falling - not unpleasant - "good growing weather for the vegetable garden" as they say; although there is plenty of grass lying in the fields waiting to be collected up for silage (not ours I am glad to say).

The farmer picked the first of the gooseberries this morning and I made eight jars of gooseberry and elderflower jam for giving away or for the store cupboard. It is so satisfying picking one's own fruit and making it into preserves and yet few people seem to do it these days.

During the last week we have had over an inch of rain and the grass is growing well for second-crop silage and also for the cattle and sheep out in the pastures. The Swaledale lambs are growing fast and really are very pretty. At last one stood still long enough for me to take its photograph, which is more than can be said for the chicks. As soon as I approach their little run mother shepherds them all indoors and then comes out again to tell me off.

Walking up the field, being scolded by a parent curlew who stands on the stone wall and calls for her offspring to lie low, we find the first toadstool of the season - a pretty little thing, very delicate. By the pasture gate the wild honeysuckle is now in full bloom and smells exquisite, particularly early in the morning.

Back in the garden Alexander Girault, my rambling rose is in almost full bloom. As usual full bloom and rain come together and the lovely pink, sweet-smelling blooms look like wet tissue paper.

I have spent the afternoon emptying and replanting a couple of alpine tubs. They were so overgrown that some of the plants were struggling to survive and others were completely taking over. Now I suppose, a nice gentle shower would be nice to help water them in. (and a nice gentle hot shower wouldn't come amiss for me either)

Have a nice weekend.


Pomona said...

We make lots of jams and chutneys - hedgerow jam is my favourite. Gooseberry and elderflower sounds delicious! The sun is shining here now - and we are promised a heatwave for tomorrow.

Pomona x

Maggi said...

I can smell the honeysuckle from here. The lamb is very handsome. No sun here today, it has mizzled all day but at least is warm.

Hildred and Charles said...

Your pretty Swaledale lamb makes my fingers long to feel his lovely woolly coat - is it usual to leave tails on the lambs?

And the picture of the honeysuckle makes me yearn for the fragrance - very nostalgic post for me, Pat, but then I am feeling rather nostalgic these days....

ArtPropelled said...

Hi Weaver, that delicate toadstool reminds me of the light floaty creatures in the film Avatar.

Heather said...

Gooseberry and elderflower jam is new to me but I bet it's delicious. I love making jam and chutney - blackberry and apple is a favourite, especially when the blackberries are free! Lovely photos as usual Pat - hope you get to sit in the garden tomorrow - they say it should be really warm.

angryparsnip said...

Oh, I just love your photos !

I thought jam was hard to make, not the jam part but the water bath sealing part ?

from your comment yesterday... I adore terriers and I had a Border Terrier for many years before I started being adopted by Scotties ! it is their personally that makes them so great.

cheers, parsnip

Cloudia said...

worthy endeavors!

Aloha from Waikiki :)

Comfort Spiral




Dave King said...

A lovely post.
Our honeysuckle packed its bags and went while we were away last weekend. It had been out a long while, but I thought the heavy rain might have had a part to play.

Anonymous said...

I've missed reading your posts- my own fault; life's been rather hectic. I still make far to any preserves. Been a poor elderflower year here, but we will have loads of damsons. (Wish I'd seen and heard that curlew.)

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thank you for the comments. There are masses of lovely jam recipes on the internet. I did not use elderflowers - I used elderflower cordial, which is what the recipe suggested.

It is a lovely day today here and wall to wall sunshine promised.

Dartford Warbler said...

I always make hedgerow jam, later in the summer when brambles and elderberries are fruiting. Our home grown raspberries and strawberries are eaten fresh every evening while the season lasts.

We have had a warm, wet week and were surprised to see field mushrooms making an early appearance.

Wild honeysuckle is still flowering in the Forest. A wonderful, heady smell on summer nights.

Crafty Green Poet said...

a lot of people collect fruits here, not sure whether they all make jams out of them though...

ChrisJ said...

That's a great photo of the sheep. We have no sheep around here. Not many cows either. but there are some emu ranches!