A strange title maybe, but we do live in a rural village where most residents around us keep livestock, as do we, and warm and damp weather makes for some interesting aromas. But the acacia bloomed, now we have roses, sweet peas and the most gorgeous peony giving their scents...luckily they all seem to get on with each other. While in the veggie patch there is also scent from the broad bean flowers, and by the herbs the smell of sage and thyme as it warms. The nicotiana will take over soon.
|A really dark rose|
|Our lovely pink rose which will continue to flower all summer|
|The climbing rose is going great guns|
|Mini ground cover sweet peas with a big scent|
|Our first standard sweet pea|
|The white scented peony|
|Bumble bee on the sage|
|Bought in the market for a few pennies|
|The pink peony has gone over already|
|Loads of buds on the hollyhocks|
One pong which brought a bit of sadness was onion. I have pulled up fifty or so of the blown bulbs to make room for the sprouts. The little bit of usable onion is chopped and in the freezer to use in soups. The rest of the onions from that bed will be used as and when we need them. Hopefully they will bulk up a little. The new ones Dave planted where the sprouts were going to go are growing away nicely so hopefully they will do OK.
|The red onions seem to be doing OK, if a little sparse|
I have frozen the first batch of peas, they are small plants so lots of bending. They are not massively prolific and I am hoping I will have space somewhere to put some more in. I will plant British varieties which are more familiar....unless these suddenly do well. It's difficult to know what you are buying in the market.
The broad beans are coming on with the pods now six inches long, with the later sown ones now flowering well. We are eating spinach and the chard is growing well. The celery is also doing OK and a friend gave me some Bulgarian plants so I will compare the two for flavour and see what will be best next year. The potatoes are looking good too, with flowers buds showing. At last I have got round to sowing the parsnips. I decided to wait until the soil warmed hoping for a faster germination this year.
In the bottom bed things are growing really well. Carrots, beets, beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, sweetcorn, brassicas, courgettes, peppers and aubergines. The butternut squash and melons are just in. No idea where the sweet potatoes are going! The toms are flowering well, the cougettes have lots on them, peppers flowering and cucumbers have fruit. It's all going worryingly well!
|Carrots, beets, borlotti, climbing beans and tomatoes|
|Flowers coming on the borlotti|
|Huge flowers on the "chocolate stripes" tomato|
|Red cabbage and courgettes|
|Sweetcorn. The butternut squash will scramble amongst them|
|The rhubarb is taking off at last|
|The small early pears looking good|
On the poultry front little ducky has been weaned! All rather pathetic really. Cagney has started laying again which was bad enough as she spent ages in the nest box and ducky wandered around looking for her. Now he knows where she is and if he feels like it will sit near her. But last night she decided to join the others on the perch for the night. Ducks don't perch, so poor little ducky was wandering under the perch squeaking. I have to admit I was a bit worried as he hasn't got any feathers still. A chick of his age would be feathered and perching. So he spent a bit of a chilly night on his own, but is out chasing flies and bathing with the bigger ducks when there are only a couple in the pond, independent of Cagney. One of the adult ducks is looking as if she might go broody, she was sitting on a couple of eggs in the corner of the dust barn but not laying, the eggs were cold. So we have marked them and will see what develops. Apart from that, all is calm....but chicks due this weekend.
|Ducky is not exactly beautiful at the moment, but full of character...and very fast!|
|Dave had to cut some branches from the apricot as they were getting tangled with the wires|
|Much appreciated, though there is no fruit this year|
|Hiding...but I can see you|
|Eyes off the tomatoes!|
|Mini cherry toms coming on well|
|Broody duck maybe?|
|Happy among the weeds|
We have been socialising again. Went to pick up some bacon for Dave then into town for lunch with a friend. A nice meal in lovely surroundings. Dave ordered a courgette salad which was really nice and a good idea for using some up. Simply shredded and dressed, with chopped anchovies and olives. Very tasty. then it was off to the cash and carry where I got some glace cherries so cherry and almond cake will be next.
|Made with long grain rice|
We were going to go to the art shop to order some canvasses but with chatting time ran away, so we had to go back next day and had lunch out again! (Not so nice) Called in at the river to see what was what and the water level is now nearer it's normal level. The birdsong was tremendous....but there were two voices missing. There were no signs of kingfishers which were so prolific two years ago before the floods, or bee eaters in the colony by Dave's swimming place. There is some sort of excavation/building work going on on the other side of the river so maybe the disturbance was too much. We didn't actually see that many birds, a lot of cormorants and a heron, but there were plenty about. I was standing under a willow tree and it seemed to start raining, but the sky was blue. On investigation the tree was covered in 'cuckoo spit' which seemed to be dripping in the heat. Yeuch.
|The cafe (we used to have breakfast there when we were house hunting) is right outside the Rose shop, selling Bulgarian rose products, highly scented|
|We ordered olive salad, but it must have been a bad translation as this was potato salad with sweetcorn and bullet peas|
|Dave's kiwi smoothie|
|A rather hard pizza with ....bullet peas and sweetcorn, and pepper|
|Flowers coming out by the river|
|Bright red poppies everywhere|
|Cascades of wild rose|
|Willow with cuckoo spit|
On a bend in the river there was a sandy bank which is new, full of mussel shells and water snail shells. So hopefully that's a sign of clean water. As Dave can't stay out of the river I hope so.
We are also going out tomorrow (Sunday) to a family party in the village. More of that next time.
I really do have to get on with making cards and jam/chutney for the next car boot though or there will be no point going,,,,,and we don't want to miss out on a good old chinwag!
|The pool has died! It has a few punctures, which is odd as it has been in the spare room. It's getting hot so a bit of a shame|