Friday, 19 March 2010

New book recommendation!

The lovely Mark Diacono has written another book (the first being the excellent River Cottage veg one, recommended by me) - A Taste of the Unexpected.
I've pre-ordered it from Amazon, as I have every confidence it will be as good, but probably better than the RC one.

His site about his climate change farm is here:
Well worth a look, inspirational stuff, and well written.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Wild about the garden

I spent some time outside in the back garden this morning. I realised how much "wild" stuff I have out there! I was planting out some wild tulips and wild garlic in the orchard, under the trees. I popped in some tiny tete-a-tete daffodils as well. The garlic was being moved, but was well into new growth, so I'll look forward to harvesting that in a couple of months' time.
It's nice to have a bit of the wild side in the garden - with an eye to the longer future, we may well stay here, and when I'm older, I'll be able to go out and forage in the garden without having to venture too far afield. Thinking ahead, that is! I also havev sloes, bullaces, a tri-cornered wild garlic, hazels, elders, brambles around the boudnaries, nettles, wild strawberries too. Other things just seem to appear - there is a nice colony of celandines just getting going in the orchard too, and a new plant of arum lily appeared over the past week or so. Little beasties see to it that hazels pop up all over the place too! Technically not truly wild, but cultivated, but ever so handy!
I spent some time cutting back the hellebore leaves as well; as well as allowing the flowers to show themselves off more, it gives more light to what's underenath - little spring flowers now have access to sunlight, and myriad hellebore seedlings have appeared.
This one got lopped off in error, but it's nice to get a really close look at such a stunning bloom:

My friend M is a florist,and had done the lovely arrangement at the top of the post for her mantlepiece; I like the way it evokes flowers growing wild in grass, waving, airy and natural. I thought I might have a go myself if the daffodils ever deign to actually bloom! :)

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

First butterfly!

I saw the first butterfly of the year yesterday -a brimstone, always the first to be seen, and one of my favourites.
Spring is definitely here - everything is budding up nicely, daffodils are almost out, lots of oxlips and primroses, and the snowdrops in the garden are still beautiful too. Lots of birds about, and it's a pure and simple joy to be working outside with the sun on my back.

(photo from )

1 000 posts................

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Thanks for sticking with it lol

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Dorset gates - old and new

At last, we have a front gate! We had it made for us, it's a traditional Dorset gate, made by Townsend Timber, a local company about 6 miles from us.

Just around the corner, on one of the smaller lanes, is this one:

It's very similar in style to ours, vis the number of sections, and the diagonal cross bar; the major difference is that the cross bars on this one are wooden, whereas ours are metal. I believe the authentic material is metal, but there were ones made with wood, probably due to cost. This old one has a lovely galvanised maker's plate on it:

All the way from Cambridgeshire! A couple of clicks on the net, and I find the same company, English brothers, still existant, still in timber products, still making gates. I'm going to e-mail them the pictures I've taken , mainly out of interest, and just to let them knwo their gates are till good after what must be quite a few years! they may be able to date it too, just out of curiosity.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Up along and down along - again......

On Saturday we drove out and up and over to Rampisham; it's very high there, and there is a bit installation of radio masts, originally for the World Service I think. It's lovely around there, very much the quintessentially unspoilt Dorset. Where I live is lovely too, but more openly agricultural. We passed through many small villages, largely unchanged for several hundred years; some lovely houses and churches, lots of folk about too, which is good to see. We stopped for a cup of tea in Maiden Newton, where we found a nice charity book shelf in the tea room- I got two lovely books, one on the countryside in poem and prose, from the Country Lady series and a book of Colin Baxcter's photogrpahs of Scotland. Good value too - two big cakes and 5 1/2 cups of tea for only 4.50! lol
We ended up at Cerne Abbas on the way home, via more small villages. I'd enver stopped at the abbey grounds before, so we took the chance. Backa way from the main street, up past a small mill pond and into the grounds. It's all private, but you are allowed to go in and look around, with due respect, ofcourse. The Abbot's Gusst house is still standing, also the Abbot's porch; both look in need of some repair, butt he costs and conservation rules and regs must be daunting I should think! Ther'es little left of the Abbey itself, depsite its huge importance in days past, due to the dissolution of the monasteries. Very interesting place, and the street leading up to it, Abbey Street, has some very old buildings in it, which you can see in the photos; they were originally Medieval shops, but are still lived in. A lot of filming takes there apparently,a nd I imagine the hosues are featured in many a shot.
Well worth a visit if you're in the area, as well as popping along and saying hello to its most famous resident lol

Sunday, 14 March 2010


Being Mothering Sunday today, I have been seconded into the pub kitchen for stint in the middle of the day! I have worked in that particular kitchen quite a few times on and off part time over the years, and having been a chef, it holds no fear for me! It might be quite busy, but I'm looking forward to it; washing up as well, but that has one of the best washer up's views in the country - right out over the Vale :)
I had planned a dy in the front garden, but I'm sure that will still be here when I get back, and hopefully MrL will have made good progress with the front gate preparations for hanging, as the gate finally arrived last week. :)