Of course while Janie is still on maternity leave we are seeing much more of her and Oliver and Rebekah (either here or there)and apart from the usual days out and the hurly burly of life in general, we have been looking after the gardens of 2 friends while they were on holiday for 2 weeks.
While they were in the Lake District getting drowned most days, we were having some warm and sunny and windy days. Weather that is guaranteed to dry out the soil so as we were watering home grown produce we needed to keep a constant watch. One of the gardens was more like a small market garden it contained so much produce. The owner was keen for me to pick and use whatever needed to be picked. So with, beans, beans and more beans, courgettes and tomatoes (some I gave away to others)I was able to make a vegetable casserole dish that is good used as a past sauce, or an accompanying vegetable dish. Before you ask, courgettes, French or runner beans, tomatoes,onions, garlic, crushed corriander seeds and basil. Sauteed and slow cooked in the oven for an hour on low heat.
Added to this I was given rhubarb, plums, apples,cucumber, beetroots from various folk so a fair bit of the month was spent preparing and freezing produce. Now we are into September and schools are back so hopefully we will get some more days out before the winter sets in.
At the beginning of August we had a day out to Dedham (lots more photos under 'Essex') with house church and while the young people spent time 'messing about on the river' others went walking or visiting craft centres. I chose to walk to a part of the village that I had not visited before where I understood there to be some old Flemish cottages. I was not disappointed as you can see here. Alan and I and another couple ended our day (after everyone else went home) walking across the fields to Flatford Mill where we had a nice afternoon tea together before walking back again.
Mid August brought out the berries on the Pyracanthas (far too early as the birds are already demolishing them) and our own tomatoe crop is doing well. Six bushes with about 2 dozen large tomatoes on each.
Here we have a number of gifts kindly given to us as a thank you for our garden watering. Some beautiful roses. The upside to these for me is that being commercially grown they do not have perfume so I could really enjoy them at close quarters. My own garden roses are heavily perfumed and I find I can no longer bring them indoors without having an allergic reaction to them.