Sunday, August 21, 2016

Apples Galore

We might not like all that rain and cool weather but apples certainly do. There is a huge crop.
We've had crumbles, pies, arts and then tried our hands at other things like juicing and adding to blackberries to make jam and cider vinegar.

Experiments in progress:

Juicing chopped whole cooking apples:

                                                   A little clear filtered juice:

                                        Looks like sXXXX - foam from top of juiced whole apples,
                                        yet, surprise surprise, tastes extraordinarily delicious!!

Apples water and honey in a jar fermenting - first to cider 
then to (hopefully) vinegar.


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Wind Scorch?

When I look out my kitchen window, I can see that plants in containers to the left look fine but some of those to the right are brown and dried. In addition, across the lawn one of the columnar evergreens has brown withered patches on one side.
I can't figure out why this is happening - there has been a fair bit of wind recently but how it it picking out these plants, I don't understand!

                                         Right side:

                                         Left side:

                                          Right side:

                                         Left side:

Diagonally across, the evergreen has some brown:

This one, right beside the evergreen, not affected at all.

I suspect someone's been spraying something on weeds around here GRRR


Saturday, August 13, 2016


A visit to a different section of the Canal this afternoon - the very pleasant Abbeyshrule.
I'm told this was once a very important centre on the Canal when the waterways were a major form of commercial transport.
It got a very good facelift fairly recently and now is a lovely place to spend a little time (note: there was a very enticing food smell coming from the bank-side inn).

                                        Connie makes a postcard!

August mini-harvest

This August has not been exactly warm and dry - rather mainly dull and drizzly.
However, there has still been plenty to take in from the garden.

I prefer to grab my little tomatoes while they are still green as there are plenty of cheap little red ones on sale (for now anyway) and I really like green tomato and apple chutney the best.

Here it is steralising in a pot of boiling water.

Strawberries and raspberries and blackcurrants and blackberries have been great but I am determined to grow Red Currents in my make-shift fruit cage. I have finally succeeded in getting just a few this year. The rotten saw flies got the leaves but I don't think that really affected the berries much. It's mainly the poor vigour of the bush in the first place - well maybe that will improve with time.
Anyway, I think I'm after them partly BECAUSE they are resisting my efforts as well as their lovely colour.

This has been a good pear year - so far anyway -(unless some winged assassin gets to them before me). 

                                         Plenty of mid-season spuds in the raised bed too.

Failed to keep up with the spinach so now it has got very big and coarse - will try to do something with it - well at least it should be a good addition to the compost bin.

These Nasturtiums have muscled in on the beds too. They are quite pretty and add to a salad too.

The climbing rose, Dance Du Feu shoots a nice one now and then. It is left to its own devices most of the time but seems to be gradually winning.


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Summer 2016, misty floral days

There have been few really sunny days this summer but every season has it's winners and losers. This year had the summer of fruits : rhubarb, blackcurrants, strawberries, red currents and there are loads of little apples and pears on the trees.
The heavy rain early in the spring seems to have suited them and also many of the wild flowers in the hedgerows and by the lakes.
Random photos below of the sights this year (along with Connie) the red Border Collie. She's not very smart but she is our "Love Dog" - nothing pleases her more then to lie with us and get petted and  snuggle. A needy girl but full of charm.

Some Cultivated flowers by the house.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Summer walks

Canal Walk

Barley Harbour

                    Look what he found!

Wish I could record the delicious scent along this path.

                            Successful duck family

A trip to Kinvarra

A hot day, a good day to drive over to Kinvarra in Co. Galway

A bit hot for the old boy

Then back to the fields

June and July 2016 - Fruit and Flowers

Spring two thousand and sixteen brought a LOT of rainfall and it didn't look like summer would ever really come - but of course it did.

                                                 Old Faithful in full bloom

                                         A blue sky - there were several - especially mid-July

Even boring old Potentilla looking good by the canal

A great season for soft fruits this year (apparently they appreciate loads of water in spring)

Plenty of fruit crumbles and Clafoutis and wrapped in the freezer and 
some sinful desert - Raspberry and Strawberry Pavlova - the queen pf
all deserts.