Sunday 31 August 2014

Lazy Sunday Morning ~~~

Gentle Reader ~~~ oh! it is a glorious Autumn morning in the Shire ~~~ the sun is shining, warming and brightening everything it touches with a golden glow; the sky is blue and giant cotton puffs billow in the breeze.  This is the kind of morning that makes my heart sing, waking up to, and greet with a smile, breathing deeply of the air and the view as the curtains are drawn back from across the window panes.

I have yet to put a photograph on this new laptop ~ which is proving somewhat of a headache for a techno~phobe such as myself.  Why, just this last week I discovered {in addition to all the mystery of Cloud storage ~ which still defies me} the laptop does not come with any kind of word processing programme.  This, to me, is a necessary part of technology, for in the progression from typewriter to word processor, on again to computers that connected by way of cables and jacks to printers with daisy wheels, and now by wi~fi connectivity to inkjets and laser printing devices, it goes beyond my limited and reluctant acceptance of advancing technology why the new laptop has no form of recording words other than to use in emails or blogs.  It troubles me deeply that, even if it is electronically, I am denied the pleasure of typing!  As I suffer with arthritis, typing is much easier for me than holding a pen, and I am, frankly, aghast at this lack of word~smithing technology! {have I just made up some words?}

Fortunately, I have my old disks from way back when and they, with much ado, are recognised and loaded on to the hard drive, so I will, hopefully, from today, be able to type documents {isn't that what we used to call letters?} and with a tiny bit of luck and a prayer as I wade through the mire of passwords and other mind boggling traps, next time there will be fresh photographs.  I'm crossing everything and hoping videos will be back on the menu too!  Rather than leave this post void of images, I think I will recycle some of the older photographs from the beginning of this blog.

So, today, it is the anniversary of my Grandmother's birth in 1896. She passed in 1977, but is still much loved and greatly missed.  She is one of the people who I always wish those who have come into my life since she passed could have met.  It is to her, I believe, I owe much of my love of gardening, walking, and appreciation of the natural world.  The poem in the sidebar {please do read the whole poem, for many know the following stanza well ~~~

The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,--
One is nearer God's heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.

but few know the rest of the poem.  It was her favourite, and I often recite little bits of it when I am gardening.  I often wonder what the neighbours think, if they can hear!  Crazy, word muttering, gardening woman in a large, floppy hat!  Maybe they think I'm a witch! 

Nanna was as a mother to me when I was a small child, and until her health deteriorated very rapidly when I was aged around ten years, we spent many a Sunday afternoon traipsing along the country lanes and byways of the Shire.  A devout Christian, the order of each Sunday commenced with church services for her, Sunday School for me, then home for Sunday roast dinner with Mum and Dad.  Between church and sitting down to Sunday dinner she would rustle up one of her delicious apple pies, served with hot custard sauce.  She made the best pastry ever, and for many years worked as the pastry chef for one of the local restaurants.  My Mum has inherited her ability, but mine is more for baking cakes than making pastries.  I digress ~~~ it was after those Sunday dinners we would take off into the wilds ~~~ and I would be taught the names of every flowering plant and grass encountered on the way.  During the week, when I wasn't in school, we would be gardening in our own garden, and indoors tending her many house plants and cacti. In those days we also kept hens {something I long to do again today}

She was just nineteen years of age when World War One broke out, and this picture is of her, sitting, with her younger brother Jim {who lied about his age so that he could go and fight for King and Country} right before he left for the trenches in France.  

She was a fine looking woman, but, oh! my! doesn't she look so young here?  

During both World Wars she did what she could as a volunteer.  In WWII she joined the Women's Voluntary Service {WVS} and played an active part in preparedness exercises within the local community.  Thankfully, she was never called to do more than prepare and support, for, mercifully, our little corner of Britain was, for the most part, spared the horrors of that war.  My mother recalls, with some horror, her fear at seeing her own mother taking part in the fire drills, shimmying over the high and sloping rooftops of the cathedral, which would have been a major target for bombers.  It would have burned for days giving the Luftwaffe a bright, guiding light in the night sky.  Additionally, she joined the St John's Ambulance and British Red Cross to become fully prepared, as a volunteer, should the need arise.

She took over the newspaper delivery round of the man who was called to the Front, and rain or shine, in all weathers, she went out making sure the houses of the community received their daily papers.  She learned to cook on a budget of rationed food, and I still have some of her handwritten recipes {see, if the photography was working I could have shared them} and continued to make hedgerow wines, such as blackberry, as well as making use of every scrap of vegetable peelings into a variety of palatable drinks. She did 'make do and mend' long before it was fashionable. Nothing went to waste until every last ounce of use was squeezed out, and then some!

Also, during WWII, she, with a group of friends, organised a weekly Friday night dance in the local community hall for the squadrons of Royal Air Force {RAF} personnel stationed locally. She became an active member of the local branch of the {Women's} Royal British Legion and remained so until her death.

After the war, she became housekeeper at the local Deanery.  She lived with her husband {the Cathedral Verger and Caretaker} and my mother, first in the caretaker's house by the cemetery, and later in a cottage close to the Deanery {which came with the job of housekeeper}.  During her time in the Deanery, Their Royal Highnesses Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh visited. My Grandmother prepared, cooked, and baked the refreshments, and due to short staffing also waited upon the royal party.  The Duke was particularly taken with her skills as a pastry cook, and delighted in her Cheese Straws, asking if he could have more!  She was an active member of the local branch of the Mothers' Union for many years, and was an integral part of a team women who work so hard behind the scenes to present sumptuous teas and buffets to visiting chapter, and other church and community groups on high days and holidays, such as Easter and Whitsun.

I would love to have her back, to share the gardening days growing and tending for plants and flowers in our garden ~~~ she would love the new garden, I am sure, at the new cottage.  I do regret that I did not write down the knowledge she imparted to me.  It wasn't the sort of thing I thought to do as a child, and she was gone before I realised the value of doing so.  Some I remember, much is lost.  For this, I am deeply sad, but keep her near in my heart and memory for the wonderful person she was, and every so often I remember some snippet of wisdom she gave me.  

Gentle Reader ~~~ little has happened in the Garden this week, and the reason for a lazy Sunday is that, once again, I have pulled my back and must rest, taking things easy to allow myself time to heal.  I have managed to keep on picking courgettes ~ which have gone into end of season overdrive ~ the tomatoes, I hope, will start to ripen again {for they have slowed down drastically in the recent bad weather} and I picked my last cutting of salad leave and my first picking of Swiss Chard {very small, but the more you cut, the more new stems are encouraged}.

For now, I will leave you with some images from recent years ~~~ there isn't a flower that my Grandmother didn't love, and many of them are shown here ~~~ let's begin with a beautiful clematis in her favourite colour of purple ~~~ 

These are Rose Bay Willow Herbs, known to me as 'The Lovelies' which was Nanna's favourite nickname for them after seeing bank after bank of them on a train journey one day ~~~

All is safely gathered in ~~~ I love to watch the harvest in progress across the land ~~~

Ferns of any kind were loved by Nanna too ~~~

She would have loved this place, a hidden secret in the walled cloisters of the cathedral ~~~

Few things say Autumn more loudly and clearly than the fruits that are ripe for the picking, such as these giant rosehips ~~~

Another of Nanna's favourites ~~~ the happy, friendly, always gently nodding pansies ~~~

I know she would have loved the clashing hot colours of these lilies and roses as much as I do ~~~

I am not a particular fan of annuals, such as these petunias, but I know Nanna sowed seeds of annuals continually for that splash of colour in a border ~~~

Purple Monkshood {Aconitum} ~~~ her favourite colour and mine!

One of my favourite, shady spots to sit, but I do not think I ever saw Nanna sit down in the garden, other than at three o'clock for a break and a cup of tea, for she was always doing something ~~~

I know she would have adored this dwarf clematis as much as I do ~~~

I know you all are very familiar with my Frances E Lester rambling rose, which brings me much pleasure, and which I bought in Nanna's memory.  She adored roses, especially ramblers, and her first name was Frances ~~~

She always left plants to seed and sow themselves wherever they willed ~~~ and so do I ~~~ with another of her favourites ~ the sweet, shy violet ~~~

Again, like me, she loved many so~called weeds ~~~ such as this beautiful Morning Glory, growing rampant and often cursed in the Garden, but also bringing such beauty with the pristine, white blooms in late Summer and early Autumn ~~~

There I shall leave you, Gentle Reader ~~~ until next time, remember ~~~ 

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

Sunday 24 August 2014

Autumn Begins to Fall ~~~

Gentle Reader ~~~ It gladdens my heart and soul to feel the very air so full of Autumnal change as the ground prepares to rest awhile.  Leaves on trees and shrubs are still green, but there are noticeable changes, some so small that many of us are too busy to notice them as we go about our daily lives, but I look out for, and notice, every subtle change from day to day, as the garden changes her mood and mantle, and that most glorious season of them all descends. 

With profound apologies, in advance, this entry is words only and no photography.  There is a new laptop {much needed} in the cottage and I have yet to work out how to load my photographs on to it.  My old laptop was purchased in 2007, so there are many changes with which to grapple, and many are beyond my ken!  I am plodding on regardless, as one must do with advancing technology, but until now I thought that clouds were ethereal entities that float by on a gentle breeze; or scud wildly across the sky in a storm; or create the amazing and magical {and that I long to see in person} beauties such as Lenticular clouds that swaddle high mountain tops; or provide amusing entertainment when we guess the shape; but ~~~ this week "Cloud" takes on a whole new definition!  It is a function I am not all together convinced I am comfortable with, or will use.  At the moment, I am ignoring it as I explore the new machine.  At least I am online, and for that I am grateful, despite the frustration of new technology and programmes to get used to.

Speaking of new definitions of words, I am currently reading Maya Angelou's "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings" and my interest was piqued at the use of one particular word I came across yesterday ~ how the meanings of words can change ~~~ for those of you who know the book, or for those of you who wish to find it,  it is very near the start of chapter 23, and addresses the imminent graduation ceremony ~ where the graduating students are "nobility . . . travellers with exotic destinations on their minds . . . remarkably forgetful . . . came to school without their books, or tablets, or even pencils".  My eye was drawn immediately to the word "tablet" and I thought of the meaning given to it by Maya Angelou, ~a pad of paper for taking notes~, and the meaning we would give to it today ~a hand held device for connecting to the internet~ how our lives have changed!  A word in a book written in the late 1960's, published in the 1970's, about a world decades earlier and here we are a few decades on and, while the original meaning is still quite valid, how many reading that passage today would relate to the correct meaning?  How many reading that, without a second thought, would think that the children of Maya Angelou's graduating class owned a tablet device?  Both tablets are for the same basic need ~communication~ but they are as chalk and cheese in function.  I'd love to know what you think ~ and I know it is just me playing around with words and their meanings ~~~ sometimes I think I need a different kind of tablet to calm me down a bit!  

So, two familiar words, two old friends, "cloud" and "tablet" arrive in the twenty~first century ~~~

Shall we return to the Garden?  Pull on your 'wellibobs' and a shower proof jacket, for there is a gentle rain falling {although much worse is forecast for the coming week ~ let us not go there yet}.  Very little ~~~other than general tidying up and clearing away pots of plants past their best~~~ is happening as the garden winds slowly down into the imminent days of 'official' Autumn just around the corner.  According to different sources, Autumn begins, officially,on different days ~ the Met Office says September 1st, Almanacs and other sources say on the Autumn Equinox on September 23 this year.  The link will take you to a list of equinox and solstice dates and times up until 2020.  I say it begins on that first day when, upon waking, the air feels different ~ the searing heat of Summer is abating and the cooler air of Autumn, with a subtle scent, unique and solely belonging to Autumn, has arrived.  For me, that day usually happens, blissfully, in early August and I just run with it ~~~ 

Courgettes and tomatoes are continuing to yield, and this very morning I came in with my arms filled with six large courgettes ~ not quite the 'dreaded marrow mutants' but well on their way to becoming those monsters that somehow escape detection so, it could well be that, courgette chutney is made in the next day or two.  I do hope so, for I love that during the Winter months, especially in a cheese or nut roast sandwich, or with dishes that contain strongly flavoured cheeses, such as Cheddar or Stilton.  Mmmmmmm ~ hungry now! Although the harvesting continues, the ripening process seems to have slowed down quite rapidly, so I am hoping for the warmer days of an Indian Summer to happen in September or I shall be seeking out a recipe for green tomato chutney too ~~~

Rosy red apples hang on the boughs and are nearly ready for picking ~~~ few things surpass the eating of a freshly picked apple, sweet and juicy, still warm from the Autumn sun that kissed it into ripeness ~~~

Days lie ahead, full of mugs brimming with steaming hot chocolate; lunches and suppers of warming, filling soups and stews that stick to your ribs; sweaters, scarves and hats; my much loved fingerless mittens in gorgeous Fair Isle patterns; leaves of turning colours; stomping through crunchy fallen leaves; searching for conkers; foraging for berries ~~~ oh! how I love blissful Autumn, and just like this, a favourite quote from "Anne of Green Gables" ~~~
"Oh, Marilla," she exclaimed one Saturday morning, coming dancing in with her arms full of gorgeous boughs" 'I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. It would be terrible if we just skipped from September to November, wouldn't it? Look at these maple branches. Don't they give you a thrill--several thrills? I'm going to decorate my room with them."
Now for a small announcement, for the followers of my Facebook page that is linked to this blog.  With regret, I am closing that page. I have been on an extended Facebook sabbatical for many weeks now and I am finding it increasingly difficult to return, and find time in my days to fit in everything that I must do; therefore, as my Facebook page also no longer meets my writing needs, I will not be posting there in future. I wish to thank those of you who have stayed with me on the Facebook journey, and I know that I will lose followers on Facebook because of this decision, but I truly hope that some of you who follow me there will sign up here instead ~~~ 

Gentle Reader, as I close for today, I am sipping the most delicious Autumn flavoured tea  from my new Emma Bridgewater Woodland Trust mug as I type ~~~ one of life's simple pleasures ~ tea from a special cup or mug ~ remembering that, despite a welcome break today ~~~ 

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

Monday 11 August 2014

Goodbye Bertha ~ Hello Super Moon ~

Gentle Reader ~~~ Bertha blew and played a tune of the wind as it blows, and the trees danced like dervishes, whirling and twirling on the wildly wuthering wind of the west ~~~ later, as the storm passed by, the sky in its wake lightened and brightened and, as the sun set on the weary grey day, the sky lit up, a blaze of contrasting colour as the sun said Goodnight {and goodbye} to Bertha ~~~

A short while on and the August Full Moon, a Super Moon and the second Super Moon of three in a row this year {a rare phenomenon indeed} peeked above the houses and climbed steadily into the sky ~ up and up and up she rose into the deeply darkening night sky ~ high above the rooftops and the chimneys of the drowsing cottages and nodding trees in The Shire, sailing into the sea of night above the tree~lined shores below, bestowing upon us the silver light of a full moon night ~~~ 

On again, on again, on until morning she sails through the ocean of night, on again 'til the last star still shining is tucked up in bed and the sun peeks over the edge of the world, arising again, shining again, showering golden light again over The Shire ~~~

~~~ and the relentless, endless chase begins again ~~~

Sunday 10 August 2014

Waterfalls in the Night Garden ~~~

Gentle Reader ~~~ Last night I dreamed that I was hiding in a waterfall ~~~ then claps of thunder came, rolling across the sky, and lightening flashed and crashed, and I awoke and discovered that it was raining heavily, percolating, drip by drip, drop by drop, into my dreams, and maybe I was behind a waterfall after all ~ dream~invading rain falling in torrents, like the streams of a dream of water falling down a rabbit hole ~~~ indeed, by suffusing my sleep it brought strange memories of standing in a real surreal cavern behind Seljalandsfoss in Iceland ~~~ where a narrow path trickles behind a screen of falling water, where, with care, you can creep along the slippery ledge into the small cavern carved out by centuries of falling water and experience a waterfall from a whole new angle ~~~ it is very noisy, very wet, and incredibly wonderful!  

Here is a link to my Flickr Iceland photographs album where you can find many more waterfalls and other Icelandic treats ~~~

Rain fell, curtains of water, drenching the parched earth, and the sky across The Shire was grey and heavy; somewhere in the distance the grey fields reached up into the grey sky but where they met no human eye could tell ~~~ all was grey and wet, sodden after night~long hours of heavy grey rainfall, blown sideways in the grey winds of former Hurricane Bertha, falling as if squeezed from some giant grey bath sponge hidden in the grey sky being rung out by a massive hand hiding in the grey clouds, so as to fall upon the grey land below in great grey sheets of water ~~~ 

The winds are freshening now and apparently will blow with ferocity later this afternoon.  The sun is shining, all is bright and shiny and fresh, clean and green, with flashes of colour from the few tenacious blooms that survived the onslaught of the night. Later, I will survey the damage, which doesn't seem, at first glance, anywhere near as bad as it could have been; watering cans are not needed today, but as ever ~~~ 

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

Friday 8 August 2014

Folklore ~ Photographs ~ A Summer Storm a Comin' In ~

Gentle Reader ~ do you have folk lore sayings that you have known for years?  Do you know what they mean?  Very often, the things we say today by way of tradition have very deep rooted meanings and interpretations in many things, like nature and plain common sense.  I would love it if you share some of your favourites in the comments box ~~~ and here are just a few of my own ~~~ 

A lot of my friends say "Rabbit Rabbit" on the first day of each month, but until recently I had never heard of it.  I always grew up with, what I consider a less pleasant saying that goes 

"A pinch and a punch for the first of the month"

 ~ not very pretty, is it?  Often, it was responded to with 

"A punch and a kick for being so quick"

 ~ again, not very pretty.  However, the first part dates back to the Middle Ages {maybe earlier} in Britain when witchcraft gave reason for fear among the general population and this little saying was to ward off witches ~ the "pinch" was a pinch of salt, long held in belief that it weakened the power of a witch if thrown at him/her and the "punch" was the shove to push the witch out of the way after the pinch of salt had weakened the powers.  So, throw the 'pinch' of salt, weaken the witch, then 'punch' it out of the way ~~~

Another interpretation is that the pinch may be a pinch of snuff and the punch a cup of punch as traditional offerings to callers and well wishers who stopped by the houses of local gentry over the Christmas season and New Year's morn ~~~ I prefer this interpretation to the witchy one for it is more convivial ~~~

Folklore is a strange and intriguing thing indeed ~~~

"Red sky at night ~ shepherd's {or sailor's} delight
Red sky in morning ~ shepherd's {or sailor's} warning"

This little adage, apparently, has to do with the sun as it reflects off clouds, and if the clouds are red at night then the following day will be fine, but if they are red in the morning, the coming day will not be fine.  Simple! 

Here is a gardening snippet for you ~

"One year's seeds are seven years weeds"

 ~ very true ~ for seeds, once sown, can remain dormant in the soil for many years, so the seeds sown by all your weeds this year, some will germinate next year, and the rest will take their time, watching and waiting, then bursting forth just when you think your garden is free from all the plants you don't want there ~~~

Here, my gentle friends, are some seeds that have sown and are not weeds at all ~~~

I love Japanese Wind Anemones, for they provide colour and interest in the garden as Summer starts to turn into Autumn and all the hot colours of Summer are quickly fading out ~~~ the blazing lilies, the fragrant roses, crocosmia, and more are making those seeds for seven years of sowing!

These are my white Japanese Wind Anemones, their late blooming, single white flowers on whispy, willowy, whippy, long and elegant stems grow from a bushy mound of mat, dark green leaves, but with a lot of blooms growing and preparing to burst open in succession to give a good show over many weeks ~~~ they will provide colour and interest as the garden starts the winding down from Summer into Autumn, with elegant, dancing, movement in the breezes ~~~

Look at all the blooms ready to follow very soon for a grand display ~~~ oh! and if you find the perfect spot for this hardy perennial, it will spread and thrive, filling the space it inhabits ~~~

I have several new specimens coming along in pots ready to plant for next year to give a wider variety of these lovely flowers ~~~ pinks, blues, and colour~tipped whites ~~~

While I was doing some tedious, yet therapeutic and much needed dead~heading, I was serenaded by a beautiful robin ~~~ it took me some time to find him, but I followed his song and there he was, perched in the tree, just above my head, singing his heart out with his pretty song ~~~

The roses, all of them, are now almost over and the next stage of colour is growing ~~~ do you remember the beautiful, big clusters of single blooms earlier in the Summer with all that delicious scented fragrance ~~~

Well, now the flowers are spent and the hips are green and growing and soon will be orangey~red giving colour and interest for the Winter and attracting birds that may feed upon the Vitamin C rich fruits ~~~

Already, the rosehips of the rosa rugosa are swelling and reddening, ripening fruits of the Autumn hedgerow

and preparing a bold, bright splash of colour against the leaves until the fall ~~~

A butterfly sits and waits ~~~ for what?

I love the way this courgette peeks through the hairy stems, and the flower twists in a curl at the top ~~~

The carrot tops are now clear the rim of the bin in which they grow ~~~ if the roots are half as good as the tops they will do well ~~~

of course, I cannot resist another photograph of a foxglove flower ~~~

see how dry and parched the lawn is, yellow from lack of water, but the shrubbery is looking green ~~~ I have plans to take cuttings from the pink wall germander growing in the foreground, and the hips on the roses will soon provide a change of colour ~~~ do you see my two, original and old mill stones?

Rain always provides a willing subject on a stem or leaf or web ~~~

Butterfly eggs appeared on a nasturtium leaf ~ exposed and vulnerable on the upper surface too!  I do not know what sort they are, but I left them in peace ~~~

Tiny, single, bright yellow eggs of another sort of butterfly laid in the protection afforded by the underside of the same leaf ~~~

A hoverfly feeds on the fragrant flowers of my apple mint ~~~

One of my favourite photographs of a bowl full of fresh picked produce from the garden ~ mixed leaves, tomatoes, courgettes ~ sitting in front of my home made jams and jars of herbs ~~~

Gentle Reader ~~~ the weather for the weekend is dire, for the tail end of Hurricane Bertha will drop in for a quick visit ~~~ hopefully she will pass through quickly and to the south of us, and the winds and rain will not be as bad as we have been told to expect ~~~ we are advised to continue watching the situation as the Met Office continues to assess and track the storm ~ however, just in case, I am preparing recipes for using up my courgettes and green tomatoes if the bushes do not survive the onslaught ~~~ we will see ~~~ and that, gentle friends, is the reason why ~~~ 

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

Saturday 2 August 2014

Blissful Rain ~~~ Introducing Whilber ~~~

Gentle Reader ~~~ Are you like me ~~~ totally and completely besotted and obsessed with that most enchanting of all the seasons

~~~ Blissful Autumn ~~~ 

Are you impatient, and cannot wait for the days of heady Summer heat to cool to more bearable warmth, for the leaves to turn colour and fall from the trees, for the days of hot chocolate, mittens and scarves, and long walks in the countryside of the turning year?   

I could not wait a moment longer, and as soon as I was able to turn the page on my Susan Branch 2014 wall calendar, {I have just ordered my 2015 ones} so I have changed the background here on our little corner of The Shire to one of my lovely sunflowers pictures from previous years and the colour scheme is now more Autumnal too ~~~ soon I will put an Autumn themed header in too, but for now there is one of the corner with all the oregano and lavender in ~~~ I hope you like the changes ~~~

The sky, grey and gloomy, heavily humid for days, emptied blissful rain upon the earth, and all is glistening and fresh, the dust of weeks is washed away, the air this morning cooler, clearer, and all together very pleasant indeed, despite the sky still overcast.  The grass, dry, parched, and brown, will soon be growing green again and the Garden is cleansed and refreshed by beautiful, blissful raindrops ~~~ sometimes gentle, sometimes heavy and torrential ~~~ as you will see from the amount of water collected in Whilber {oh, I do not believe you have met Whilber, so, Gentle Reader, may I introduce Whilber?}

Whilber is one of two Welsh names for wheelbarrow ~ the other being berfa ~ so Whilber is what I have called my wheelbarrow. This one is actually Whilber III but we do not upset Whilber by adding the numbers to his name.  He is just "Whilber" ~~~ and I could not be without Whilber's help in the garden, for he carries many heavy loads for me, compost, rocks and stones, even when I have many bits and bobs to move from one spot to another, Whilber is my constant gardening companion and friend ~~~ 

The rain lashed against the windows of the cottage all night long, and this morning there was quite a depth of water in Whilber so I pulled out a measuring stick and there was just over four and a half inches since yesterday morning!  That is a lot of water in two days.  Of course, it isn't an official measurement, but it does go to show that the garden does not need watering today!

I took advantage of the Summer rain to pop some of my houseplants on the patio during the rain ~~~ the gentle raindrops wash away the dust that is impossible to do on such a fullness of growth on cacti, succulents, and ivy, leaving the plants refreshed and clean once more {in the Winter, I pop them in the shower, but the rain is so much better for them than chemically treated tap water} ~~~

Of course, dewdrops are everywhere this morning, and here are just a few more pictures of dewdrops on blooms and flowers ~~~

I love how things reflect in the droplets as they dangle from the plants ~~~ 

The rain will swell and ripen the few remaining raspberries in the berry patch ~~~ but picking is slowing down now and will soon be over ~~~ doesn't this look so tempting?

Small branches of bramble, laden with a promise of blackberries, bounce in the breezes that drift across the garden ~~~

Soon, the nurturing rain that fell will make it's way up the thirsty stems and swell the tiny fruits into plumptious purple jewels of fragrant berriliciousness ~~~

See how they are already in different stages ~~~ some swollen and darkening to ruby red and the colours of wine, others just behind but still green, and some only just starting to form as berries ~~~ all will be picked and turned into my very favourite Apple and Blackberry Crumble, served with lashings of custard ~~~ if the pick is good, then Blackberry Jelly will be made too! 

Oh, wouldn't this last one {above} make a wonderful colour scheme for a room?

Today, I must start the task of deadheading the lilies, to let the goodness that is in the leaves return to the bulbs and not waste the energy of the plant into making seed!  Sadly, the rain has washed away the Stargazers, so I hope the remaining tight buds will open after the rainy spell has passed us by ~~~ my reward for the job of deadheading is this ~~~ 

My September Country Living magazine {UK copy} just arrived through the letterbox and plopped on my doormat ~~~ it is my most favourite magazine, and right along side you see my most favourite mug ~ my Emma Bridgewater "Rose and Bee" mug {which I notice needs to be refilled!}  I just love the sofa on this cover, don't you?  Well, the weather will have to change very quickly if I am to do the deadheading, so I might just reward myself sooner rather than later! I am incorrigible ~~~

Whatever the weather, there is always work for the Gardener, so remember that ~~~ 

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