Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Dragons, Butterflies, and more cake ideas ~~~

Gentle Reader ~ it has been warm and humidly hot at times in the Garden this week so I have been doing very little other than necessary tasks such as watering and harvesting.  It has been too hot for it to be comfortable outside when working up a sweat ~~~ so I have spent time in my craft room this week ~~~ today is much cooler though so I have been outside preparing an area ready to receive the two butternut squash plants in a week or two ~~~

Meanwhile, the tiny Swiss Chard plantlets already show signs of the beautiful jewel~like colours that will brighten the garden in Autumn and maybe even in to Winter ~ I am looking forward to eating the stems, cooked, and served in a homemade four cheese sauce~oh! yummy ~~~

I do not know, but I think Swiss Chard is of the same family as beetroot because the seeds looked very similar, little gnarly things, and now they are growing they look very like the beets that are in another area ~~~

The tomato harvest, although small is delicious, and every two days there are enough to add to my salad bowl.  They are fresh and taste properly of tomatoes ~ I love how my hands have that tomatoey smell on them when I am picking them from the vines.

Mother Nature provides the best camouflage ~~~ the plot is jumping with grasshoppers, it has been like this for weeks when hundreds of tiny grasshoppers appeared all over the garden.  Now, there are not as many {for there are hungry birds and other predators in the garden} but they are much bigger and they provide the backing music to the buzzy bumble bees busily harvesting pollen ~~~ you don't see the grasshoppers, you hear them, until, that is, they leap from their hiding place because they think you got too close ~~~ then off they leap in a bound and away ~~~

Perfect camouflage, don't you think?  Can you see the Grasshopper?

There it is! If not for that tiny flash of orangey brown, it would be very hard to spot indeed ~~~

The courgettes are harvesting well now and I have them for my supper most evenings.  It is important to pick them regularly or they will stop producing fruit.  Did you know that the courgette plant produces male and female flowers?  This is a male courgette flower ~~~

and this is a female one ~~~

which bears the fruits ~~~

while the male just sits there looking pretty ~ however, for the overall benefit of the plant, and to aid in production of more female, fruit bearing flowers, it is a good idea to remove the male flowers as soon as possible ~~~

The garden is absolutely alive with dragonflies ~ naturally, I am thrilled, for I counted as many as fifteen whizzing around, darting hither and thither and then I gave up trying because there are just too many of them to try to count as they flit about at such a speed ~~~ did you know that one of the folk lore names for them is the Devil's Darning Needle?  I think we can all see why!  It was the answer to one of the questions on a television quiz show earlier in the week {I do love quiz shows!} ~~~

I love this shot and am quite chuffed with it.  Other than re-sizing for posting purposes it is unedited and is exactly how it came out of the sd card, not cropped in any way ~~~

It sat for a while ~ as do we with our tea and cakes ~ so I zoomed out to get this one too ~~~

at a jaunty angle it sits ~~~

It looks very 'knowing' don't you think? ~~~

Butterflies have appeared more slowly this year ~ I wonder if it was the very wet winter? ~~~ the Gatekeeper, here, is one of my favourites and often accompanies me around the berry patch ~~~

The wing looks like brushed suede or velvet ~~~

Such a pretty marked creature ~~~

Busy Buzzy Bees make me happy ~ all sorts of bees but especially big, fuzzy wuzzy Bumble Bees ~~ Bee~utiful! My name is Hebrew for bee ~ and my spirit soars when I wander off into the garden and hear them buzzing as they go busily about their business of gathering pollen and fertilising all the plants, flower, fruit, and vegetables in the garden ~ there I could stay all day listening, eyes closed driftin' and dreamin', or eyes wide open watching them ~ a hive of industry ~ have you ever stopped and listened ~ I mean *really* listened to their music? It is as varied as any symphony you will hear, for each bee sings their own sweet song ~~~

For those of you who read my previous entry, where I baked cake, here is a little update for you.  I have now made the cake three more times and really like putting the fruit in the bottom of the pan and pouring the batter over the fruit, like an upside~down cake.  I also added a generous teaspoon of powdered ginger to the flour and made the lemon syrup as shown on the recipe page to make a yummy lemon and ginger cake.   The parish vicar was here this afternoon and he is a big fan of my Rose Geranium plant.  He was very disappointed to see it wasn't in his favourite spot by the front door {where he bruises the leaves to release the heady fragrance} I had to tell him it is currently in the process of being cut back and re~potted.  I suddenly remembered seeing a recipe where the leaves of the rose, or lemon, scented geraniums are used to line cake pans before pouring in the batter and baking so that they impart the most heavenly fragrance to the baked cake.  So, no prize for guessing what I'm baking tomorrow!  I shall let you know how it turns out.  

The soft fruit picking is nearly at an end now, so maybe I will have more time to browse the Spring Bulb catalogues as very soon the time will be upon us for planting all the bulbs that make the garden so pretty in Spring ~~~ in the meantime, remember ~~~

~~~A Gardener's Work Is Never Done~~~


  1. Debs, it's so lovely to spend time with you...
    both in your busy, buzzy garden and in your lemony, cake-filled kitchen!

    “Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” ~ Marcel Proust

    So grateful for your charming posts!

    1. I'm baking cake for those who stop by to the Garden, so we have something to savour with our tea! Thank you for that lovely quote. I think I will be attempting that leaf~lined cake pan this afternoon!
      Waving ~ Debs :)

  2. What lovely flowers! It is such a pleasure to walk through your garden with you. Maintaining a garden certainly takes dedication during the growing season!

  3. These are outstanding photos Debs. So lovely and peaceful. I look forward to your cake with the geranium leaves. I look forward to more photos! xo

    1. Thank you Jane ~ that cake is on the list of 'to~do's' this very afternoon!

  4. Your pictures are always so nice to see, those dragonflies look wonderful, I would love to add a little more of a water element to my garden to attract more here. What a beautiful butterfly as well!

    1. Hello April! Strangely, I do not have any water in my garden, so I have no idea where the dragons and damsels are coming from! Yes, the Gatekeeper is a particular favourite of mine, all Autumn colours!

  5. Donna Elizabeth31 July 2014 at 17:38

    What a lovely post and beautiful photos! Our cottage garden is all but gone. Except for a few little eggplants that are just about ready to be picked. Then, it's off to the compost heap with it, as well. Contemplating a Fall/Winter garden, but the jury is still out on that one. Thank you for sharing your passion for gardening with us! ~ Donna E. from across the pond =)

    1. Yay! you made it! Sadly, I think the best of the garden is over here too, for another year. Time to start looking hard at what to tidy up first now. Rain is a comin' tomorrow ~ torrential by all accounts so I am sure the fragile blooms will be destroyed. Oh, well, the ground needs water desperately. Waving from ATP Debs :)


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