|At least there is grass over the septic tank now!|
Despite the cold I've managed a bit more garden clearing up and you can see from the following photos the sort of mess you get that needs tidying up before new growth starts to sprout. There's a fine line though between tidying and leaving shelter for the bugs, but I reckon most of the tall dead stalks can be cut off without that being a problem for the overwintering insects. And the reason I'm trying desperately to do as much as possible now? Because I saw my surgeon last week and he told me I wouldn't be allowed to do any gardening for THREE MONTHS!!!!! I nearly fell off my chair, I was horrified. :-(
|Irises and Golden Rod.|
|Taken through double glazing but my front bed has been irritating me for ages cos it was such a mess!|
|I haven't finished but after a couple of hours out here the day before the snow |
(yes that's snow) it looks a lot better.
|One plant I won't chop back yet are the Sedums, |
as they still look really decorative.
|Just another pic taken through the living room windows. |
It's warmer indoors. ;-)
OK I did brave the cold and took a few photos of new flowers and Hydrangeas which always look great when the flowers have dried out.
|Japonica or Flowering Quince.|
|Heartsease Viola, Primroses and a Hydrangea petal.|
|Dried out Lacecap Hydrangea which is another plant |
I don't prune back until about April.
|Snowdrops under my Wiggly Hazel.|
|And some bulbs coming up in pots.|
|Just for fun, this is what happens when you've got a macro lens on and a cat comes too close...|
I said I'd been out and about. What I got up to on Thursday afternoon I'll tell you about in another post. Today though we went to Decathlon which is a large sports store because it occurred to me it would be a good idea to get some more trackie/dance pants for after my op, because I'll want something nice and loose and soft around my middle! The fact I came out with another fluffy fleece and a tee shirt has got nothing to do with it, and quite how my OH came out with a bag full of clothes and shoes when it was me who was supposed to be shopping I do not know..... and they say it's us women who are shopaholics!
And because in about 10 days I've got to go on a really boring low fibre diet for a week before my op, and who knows when I'll be able to get out again after, or even when I'll be able to eat spicy food again, I've persuaded my OH (it wasn't difficult, funnily enough) that we should eat out a couple of times beforehand. This Chinese resto is an all you can eat buffet place and we always come out absolutely stuffed. :-)
|And this is just a church taken through the windscreen |
in the small town of Melesse on the way home.
I still have most of last year's fruit in my freezers, most of which can go hang as I really can't be bothered with making any jams and jellies. But we do both love blackcurrant cordial which is easy to make, so I'm currently simmering 2.5kg of currants with some water which will be hung in a jelly bag overnight, then the juice reheated with sugar tomorrow. I follow the River Cottage recipe, although if you use the amount of sugar they suggest it is overly sweet and sickly, so I only add about half the amount in the recipe. As I'm freezing the cordial I don't need the sugar as a preservative - but even if I was bottling and needed extra sugar I still wouldn't add as much as they suggest!
(from River Cottage cookbook)
Place your fruit in a large saucepan. For each 1kg blackcurrants add 600ml water. Bring to the boil crushing the fruit with a masher or wooden spoon.
Cook gently until fruit is soft and juices flowing - will take anything up to 45 mins depending on fruit. Remove from the heat.
Scald a jelly bag or fine tea towel and suspend over a large bowl. Tip the fruit in and leave to drip overnight.
Measure the resulting juice and pour into a clean pan. For every litre juice add 700g sugar (or to taste). Heat the mixture gently to dissolve the sugar, then remove from the heat.
Pour immediately into warm sterilised bottles leaving a 1cm gap at the top. Seal with screw-top or cork.
Will keep for several months (if want to keep for longer you will need to sterilise the bottles in a water bath immediately after bottling).
|Blackcurrants before simmering.|