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August 2021

In short order we have had another outside visit, this time we were the guests of Ian Salter and Gordon Alexander to their garden at Wretham Lodge. We have been here before, in May 2016, but what with memories the way they are these days, it was like visiting it anew. For those who couldn’t make it, there are other times they have visiting days that you can attend under your own steam. How Sue Thomas found the time to go baffles me.

 

Hi Ed, Here we go again, the jam jars are out and the freezer is filling up. Just when there was a lull in the fighting, the rain has stopped and the sun has started bringing all the fruit and veg on together. Just don't know where to begin!! Broad beans are finished, runner beans are going mad and French beans don't know when to stop. Late strawberries now in flower, so looking forward to new crop in the near future. Fed up with courgettes and carrots, but still happy to pull the spring onions and radishes. The toss up each night between salad and vegetables is getting harder and harder. Eventually it will be salad, salad, salad, as I can freeze the veg, but I can't freeze the salad!! Teasels are now 8 feet tall, and the hollyhocks above 10 feet with weeds close behind. Where do they all come from? Can't stop to chat, got another batch to freeze. I can hear the plums ripening and the apples falling. Just got to get the black current juice off my finger nails and we should be back to normal. Keep safe, Sue.

 

Julie Brown is torn between two loves. Hello Ed, Wow!  What a show at the Olympic games, what a couch athlete I have become, I love the games. Couldn't stay up late to watch them live this time, too tired by then.

 

So, not much done in the garden, but we did arrange for the trees at the village hall to be trimmed back and canopy raised. Someone's horse was refusing to stand under the Lime tree at the mounting stone to enable the rider to mount, so I cut the suckers back and un-covered a plaque stating the tree had been planted for a Queen Victoria Jubilee. We cut the branches up smaller and stashed them behind the tree line on the green. Also at the hall, Laura & Nigel spend the hottest weekend spraying weed killer on the car park, it certainly looks like it has done the job.

 

Then again at the hall we decided to investigate the contents of the storage container attached to the back of the hall, a job we had talked of many times over the years. Emptied, sorted, swept away the cobwebs and put what we wanted back, filled our wheeled bin. Still a bit of tidying to do but it's all been looked at and decisions made.

 

I have been harvesting sugar snap peas, carrots and new potatoes, which were so big we made chips with them; sacrilege perhaps.

 

 My tomatoes are slow to ripen but I'm enjoying lots of cucumbers, sadly no sign of any melons. Michael has lots of melons on his plants and Liz a few, their greenhouses stand in the full sun so very hot, just right I expect for melons, my greenhouse is a bit shaded so better for the cucumbers.

 

I have tried growing mini little gem lettuce and I have cut and come again too. The radish were not very good after that first showing. I am trying spring onion now and I picked up a tray of celery cheap, just to put in to see how it grows. I'm not very organised: I planted marigold to protect my carrots and I think I should have grown the French kind as the calendula have taken over. My parsnips are looking good, parsnip cake is lovely too.

 

 I bought a tray of red kale from Thetford Garden Centre and they are doing well. Liz is sharing them as the pigeons ate hers immediately. I think that mine got left alone as I feed the birds sunflower seed all year around, there are some fat pigeons in the garden... mmmm maybe ripe for the pot?!

 

I intended cracking on with finishing my Japanese bed; the bonsai horse chestnut is in place and the large stones too. I hope to get more of the log roll edging in place, maybe Stan next door will help me with that, he made a lovely job of re-making my bird feeding table. I have some glass doors that I would like making into a cold frame.

 

I am looking forward to harvesting runner bean, love them, my wigwam is covered and the bees are there doing what they do best. Best go now as I have a New York cheesecake baking in the oven. Bye for now everyone, enjoy August, a month full of birthdays and the Para Olympics, Julie

 

Yes, we have hit the time of the year when the fruits of our labors are starting to be harvested, but to do this you need the right kit, including clothing. At about the time of the first lockdown my old working boots were long overdue for retirement. I usually buy them on Norwich Market, but we have been a bit hesitant to go, even now. However, having to go to the Fine City for another reason it seemed that I would finally get my new Doc. Martins from my regular source. “G’day cobbler,” I said (He’s Australian). Can I have a pair of DMs? “What size are you?” he asked. “I take a 7, but I find that 10s are more comfortable,” I replied. “I thought I remembered you – and that old joke hasn’t improved since the last time you were here,” he said with distain. “Anyway, I don’t do DMs anymore, they are far too expensive.” “Why so?” I asked. Well, to cut a long story short, it turns out that DMs have become a high fashion item. All the ‘with it’ young people are choosing them as a way of being, well, with it. And with that the price has shot up. Now, as those who have met me will know, I have never been accused of being a fashionista. In fact my dress style was once described as Joe Bicycle, so I wasn’t going to part with £150 in an attempt to become trendy. So he sold me the £30 lookalike. I think they’ll be OK once they break my feet in.

 

Also in the market for the correct clothing are the two ladies and their horses I often meet while exercising my hounds.

 

There is Janet who rides Indie (Applejack Indiana), and her sister Pam on Dodie (Spellbound Mississippi). Janet was at pains to tell me that she went to school with some bloke by the name of Julian Horn, whoever he is, but I digress.

 

 

 

The horses were wearing coats striped like a zebra. It used to be thought that this pattern was to camouflage them in the long African grass. Trouble was that nobody seemed to notice that they didn’t spend that much time in long grass. Turns out that the stripes confuse the biting insects. “Was this true,” I asked the ladies. “Absolutely,” I was assured. Googling ‘zebra bbc’ will tell you more.

 

 

 

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