Same Old, Same New: Dark And Bitter, Not Me!, Biscuits

Despite being a while it’s always the same brand available.

The Bouquet rose is blooming all over.

Rhubarb and Orange Jam and Rhubarb and Ginger Jam.

There have been many harvests and I keep forgetting to take a photo. Golden Acre are a great small variety.

Yo, Dear Reader, there hasn’t been much to do with food recently, bar fresh produce, mostly because I have long since hit a limit on what I can eat and what I can do with what ingredients I can use. I did buy some carob powder and promptly forgot about it. No, I’m not joking, I just decided to make some cookies and went with the Buckwheat Peanut Butter Biscuits, no I’m not being confusing on purpose, this my natural state, when I say cookies, and I will, Dear Reader, I mean biscuits…though they are more of a cookie in the version. They turned out well, they’re fast and I sped things up a bit, I’ll elaborate on that in a moment, but I am reminded that most people really dislike carob, for various reasons, and I have struggled to find the best use for it and I had a moment when I first tasted these. They’re strongly flavoured with carob, it cuts through everything else, thankfully it doesn’t dry them out much, that’s one unfortunate downside of carob, it’ll dry out anything and won’t take on moisture to counter that fact. I realised that even with a good bit of sugar it did nothing to the carob’s bitterness, but it’s similar to coffee’s bitter notes, taken on it’s own merit it has value, you could dump sugar into it and it would only increase the bitterness, whereas like an espresso, I’ve had a few in my time, a few in the last hour, the bitterness as the main flavour note allows the other flavours to recede a little and you can just enjoy it as it’s own taste. It paired super well with coffee and I wish I had had some kind of coffee powder to complement it. Peanut butter has also always worked well with carob in my opinion.

With more “Bouquet” roses starting I may need new names.

You should’ve seen the smile on my face, Dear Reader.

So, if you take carob as a dry and bitter flavour, don’t try to tamp it down, I always find sugared coffee just feels off, that’s my taste so take all of this as the same, you might have much better luck. I’d like to try it as a drier biscuit with some kind of coffee flavour, be it a glaze or just as an additional dry ingredient. Won’t happen right now, Dear Reader, but I think carob is an underrated ingredient. I’ve done a lot with it and it isn’t the best, but it has some uses and does add a lot of goodness to whatever you add it to. I do warn again about the idea of the healthy dessert, there are the obvious issues that even if you reduce sugar and try to replace ingredients with healthier choices that you might still have something that would still struggle to be called healthy, it’s why there are so many of those protein based fruit bars, they seem better than the yare, which is mushy nuts and dried fruit, but what I think is the bigger issue is that by trying to recreate something that is based in sweetness and unhealthy choices you lose the joy inherent in that choice and also you tend to think less of completely new recipes and dietary replacements. Which is why so much terrible gluten free food is so popular, I’ve talked about it in the past and I still feel taking these new ingredients, well, newer to some of us still, and using them on their own merits is much better than using them as substitutes. They aren’t perfect, but I really think so much can be done with them if we just start from scratch, check out the carob tag to see what I have done. Yes, I am still a food blogger, I’ve just put in years of work and hit a good point, anyone can ask for a recipe or help, but I have my own life to live and my own health to consider and experimenting with sweet isn’t as viable as it once was.

They’re a beautiful rose.

A little pink has appeared on the white hydrangea.

More lilies. A little later this year I think.

So, that was Jack The Food Blogger, Dear Reader, it’s like a switch clicking in my head, so many considerations, so many diets, so much responsibility, but that’s why I mostly go with the chill garden posts these days. I’ve more than paid my dues to all the blogs that helped me and I hope that I have been a help to others over the years. The knowledge is always there, Dear Reader, but I do need to put myself first and these days it is getting harder to get the usual pantry staples never mind new ingredients to play around with. I do often think that I could just repost old recipes, try to build a userbase and then I just laugh and laugh and realise that’s the lie we’re all sold online, that we too can be a success. The people selling us these sites and lies surely make money, but the average blogger will likely fade into obscurity long before they see any indication of fame. For me I found friends here, I found loyal Dear Readers who have stuck with me, whom I hope enjoy these posts as much as I do writing them, for me that’s success enough. As long as I have all of that then I feel the blog is a success. I’ll be back again soon, Dear Reader, until then stay safe and take care.

The mystery rose that always shoots up after the yellow dies back, this is the chunk I took off and planted last year.

Can’t even tell if they’re early or late anymore.

Somehow tomatoes got into the back and are flowering outside?! Wait…I did this? I think.

Spare a Jar, Anyone?

The White Japanese Anemone are just blooming now.

Salvaged dahlia is pretty, eaten, but pretty.

Still a lot of roses.

Yo, Dear Reader, I have been given more rhubarb, one piece was so dense the knife could only chip at it, naturally I composted that, the rest was a little tough. I’m not bragging, but I never realised how good my rhubarb has become after years of care and feeding. It’ll all macerate overnight so it’ll be much more tender and, you know, edible, I’m doing one batch of Rhubarb and Orange, with jam sugar this time around, and one Rhubarb and Ginger, same idea just with a teaspoon of ground ginger and a 4cm chunk grated super fine into it. It’s time to use the fruit and preserving like this is ideal. I’ve harvested another four cabbages, more peas of all kinds, a friend took half, she’s more than earned that and the rest will be cooked and frozen. Sometimes it’s just a better option than blanching, just reheat it in the microwave as a pre-prepared side, depending on the person eating it, which funnily you can over look, I’ve been guilty of trying for the perfect preservation, Dear Reader, now I just go with whatever is best. With the pressure of the surgery gone and me finally really realising that things are changing for the better mentally for me. Still a lot there, but this helps.

Still a lot of the yellow strawberries popping up.

Just behind the cinnamon dusted squash you can see the seeds that started have really taken off.

I managed to buy this having also bought one for a friend a year ago.

The Rambler is starting to bush out again, but still has a few flowers.

One things that I can’t say what brought about but I’m glad of is the cabbages are barely touched by slugs, you expect some, but these are near perfect, I used coffee grinds at the edges, onions planted all around and slug pellets scattered away from the cabbages and a few nearer. A little iron won’t harm the soil and that’s about the strongest measure I’ve used, but I’d swear the coffee and onions did as much if not more. Either way I can continue to use both as I go. The red cabbages are slower and I’m not one hundred percent sure what I’ll make. I do have a braised red cabbage recipe, and I’d like to pickle or something similar, but pickled foods aren’t eat much here and selling wouldn’t be an option. Might likely braise and freeze or give away. I thing I grew too many to be honest, but I was rushing and planting what I could before the surgery, sadly the cauliflower were eaten before they even started. I’ll figure out something, I don’t eat it myself and can’t if it’s braised, but if there any Dear Readers out there with experience on using red cabbage I’d be grateful for any tips or advice.

Coffee Plant is still alive and growing.

Naru’s Garden just pulls flowers towards it.

A small friend decided to join the photo.

I haven’t spoken much on my recovery recently, still a little slow on the right side where all the issues were, but it’s healing and I’m starting to feel it more a part of myself rather than a big piece of something just inserted into the skin. I’ve been through far too much with all the weight-loss and the after effects, so a part of my just wants to forget it all and just get on with life, you know, Dear Reader? I’ll likely look back on it in time, but from a greater distance from the most painful parts. I’m eating well, I’ve cut down on my sugar a bit, didn’t need to just had trouble sourcing my icing sugar and decided to just occasionally go with whatever the shops had in junk food, pretty much like I was before really, still feel that eating anything bad should be hushed up despite, you know, me being the poster child for successful weight loss, societal standards and erroneous reinforced perceptions of weight and health run deep, Dear Reader, which is why I speak up now and then. I’ve added hemp hearts back into my diet, just as there has been a shift to whole hemp milled, my “cereal”, a far cry from what was once, even when it was healthy cereal it has so, so much sugar, is just chia seed, hemp hearts, popped quinoa, hard to get now too annoyingly, and puffed rice. It’s…it’s food, Dear Reader, it gets me a lot of good stuff all in one go and sometimes that’s enough. Like everything in life, Dear Reader, it’s a lot more grey than people would like to believe, if I ever stopped this diet I’d likely end up dead or worse, but even with it my myriad of health issues, genetic and effect of the weight and weight-loss, still take a lot out of me, never hurts to remember that you’re never going to be perfect because there’s no such thing as perfect. We can only look after ourselves the best we can and answer only to ourselves, Dear Reader. I’ll be back again soon, until then stay safe and take care.

These are one of the first dahlias I ever bought.

Lilies are so beautiful for so little work.

Jack, Terror of Florists

They really are stunning.

Rhubarb and Lemon Jam and Rhubarb, Raspberry and Currant Jam.

We’re still getting sun thankfully.

A droopy lily.

One of the SG roses somehow grew inside the mesh, or outside depending on how you look at it.

Yo, Dear Reader, the weather is back to an unpredictable mix, but somehow still a favourable one. I’m watching squash flower and trying to resist the urge to check for fruit setting because it’ll likely be too early to tell and annoying if I don’t see any. The heatwave was a boost, but it also made a lot of plants stressed so I’ll likely see growth to a greater degree now the rain and gentler heat has come. I’ve had a break from heavy work, just letting plants grow on their own for a few days, they’re doing great, we still have a lot to come yet, but the time when die back starts isn’t that far away. The next biggest step will be planting the garlic, I’m skipping the over-wintered onions as they just caused more trouble than they were worth in the long run. There might still be issues with supplies, but I’m going to be more patient this year and also buying much more garlic than I usually do. I’ll carry on just buying whatever is the strongest garlic and hoping it lives up to it’s reputation, Dear Reader, beyond that I’m not pushed.

RTC is rooting again.

The front has garnered so many compliments.

No idea if it’s new, but it is pretty.

Still a few to come out, a little late this year.

Peppers grow so slow here they’re usually too late to do much, I get a few, but they’re not great.

Stop rushing ahead, Squash, that comes later.

Worth all the work.

Things are going to be a little slow for now, but as always the indoor plants and cutting keep me going, I have a few roses, all bouquet roses, all from different bouquets though, starting to root, they’ll be a while yet, Dear Reader, but patience pays off and it’s a fun gamble to take that doesn’t take up much space. I’ve long since given up growing roses as a favour, anyone can have a cutting, but unless it’s a very special circumstance as it has been in the past, sometimes taking years of work, I’m only growing for myself. It takes so long and unless you’ve done it you likely won’t appreciate it. It’s better this way as I can focus on new roses rather than cloning the same as I already have. It’s not likely I’ll ever identify the exact roses that may grow, they’re going to be florist stock, but I imagine that’s a guarded secret or just cheap stock, not slagging off florists, but let’s face it you wouldn’t grow a delicate rose is you need numerous. The best part is no suckers as they’re whole plants and not grafts. Makes them stronger overtime too. Of course a graft is stronger at first and will continue to be, but a rose grown this way can establish it’s own root system that will never have any issues with the graft struggling or failing. Both have merits of course, but I think for the home grower grafting can be a lot of hassle, mostly sourcing stock and getting the tools, also space. Besides you can smugly say you’ve cloned something whenever a cutting takes and that’s worth a lot.

The dendrobium has a new shoot.

So healthy too.

The wind didn’t damage them much thankfully.

They’re as great mix of colour variations.

The original Bouquet rose, gets better as it ages, but that makes sense when you think about it.

Don’t forget the squash, bee!

Albert Q. Biddyboy has bnew roots, these are always silver-grey instead of green.

It’ll be a month or so before the blackberries are ready, but barring a freak heatwave we should see a bountiful crop, which we haven’t had in years, if I’m able I’ll be harvesting the rosehips as well, for jelly, I once saw them made into a runny jam and it haunts me, Dear Reader, no, no, rosehip and something jelly most likely. Hard to say when I’ll get apples, but I can store the fruit to combine later anyway and I’ll likely mix the earlier fruits with the later ones. I like trying out various combinations even though I can’t eat them myself, might be why I like trying so much, when you can’t just eat whatever’s there it leave s a gap and you push to fill that, with me it’s trying to make the best jam and jellies. I might be lucky and get another basil harvest yet too, there’s a lot of life left in the garden yet and I shouldn’t get too far ahead, Dear Reader, I plan enough, but the surprises are always plenty. I’ll be back again later, Dear Reader, until then stay safe and take care.

A red dahlia has popped up.

I could pin up, but eh.

When the flowers fall I cut back and hope they rebloom.

This rebloomed! That’s a first.

The…I need to look this up…it has a friend.

Oh, Ominous Thunder

Tree lily in an awkward spot to photograph.

It really is beautiful, a sin to have had it smothered so long.

Better, much better.

Yo, Dear Reader, WordPress is telling me everyday that I’ve posted a successive post and I tell them a very rude word I won’t type here, I know it’s all to do with the great algorithm that is supposed to push us to create and profit the owners, but I’m just posting because we haven’t had a stretch of weather like this in years and it’s fun. I hope the posts haven’t become an irritation, but also I know people can’t just skip them so we’re both good and pushing yourself to create for an arbitrary idea of worth is senseless. I’m just sharing a little of the good in my life with anyone that needs a little garden-based goodness. As I was typing this out a bird was screaming, can’t call that singing, Dear Reader, outside my window, when I spotted it on the chimney it flew by as if to say hello. Hello, loud bird? Nature is strange, Dear Reader, between the wasp that hung around with me for a good portion of the day or the birds that came en masse to bathe in my water feature I’m just rolling with it.

Well, I’ve walked the whole garden now.

One of the older roses.

So, today I did a very, very risky thing. I decided to finally walk the last section of the garden, yes, Dear Reader, I clambered up to Pigside Back. That has to be the bathtub side, there wasn’t any certain footing though it has held pots for months and with my knees I needed someone to steady the steps coming down, it’s a big drop. But I got in and holding to the chestnut tree for dear life, started capitalising that, Dear Reader, and just kicked the live out of it, if it broke better while I had a hand to something, but it held and the work began. I’m sick of whatever weed, I don’t think it’s Japanese Knotweed, something of a lookalike, but it is a pest and it was getting to be an eyesore again so I decided to smother it. I used blankets and a cut up skipbag, I may return with weed matting to layer up, but I managed to break it all down and cover it and then place pots over it. That whole raised area is likely the highest point in the garden and currently is being encroached upon by encouraged climbers, there are at least two ivies, honeysuckle and now even the rose has started to make a beeline towards it. If any of them start to cover it it won’t be long before it’s carpeted and I can pop pots over that.

The fig tree is such a lovely tree to have as just a decorative tree.

Why do they have to look like dandelions?! I want to pull them.

Ah, the title, right, I swear you can’t make this up, but when I stood right in the middle of the never before walked upon Pigside Back, pig has been moved, but the name sticks, thunder roared in the distance, not once, but twice. It didn’t rain and I couldn’t exactly jump out of there if it did, as I say, Dear Reader, my knees do not bend that fast. Whether it was an auspicious sign or a curse I have no idea, but right now that weed is bugging me and I will not rest until it has been controlled. I’m pigheaded as they come when something like this pops up. I’d like to keep it natural if I can, I’d be able to use pesticides there as it’d just fall through the covered junk, but that’s a last resort. I’ll likely wait until Winter and just roll matting right over the back wall and pin it down with pots. I know I can walk there, albeit it carefully still, so it won’t be as much of an irritation. Not a bad way to spend my day off…yeah, I know, I did try to rest. Thankfully the flare up of arthritis has passed off a good bit so I’m okay. I’ll be back again soon, Dear Reader, the heatwave might be over soon, but they keep saying that. We’ll see. Until later, Dear Reader, stay safe and take care.

Give it a few years, Dear Reader, it’ll be so, so much more every year that passes.

They’re all huge now.

I’m Running Out of Heatwave Humour

Everything that seeds is being thrown at the new bed. I’m watching these.

I may have a little hope for fruit setting now. Just a smidge.

A new flush of roses is coming soon, not that it ever stops.

Beside the compost bins is starting to be the most attractive spot of the garden.

They’re fine with the heat.

Yo, Dear Reader, the heatwave is still with us, we have a few more days and then uncertainty, but likely much cooler. On one hand I like watching everything grow rapidly, but I also like not being baked nightly. I’m having an arthritis; flare up, I have spent too long now just saying I’m in pain, it’s freeing, Dear Reader, in my hips which I only recently realised that it causes a pain in my abdomen, or an echo of pain, hard to describe. It causes my knee to swell, my back to hurt and my joints to ache, which is also a lot of shared symptoms with my many other health issues. Anyone dealing with multiple disabilities, intolerances and illness knows this struggle, but I think too many of us have internalised the idea that silence has any value, that resilience is keeping others from feeling in any way inconvenienced, any guess where that idea comes from? It certainty isn’t from you or I, Dear Reader, so I speak up, I refuse to push when I can’t. I usually work through pain, partly a bad habit, but also genuinely something I have found beneficial, but only if I take it slower than usual. This leads to nightmares and a bad night’s sleep, so being a little tired from a day out helps a little. It’ll pass and isn’t that frequent thankfully, I mention it because why not? and also that someone else might see it and find a resonance and maybe a little more understanding of their own personal struggles. I know people sharing online has been one of the best resources I’ve found.

Long forgotten the variety, but it is beautiful.

A lot of Summer plants are just way too slow, the swamp lilies are sluggish still.

A bit broke off and has been replanted. This has brought so much joy.

Beside the wormery is no slouch either.

So, so many roses. Wonderful.

I might’ve found another Soft Rush.

So, you must be thinking that I’ve run out of jobs and well, you aren’t far off, I’m currently checking pots, some have been cleaned up, others haven’t and have died back after years, others are just packed full of bulbs. I’m trying to mark them in some way, mostly by what I roughly think is in there, just so I know what has been cleaned out, though now weeded completely they do stand out. Buying bulk cheap bulbs is the best way and now the bees seem to be coming back a garden of flowers and squash needing pollination are a powerful combination. I’ve always tried to keep the garden in bloom as much as possible, mostly for squash at first, over time I’ve obviously enjoyed it solely for how beautiful it is, but also in gratitude for all the life making it tick along so well. It’ll always be changed with the idea of doing more and the more always being something that’ll benefit nature and the wildlife therein, be it the thrush eating some berries, eat the whole thing!, or the bees going from flower to flower in some inscrutable pattern, even the worms and the soil bacteria are considered. It’s a lot, Dear Reader, but I really do love it, I’ve found something I was missing my whole life. If I’d found it sooner it may have altered my life drastically, but maybe not, I try not to dwell on the what ifs. Try being the operative word. For now I’ll push on, going at my own pace, looking at my now extremely freckled hands, thanks sun, and try to squeeze the most out of these remaining hot days. Until later, Dear Reader, stay safe and take care.

Nerines I think, haven’t seen them flower in a year or two.

I’d swear there are way more there than there should possibly be.

A gentle reminder to keep an eye out for the slower strawberries.

Glad to see more bees about again.

Manually Sorted Basil

Taking a few photos as a record.

This is the prettiest of the daylilies.

The Soft Rush I er, found, I guess, repotted.

Soft Rush seeds.

The Gaultheria Big Berry, a favourite of birds.

Pretty, but currently sprawling on the ground.

Taken before the rain washes it away. If it rains.

I just hold the camera up and hope I get a clear photo.

Yo, Dear Reader, the heatwave seems to be on the wane, still humid and hot, but less so. There was rain, hail in some places, but we didn’t get any. I earned that rain, Dear Reader, I demand a heavy saturation! Hard to say what’ll come next, but I’m just glad I left the basil harvest until the end. I went with Mango Basil Dip, really an all purpose sauce, using my own basil, a mixture of a least five different varieties, and my own garlic feels really rewarding and the taste is amazing. A few months ago there were a lot of sweet, ripe mangoes so I blended them and froze them into portions, the mangoes are now tough and sour again, so I’m saved thanks to my own foresight. The basil is a mixture of gentle lemon, floral cinnamon, sweet cloves and various kinds of basil, combined with the still fresh garlic taste it’s a wonderful sauce, super simple and you can adjust it to your taste. I was reminded that tastes vary wildly today, Dear Reader. I was reading about an affogato, a shot of espresso over a scoop of vanilla ice-cream, I do this, but can never remember the name, yes, that is very me, and when I saw the recipe I had to admit it was tailormade for me, twelve espresso shots, I thought it a lot, but I liked that, one scoop and all that and, no, it was a shot per scoop…there were twelve scoops, not one. Probably for the best to put that dream of caffeinated frozen creamery to bed. Not that anyone could sleep after that.

Always hard to imagine it’ll die back and come again.

Can I still call this a mini rose.

The orange dahlia popped up too.


Accidently called these Biddy-boys and that’s their name now I guess.

I hope I get some seeds, not much this year, but a few would do.

The Rambler seems better with the extra sun.

So, what next? Mostly check through various pots at my own ease, there are likely some flowers that have aged out, but it’s impossible to tell when the garden is as lush as it is now and even harder when every pot is dormant or pretending dormancy instead of vacancy. I used to be terrified of accidently killing a plant through mishandling, Dear Reader, but over time my hands have learned the knack of how to hold, to tease out, to gentle take, like pulling off basil leaves or sifting sol for impurities, it’s a learned knack. So I’ll push on with that, but taking my time because there is no deadline as I keep reminding myself. I need to clean up after the heat wave, there are a lot of bits and pieces lying around and far too many rose petals in need of sucking into the blower. The mango took a direct hit, the bottom leaves have browned a lot at the edges, a darkening rather than an outright burn. It seems like Heartbreak is not only living up to it’s name, but may not even match Morbid Mango, though the rest look fine and it wasn’t disease this time. I knew it wouldn’t last, but I cared for it as it would…I’m aware I’m talking like it’s dead, Dear Reader, but I’m not falling for it this time. Yes, yes I am. Now, not much else to report, Dear Reader, I’ll see what the weather holds day by day and try to look after everything, I’ll be hoping for rain. Talk to you again later, Dear Reader, until then stay safe and take care.

It’s all teeny flowers?!

I have to hold the camera over my head at this stage.

Godspeed, wherever you’re going.

It’s fiddly and I dislike fiddly things, but love basil.

Luckily I had two cans for coconut milk. The shops are closed and I like it made as soon as it’s harvested.

The basil did much better than I expected this year.

Spontaneous Squash Germination

Why is this hollyhock sitting in the bold corner?

The bouquet rose is in bloom again and still so small.

This is another cutting from another bouquet because I have infinite patience at playing the odds when it comes to potential flowers.

No powdery mildew and huge leaves. Just how they should be, but so rarely are here.

I interrupt this post to go out into the garden and finally check what has turned out to be a bird-dropped soft rush seed growing happily among some crocosmia, I put it into a pot and them into the bed, this year I soft out the long planters, Dear Reader, which will take a lot of moving to get to them,, by why not? I have the time and patience. I could just discard it, but I put it where it won’t spread seed in a troublesome way and it is a nice little grass, no photograph right now because it’s ten at night and sweltering, that last part doesn’t affect anything I just want to complain. This is the second wild grass I’ve found in an inexplicable spot, the last time it was a huge reed just growing in a bottomless ring of crocuses, you’d wonder what the odds of hitting any given pot is. I like the reed as the flowers grow along the stems side, a little below the top, I didn’t seem them flower, but caught them as they started to seed. Marshy damn my foot, they were growing in a dried out pot in direct sun. Let’s see how they fare, Dear Reader, this is the best kind of gardening experience.

I use to have to explain away the back and now it’s an attraction instead of an eyesore.

Basil started in the heat does better, but with a colder weather coming it’ll be hard to say how it’ll grow.

The rhubarb is huge again.

The honeysuckle is huge again.

This was one of my first dahlias.

Took this cutting back in April after a walk in covid test. This has taken a long time to root.

So nice I bought it twice…for some reason.

Glad this survived the frost that killed the apple tree. Well half the apple tree.

A comically slightly misshapen rose. Like huge ears.
The heatwave might be departing soon, Dear Reader, I’d be glad to keep it if it could cool at night and rain at night and just do all the work I have to while it scalds plants with it’s oven-like air flow. Still it has done a lot of good on the whole, I’ve kept everything moist from the get go you just can’t catch up on watering, once you start to dry out you can’t get it back to moist enough while the heatwave remains. I learned that lesson two years ago. Thought hot weather is good it is affecting the crops and I think we’ll feel the negative side effects as this will happen more and more with any warning. Climate change is going to do so much to us and we’re ill prepared to handle it here. I was given a lift to the shops, bless good friends, Dear Reader, and they turned the AC on to treat us both to a blast of air hot enough to cook us. We are no ready here for any kind of regular increase in temperatures. I wish it could be planned around as they’d be potential, but right now it’d be like rolling a dice to decide my entire year. I may enjoy a little dabble in chaos, but I’d still like a little guaranteed success.

It took the windspinner over too.

They must be buried deep. How they didn’t rot is a mystery to me.

I have no idea what’s what. All are mystery squash.

Hoping they fruit this year.

Plenty of flowers at least.

In time I may need to get the honeysuckle to go further back and then put pots over it.

The mini roses are coming back.

I think this is phlox, but maybe not?

Speaking of chaos I have about a dozen or so squash plants that have started in various trugs. They must’ve survived the composter and thanks to the heat have started, they must be butternut, I don’t recognise the leaves, yes, that is a mark of how far I’ve come in regards squash, Dear Reader, not always a useful skill, but here we are, awash with squash and hoping they’ll flower and set fruit on other plants. I’m not foolish enough to expect them to grow enough to set fruit of their own, much too late and the weather won’t hold for them to establish, but as they aren’t causing any trouble and are just in empty trugs I’ll leave them be. It’s funny how here are constant reminders of how we’re not really taming nature or even near controlling it, positive signs are much nicer than the world burning mind. I’ll be back again soon, might as well say tomorrow, lots happening and hot night need some kind of respite, enjoy the photos and stay safe and take care, Dear Reader.

Roughly collected rose cutting from a neighbour. Somehow some survived months and months.

Naru’s garden is like a magnet pulling plants in.

They had a six pack of lavender for cheap. It’s really rough now, but the process is important to record too.

My insulating seal! Okay, two old hoses have slipped off with the heat.

Making sure they don’t dry out and split the fruit.

Bits and pieces are being shoved in there so I can buy more suitable plants for the spaces they leave.

I’m curious how they’ll fare.

Still plenty of roses to come out yet.

The Moment Passes and Endures Forever

If possible I’ll add more this year.

Firs of the podded peas have been harvested alongside the Mangetout and Sugarsnaps.

No, really, I’m cleaning it.

Another daylily appears.

The mini roses are turning into small bushes.

Should be able to get another year out of them.

The changing colours of aging roses is a joy to watch.

I like the golden center of this one.

Another rose that wasn’t doing so well and has thrived this year.

I won’t say buttery!


Still a lot more to come.

Yo, Dear Reader, another scorcher and I’m back again with far too many photos. I like that they’re a record of everything good that happened, this time won’t be remembered exactly as it as, you can’t really keep it all in mind, it fades, it seems impossible right now that it’ll ever feel distant or that it may never return, yet when the Winter comes and Spring lazily follows it always seems like a faint dream, a lie you tell yourself to push ahead with the work, but the photos are proof that so, so much grew and so much joy was had. The heat is starting to get to me, there isn’t a whole lot I can do, our houses aren’t made for hot weather, rather they’re made for cold, and we’re not suited to this weather at the best of times never mind suddenly and severely. I’ve noticed the plants are even getting damaged, it felt like an oven today with the hot wind blowing, I’m doing what I can for myself and the flowers both, Dear Reader, but hope for a little cool down or a gentle rain now and again for me.

These are so strongly scented.

Naru’s flowers have bloomed again! That’s fours years now.

It’s persistent, I’ll give it that.

Forty degrees in there, the lens misted up instantly, but I have tomatoes starting.

Thy somehow started in the Carnations too…how?

Honeysuckle reaching for the rose.

Bought a lot of dahlias this year or last year, whatever.

I am extremely glad I bought the longer hose, watering still take a long time, the garden is large and packed and you just have to stand there patiently as things get saturated, over and over, sometimes myself if the hose slips. I’ve seen a lot of squash flowers popping up, hard to tell what’s what at this point as they’re all intermingled and the tags are just lost in the greenery. If I see fruit I’d be happy, not counting on it with the late start and the new varieties, but I’m trying, Dear Reader and even that is an accomplishment. I have seen squash starting in random pots and whether they’re store bought butternut seeds that were in the compost, how they’d end up on top of the soil is a mystery, or they’re another plant resembling squash seedlings, I know sunflowers start that way, but these look like squash through and through, anyway I’ll leave them, if they grew they’d possibly flower and help pollinate, though I worry with the heat that the bees might not be active enough. They might be up earlier than I am though. All I see is butterflies trying to lay eggs on my cabbages, they’re so late it’s not much of a hassle though. I’ll keep working through the heat, Dear Reader, might be breaking soon, the weather not me! Until later, stay safe and take care.

The Painted Harlequin Orchid has come back well.

The Star-shaped Cymbidium shows its pattern through the pod.

Hard work, but work protecting them.

I never realised how large that rose has gotten.

Blueberries, bitter and small, but neat.

I make banana jokes to myself as I pass them.

Someone has turned into a real plant after all this time.

Don’t Grow Before I’ve Even Finished The Post!

We’re baked until Friday, knowing our luck it’ll be back to dry and overcast.

One of two Pineapple lilies, the other might be lost, but this one has thrived just jammed under a tree.

I mean look at that, I had to get the camera it was so strong.

A few baby root vegetables.

The Round Headed Garlic is a striking note among all the greenery.

They’re dealing with the heat well.

Yo, Dear Reader, the garden is growing frantically so lots and lots of photos, the posts help me forget the heat too, a little, so everyone wins. I’ve been in the greenhouse late because I went in to water earlier and hit a wall of heat that I couldn’t quite see through, could hardly walk through. There are tomatoes despite me leaving them to so whatever, I’ve also seen that the basil started near the hotter weather has grown better than the earlier ones started in cooler weather, so likely they get a bad start they don’t do so well, but I know from experience that they also don’t fare well if it gets cool if they’ve started in heat. We do not have the weather for reliable basil harvests, I’m just going to take whatever I can as it pops up. I’d like to make a chutney, but I’d like to use as much from the garden as possible, partly just because it’d be an interesting experience and partly because I’m cheap. There’s a balance in me, Dear Reader, I hate to waste or spend too much, but there’s a curious side that’d happily make a sugarsnap jam just to see what colour it’d be. I wouldn’t…really!

I’ll find a new colour I want in time.

Third bloom on the Blue Moon, first time I’ve seen that.

Biggest Tree lily is opening.

These are a really unusual rose, they’re like a huge primrose more than a traditional rose.

I’ll hopefully remember to stake that this year when it goes back.

This smacked me as I walked by and has wrapped its tendrils around the rose.

Despite being knocked around it finally flowered. Another Crimson Pirate, the packages are always random.

A little beaten up, but blooming.

It was worth climbing in and out of junk repeatedly.

Even the other roses are happier in there.

I’m at the tired of watering stage of the heatwave, it’s repetitive and with the heat beats down harder and harder it takes a lot out of you. I have noticed that with the stress of the surgery waiting gone my joints are a lot better, still troubled, but I’ve always had that and always will, it really is important to know how much stress can affect you on a physical level, Dear Reader. I’m now freckled, still not burnt thanks to at least three applications of sunblock throughout the day, cut, stung and I was even slapped by the squash that had grown a good seven inches in the course of the day, I’ve just turned it around and will let it and the rose combine. I have no idea if it’ll set fruit or if I’ll even seen any ripe squash, but they’re growing incredibly fast and flowering so I’ll keep looking after them as best I can. I’m watching the two gardens I fed with compost and liquid feed thrive and you know I think I might just know what I’m doing, Dear Reader. Maybe just a little. Work to do yet, Dear Reader, mostly watering, weeding and complaining about both of those. I’ll be back later, until then stay safe and take care.

You have to make the trek to the end of the garden to see it.

Every year it’ll get larger and larger.

Oh, I put one in the back too, huh?

All cream so far, I know there is one red one, unless it changed.

Glad I planted more or I’d have wasted this heatwave.

Okay, last photo of the honeysuckle, I swear.

If I bought the same wild seed mix again they’d never do this well again.

The fragrance is so strong, people walking by have commented on it.

Get Down From There!

The shed smells so, so nice now that the onions and garlic has been heated slightly.

Simmered and strained so no bits.

The only survivor from a set of three I got cheap. You takes your chances etc.

One of three yellow roses that all ended up planted together.

Having them mix together is great for colour combinations.

Solo is great too.

The titular squash.

Every year I forget to tie them up and I still have time…probably won’t.

Even the duck is struggling in the heat.

Yo, Dear Reader, somehow it’s getting hotter, currently my room is nearly thirty degrees and I have two fans running trying to get rid of some of the heated air, like bailing water out of a sinking ship, but it’s all I have. I’d be cooler outside, but I just can’t sit still in the garden and I’ve already been out all day. Well, I did come in to make jelly, I was told to harvest blackcurrants and just decided to go for it. Interestingly you can use more sugar because they’re high in pectin and acidity, I added a lemon while simmering and they turned out with an extremely sweet taste that ends almost tart, but not quite and it’s a shame and likely a good thing I can’t eat this. Bar the tester spoon, need to make sure I haven’t screwed up, but that hasn’t happened yet, Dear Reader, had to go wrong with so much sugar. I did use some jam sugar so you could probably carve this jelly up with a knife and fork. I found cheaper jam sugar so I’m set for a while, blackberry season isn’t far away. I’m rediscovering some simple joys that the surgery limbo took away, learning to go with my own ideas too, not listening to others. The amount of jams and jellies that went out to people too early and to no thanks was a teaching experience. Now the right ones get them and the rest can buy ’em.

Well, look what can be just grown again and again.

The anemone style dahlia nice, small, but striking.

Wish I’d planted more, didn’t realise they’d do so well this year.

Still have another that came with this to bloom yet. Lots to come yet everywhere too.

Another tree lily getting ready to open.

I work fast and it’s hot anyway.

I’ll deadhead whenever I can stop watering.

So, so many roses.

Currently holding part of the rambler up.

I forgot how big that can get when it isn’t almost dead.

Harvesting the cabbages ass needed and there’s almost no damage, any damage might be from when they were yet to be transplanted into the main bed, whether it was the slug pellets outside of the bed or the onions lining it is hard to say and either way easy to repeat. The onions outside were the small, leftover sets that I’d usually end up composting. Instead I harvested nice small onions, pulled a few huge bolted ones too, I’ve never bothered letting them flower, I will eventually just to see, but I’m busy right now, every day brings so much and I’m watering a neighbour’s, mercifully small, garden too. The heat is making things wilt, but also causing others to grow like there’s no end to it. One squash was starting to climb the rose and I laughingly tried to prise it off and couldn’t because it had already climbed the rose all the way to the top. I’ve kept things wet so there’s no problem with soil too dried out to rehydrate properly, learned that lesson two years ago. Funnily the indoor plants remain slow, many of these are made for this kind of weather, but inside they still just grow at a much slower pace. I shouldn’t complain about plants staying compact, but I never learn, Dear Reader, that’s part of my charm I’m sure. When the monstera is huge and I have bought another huge plant then and only then will I maybe possibly learn something. Only maybe mind. Enjoy the photos, Dear Reader, I’m off to try to prevent myself from just dissolving. Until later, stay safe and take care.

A bushier rose that has managed to climb over the wall.

The tallest rose.

Messier, but still so fragrant and colourful.

It’s really filling out the other barrel planter…funny thing to have two of when neither came whole.

Can’t go wrong with far too many roses.

Even dying back the rambler is beautiful.

Smells so wonderful too. When the wind comes it spreads throughout the garden.

Now, if we ignore the out of place squash and look we fan see the everlasting sweetpeas yet live.

Jasmine has revived too.

Welcome to the wall of peas.