Monday, 3 August 2009

Busy Times.

The rain continues though there have been brighter moments where the sun has shone, albeit without the intensity or conviction one expects from summer. Such moments have been grabbed as a chance to send little ones racing around the garden before bedtime - why is it generally late afternoon before the skies clear a little? No matter, sun slanting through tree tops provides shafts of light through which Isabella spins round and round and round, the camera struggling to capture her hazy halo and tiredness sending her spiralling ever-faster before she finally drops to the dewy grass.

The Spartan apple fanned alongside the pathway is almost, almost ready to eat. It is an early ripener, deliciously sweet and juicy with such a gorgeous red skin. I have a thing about red-skinned apples, the scarlet globes reminding me of a child's drawing in much the same way as the brightly coloured dahlias flourishing in the borders. My ultimate is the deep scarlet of crab apples, but as we were sold an ornamental one despite being told it is a 'real' one, my dream will have to wait a little longer.

My holiday jar has been called into play on a couple of occasions. Lovely to hear so many of you think it a good idea; I have even thought of making one for myself filled with the myriad jobs I need to do around the place, yet never make time for. You know the sort of thing... trim the hedges, paint the path wall, remake the campfire area. All those things that make me feel so much better once they are done and which for some perverse reason I put off doing in favour of things that are unimportant. Maybe turning them into a game will help? Well, the campfire was sorted because Lucy pulled this out of the jar:

The girls helped me remove so much - truly, so very much - rubbish which Lucy and I then took to the dump. Such a great feeling to finally tackle this part of the garden and though there is still more to do I feel we can see the wood for the trees now, so to speak.

The sun shining yesterday made me grab the moment to make mint jelly before the mint patch was sopping wet once more. I have never made this before, but love the jewel colours of jellies so much, the biggest surprise being that it is golden not green. I hadn't even thought about the fact that commercial mint jelly has colouring added, hence the green colour. Why though when it is so pretty just as it is?

Our allotment continues to provide delicious food for us and though it is not as much as we had hoped due to the weather which has stopped us going as often as we would have liked, we have had sweet, sweet carrots, salad leaves of all colours, rhubarb, currants, broccoli leaves, cabbages and potatoes so far with a few onions thrown in for good measure. Many more to come too.

My trip to Trebah Gardens to see a display of my work - this will be the last time I mention it...promise! - was not only very exciting/nerve-wracking, but such a boost as well. It looked so lovely with scatterings of shells inter-mingled with the Ship, Ship Sailing Games and beach bags, and other appropriate things highlighting the door hangings, tea cosies, etc. It was so beautifully displayed and I really felt whoever had done it really 'got' what my work is about and what inspries it.

Not good photos, but I was so conscious of not getting people perusing the shelves into the shot. I am very, very proud!

And today's task? This one will be fun (phew, still no camping as yet!). I have jars full of shells and pebbles to use for this, particularly all the ones with holes in. Hopefully some pictures of the finished chimes next time.

Happy Monday x


  1. I love the display of your work - it is beautiful, and you must be very proud. Re apples, an early red apple like the photo is probably Discovery - definitely if the flesh is pinkish and makes pink apple juice. Spartan is more of a purply red and is a late ripening apple with very white flesh. And Spartan keeps well, while Discovery doesn't - but we are drinking lovely juice from our Discos at the moment. Don't mean to be critical - it's just that my family grow apples, so I've been brought up with it!

    Pomona x

  2. Thanks Pomona. funnily enough, davey and I have just been saying that we think it is a Discovery after all, but I couldn't find where I had written it in my gardening book. I can stop searching now x

  3. Pipany, you know that song about "sunshine on a rainy day?" That is what I feel every time I read one of your posts!

    I so agree that the display of yor work does catch what It is About. Think that you will have many happy customers.

    Love all that produce from your allotment. Just imagine what even kinder weather would produce. Wow!

    Best wishes. xo

  4. Pipany, I envy how consistant you are.I go in splurges. You have inspired me to make Mint Jelly again,as the Ausralian gang love Lamb and will be here for 3 weeks over Christmas. Hunk my SIL is smacking his lips already, as he loves food and I love cooking for him and teaching Palomina new recipes.
    Discovery is such a lovely apple. I think vegetables have suffered this year from the rain, but you still have a good crop. I think I will do your trick for my to-do list, as when I read it, it can be daunting. Have found a new recipe for rustic bread which is so easy to make and a similar one for Cinnamon Rolls.
    Love the display of your beautiful range. Bet you love your new machine.

  5. I do love seeing the light through that mint jelly - how beautiful. The shot of you and your girls very busy in the garden was lovely to see too.

    It was so good to see the display of your work. It looked stunning. You should be very proud x

  6. Ah ha! A Pipany shop! What a fabulous display.

    We spent Saturday making a holiday jar - but I have to confess I (mean Mummy) included all the horrid jobs in the jar too (clean the kitchen floor, tidy your bedroom, dust something etc) alongside things like 'make sweets', 'build a campfire', 'do silly dancing' etc.

    Which is why, H&R having been bored on Sunday, we now have a VERY tidy bedroom. The Holiday Jar is an idea of pure genius!

    PS: I've just added the 'toast marshmallows' and 'make a windchime' ideas. Hopefully those will come out not 'show your knickers' (added by H7)!

  7. You must be very proud of the display of your work at Trebah Gardens - it looks fab!
    The weather has been disappointing but its starting to get a little better here; the wind has dropped and it feels a lot warmer today.
    Your mint jelly looks delicious Pip - and it does feel good to get those niggling little jobs out of the way, doesn't it!
    Have a great week.

  8. The display of your work looks lovely. And that mint jelly looks amazing, I agree about them adding colour to the commercial variety...WHY...when it's so gorgeous in it's natural state.

    Sue xx

  9. lovely pip... your display in the shop looks fantastic... well done you! love the colour of the mint jelly too... full of sunshine.. which has been out here today so i have been pegging out and washing pillows!and we have been having a good sort out of the girls toys and clothes... i cannot believe how much stuff has left the bedroom and still how much is in there... i think we shall be continuing with it tomorrow!!
    oohh please show us the windchime when you have finished...
    love to you all
    ginny and the girls xxx

  10. The display of your work looks lovely Pipany. The mint jelly is gorgeous!

  11. Love the display - you have every right to feel proud of all that hard work!!

  12. Can you please add, 'Make the rain stop' to your jar? I am truly fed up with it now.

  13. Your work certainly was beautifully displayed - such a relief when someone unrelated to you 'gets' you.
    Regarding the weather - when we lived in Northern Alberta, some days it seemed that the sun came out just in time to set.

  14. How exciting to see your work displayed like this! I would have been feeling pretty proud too. Well done! Your garden looks lovely and it's nice to see a summer garden when ours is bleak and damp. I am thinking of getting two ducks sometime soon, do you have any posts about your ducks? We have always had chickens but I don't know much about duck upkeep. Any advice appreciated! Bye for now, xo

  15. Pipany, despite the rain you still see the brighter side of things with such a fantastic imagination and injection of fun.

    That mint jelly looks like liquid gold - yum!

    Have a lovely day and fingers crossed for sunshine today - what has happened to our summers?

    Nina x

  16. What a lovely post! Spartan apples are one of my favourites. We used to buy them from the farm when we lived in Essex. Holiday jar is a super idea. So much more exciting than the old to-do list. I think in another life, Pipany, you were the good fairy because everything you write and show us pictures about seems to be touched with stardust.

  17. Ah, lovely Pipany. Well done you ! How exciting to see your work displayed so sensitively ~ I hope you get loads of interest from it.
    Discovery is my bestest favourite. My Uncle grew them in his orchard and they evoke such happy memories for me ~ they taste the best too xx

  18. A beautiful post. The mint jelly looks delicious and delicate. I must have a go at making some myself! The display of your work is lovely.x

  19. Pipany, no wonder you are proud, clever clever you. The display looks great. I'm sure you could sell your preserves too - are you sure that's mint jelly, looks like a pot of sunshine to me!

  20. Your work looks amazing and I hope it flies off the shelves. Well done you and I am not at all surprised you feel proud.
    Mint jelly looks pretty, & very good.