After three days of going out, we just wanted a pottering about at home day and getting jobs done. The undergrowth behind the house has had a chop. It only just keeps it under control but we try.
We use the hedge trimmer to cut the brambles to the ground. We leave until last thing as the bees and butterflies liked the flowers and the birds like the berries.
Weweeded and tidied the side of the house and have been to the dècheterie and we’ll go again tomorrow.
The big laundry bag that you can see is full of kindling I picked up from the forest floor. I have some more bits of tidying to do yet. In the future we will put a thick layer of gravel at the back of our house So it doesn’t keep sprouting weeds. Next year, we’ll paint the house so that’s on our saving plan.
Our son has been round to thrift cottage at home and cut the grass for us. I’m at that stage where I’m looking forward to getting home and back to everyday life.
Here, I’ve put another two coats of stain on the stairs, more white paint on the walls and wood work and washed and dried the sofa covers. All of these bits and bobs give me the feeling of finishing up for the summer before we put the house to bed for a few months.
It’s been fun, we’ve accomplished a lot and the house is beginning to feel more homely every time we visit.
Take a good look around you, and you may well notice the frothy and almost snowlike quality of Sloe and wild plum blossom. Sloe or blackthorn is close the ground and at hip or waist level. The wild damsons or bullaces as they are often called will require you to look up. Now is the time to remember where you see these trees and record that somewhere. In June they will be covered in green unripe fruit but as August ends and September is in full swing, they will be ready to pick.
You can also keep your eyes open from crab apple blossom, which is also at eye level. It will be mainly white but tinged with pink. It makes a great base for apple jelly, to which I add mint, or I use the crab apples for the pectin to set other jams or jellies.
So keep your eyes open for blossom, record where it is. Keep an eye on the fruit as it ripens and make sure you get to pick it and make jams and chutney before everyone else does. Keep it to yourself, most people don’t know what they are looking for, or even looking at. If you’re well prepared, you can keep yourself in jams, jellies and chutney for at least a year and the fruit will have cost you nothing.