Saturday, 30 April 2011

Thoughts on trees...........

Thinking on trees this morning; I have three awaiting planting now - a Scots pine, the copper hazel and the Bramley apple.
First of all, every time I buy a tree a chicken seems to die. I like to bury chickens and other animals under a tree, so I know it will go undisturbed, but over the past few years, when I've bought a tree, it seems that a chicken dies within days. Convenient from one point of view, but a bit sad really. Stocks of hens now seriously depleted, so will be looking into getting some more very soon.
Next - wind chimes. Love them or hate them?  I like them, but I like good ones, not tinny wee things that don;t actually chime, just make an annoying tinkly sound lol (are you listening next door?). I have my favourite kinds, but both need attention. I had my aeolian chimes (the ones tuned to specific notes, a really beautiful sound) in one of the elderberry trees, but they eventually fell apart, and need fixing, so that's being done this afternoon and I'll find a lovely place in a tree for them so I can hear them. My other set are the big deep-sounding bamboo ones, hooked on to the cabin. They need a new bit put on to the end to catch the wind and make them go.
Thirdly - wind!  I love the sound of wind through trees, but up until fairly recently, none of my trees has been quite tall enough to get the effect and the lovely sound. Now the garden is maturing, and with it the trees, they've now reached a height where I can hear the wind through my own trees. How satisfying is that?

Thursday, 28 April 2011


....... lots of them I hope!
I found a lovely Bramley Seedling apple tree in Morrisons the other night for only £5, so I've just done a quick recce, and think I now must have a full (enough) complement of apple trees, not least for space to plant them!
I now have the Bramley for cooking; A Sussex Duck's Bill (aka Winter Queening) for eating and cooking; Bardsey Island for eating; Devonshire Quarrenden for eating - this is a biennial bearer, but the crop every second year is amazing, will bear this year - the picture above is of some of them the year before last, lovely little apple, but not a good keeper; cider apples are Yarlington Mill, a good local one; Sops in Wine, the most amazing coloured blossom; Slack Ma Girdle, hasn't blossomed or fruited yet.
Crab apples are Wisley, huge fruits; Aldenhamensis, tiny fruits; John downie, one of the most amazing sites when hanging with ripe apples, just lovely.
I put in another apple out the front last year, but can't for the life of me remember what it is lol I'm not a label person............
Roll on apple time :)

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Simple pleasures for a simple life

Dolly pegs and red geraniums in old clay pots by the door - can't be beaten. I got the basket of pegs at the car boot sale on Monday - 79 of them and their basket for only £1. The  6 wee geraniums, the traditional scarlet ones, will be grown on a while, then planted into pots to put by my cabin door.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Wallflower wine

This is a lovely light wine to make, and it tastes exactly as it smells! Easy and cheap to make, a real taste of late spring in a bottle.

2 quarts of wallflower petals
1 gallon water just off the boil
2 1/2 lbs sugar
1 lemon, sliced
1 teabag
1 tbsp yeast, activated

Put petals into brewing vessel, pour over water; add sugar and stir to dissolve, then lemon and teabag. Cover loosely, and allow to cool to blood temp, then add activated yeast. Cover closely and leave for 4- 5 days, stirring dialy, Strain into demi john, leave 6 weeks, rack off, then bottle when clear. Leave a full year before drinking.