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.