My apples that I normally pick in late October are going rotton on the tree. A friend of the other side of the village said her trees were the same. It is a shame as my labels were working a treat. My backgarden is too small to attract the birds and animals that may enjoy the windfalls. No windfalls here as they are rotten before they hit the ground.

Di Redfern who writes for the Mendip Times, liked the article I sent her on Nature, and the need for less tidiness to provide shelter and homes for insects through the winter, she had planned a similar article for a future edition


Very humid still. I just broke up the Aloe Vera and it is now in 9 pots – and I gave one to Kaush. The green wheeli is full but tomatoes are slow – but quite a few chillies of different sizes and clours and shapes. I just looked up pruning apple trees and think I need to prune mine tomorrow – lots of shoots going up – wheelie bin will be emptied tomorrow so I get cracking in a cooler environment than today!

Spicy chick peas is on the menu with a salad.; and then a bean stew of sorts.


My road is being dug upland a new plastic gas main put in. The official line is that it is an update. But as my house is 1960’s I am surprised. One of the workmen told Aaron in the shop that it was so a switch to hydrogen could be made! This makes more sense as the cost must be huge- and there must be thousands of older estates not getting the update? I am not sure what the logistics of hydrogen are? Would they need to do the whole village? We are not used to long term planing in this country!

Indeed the plans for a clean up of rivers and lakes has just been delayed for a few years. The last review in 2016 found just 14% rivers in good health – surely it cannot have got worse? Meanwhile there have been 138 sewage leaks in the last 12 months in Whitehall and other government buildings across the country.

Tomatoes – now upto 5.3kg so far and a good crop of chillies. Apples looking good too. Some labels on – more tomorrow.


I think I need to explain! Starting at the front 2 raised beds with logs Martin provided. The right hand one has sage, rosemary and thyme and a little oregano and a fennel. The sage had a wobbly and 50% died off but it seems to have recovered. I have put in a couple of rosemary plants beteween it and the road. Various bulbs have been planted withlimited success. The other raised bed is bit of a ‘mess’! But I love the surprises it throws up – it has a nice clump of oregano, a lovage that tries to take over, chickory and evening primrose, escaped mint! Californian poppies and wallflowers occasionally get a look in over the buttercups. There is lavender on the corner with ??

Behind these beds there is a thriving ‘hot lips’, a lavender, 3 mulberry trees which have not produced but are 6 years old! various other plants have been put in with little success – but I keep trying. Then there are 3 rose bushes, one of which is thriving magnificently, 2 others are less brilliant but are maybe bidding their time. i have a few other plants that are doing ok and a cranberry which loves thje wet weather this year! Also some others which were here when I arrived but do not know the names. Oh and a summer jasmine that needs a trellis, and the bluebells that are long gone.

In the back garden there is the apple tree – looks good this year despite my attack last year!, a new apricot, raspberries that are spreading. A vine which has survived my neglect, a mini kiwi which battles with the blackberries, the wisteria and honeysuckle need cutting back, and I am in a quandary about the stinging nettles and thistles – I think I ought to treasure them.the black elder needs constant cutting back and the rose that protects the back gate is also rampant. The fuchsia is ok after a major cut back!

Hanging baskets are lovely this year – I am not sure what I bought – but they have been brilliant.

Then the pots – 20+ mints have done ok – Corsican mint good this year, but thymes have struggled – camomile has been ok, should I plant it out?

60 plants indoors are all doing ok!


Tomato weight so far = 1.7kg and 2 little chillies. Lots of basil – so looking for recipes – passata seems favorite at the moment.


Excited by my latest recipe! Nectarine Jam. I got a box of nectarines from

So i decided to make some jam –

10 nectrines pitted and sliced, juice of 2 lemons and 1kg jam sugar – result the “nectar of the gods”. Ps. I added a little sprig of oragnge mint!

Tomatoes are ripening and I am weighing the produce (sad I know) but now upto 1090g and largere tomatoes are yet to ripen!


I have just made some nectarine jam – at foirst it did not set properly but hopefully another blast on the heat will do the trick. It tastes rather wonderful! I. might make some lemon thin biscuits, or scones to have it on later. I will also make some more baguettes – I will just spray a little water as the last ones were tasting a bit waterery. I have just ordered olive oil from CrowdFarming – I love the fact they pront a label with JamJam on ot for the tins and whilst just over £10 ltr is expensive it seems ok for organic and kniwing all the dosh goes straight to the farmer – in this case Finca Bardomus, Fernando Agramunt. I guess I need to make some more strawberry jam – the last lot was rubbish, did not set and I used it to flavour home made yoghurt and oat cookies. I have noticed the abscence of insects whilst making jam – which is good but a little concerning.

I have also just received a box of lemons from Carmen Valasco at El Carrascal with a winter varieties called fino and primofiori. Organic which means the zest can be used. More baking stimulated, and also aioli on salads.

Neighbour cutting grass I am hemmed in but across the road 3 neighbours have let trhe vetch flower and two have let ragwort and chicory flower, it would be so nice to see wildlife return to the sterile lawns – although I accept that some birds such as green woodpeckers and corvids like the lawns! Like everything a mix and diversity is good.

Tomatoes are coming on 670g so far but this should escalate next week as the plum tomatoes and striped ones and normal ones ripen. I think/hope 10kg should be possible this year. Most mints are doing great – basil seems to be bolting a bit (hopefully as I use more with the tomatoes, it will bush out a bit). Mints are blooming and I will dry some more to make herbal teas. Flame lily continues to astound. Lime and lemon by front door looking good. New apricot tree seems to be getting established ok and the grape vine that I thought I had killed by lack of care seems to have new leaves and forgiven me after Martin moved it to make it easier to water.


Not much of one, but the rainfall was heavy enough for a few minutes to distort the colours, and then some hail. It will have filled my water butts 350litres should keep me going for a while. Tomatoes should be coming on stream by Weds. First one was last Thursday. My pride and joy at the moment is my flame liy, only planted on 20 May,


I have been much criticised for the front garden – they should see the back one! Whilst raspberries have made a bid to take over, I have left some stinging nettles and thistles and buddleja for the butterflies and tiday saw a small tortishell on the buddleja flowers. The grape vine looks rather dead – i forgot to water it during a dry spell – I will have another go! the honeysuckle and wisteria are doing their best to take over having done their bit with flowers and scents. The apple tree looks good and the new apricot is ok I think? The olive tree had mites but is outside and seems ok, the surprise is te avocado which had outgrown the conservatory window sill – I put it outside and it seems ok with. new leaves. The jury is out on the lemon which I put out for the same reason. The table is full of plants hardening up – Hungarian Echinops, Chinese Meadow Rue, Sweet Coneflower, Pale-Purple Cone flower and Mexican Feather Grass. I think these will. go in pots when putting out – which means more bags of soil/grow stuff! But hopefully they will thrive and set seeds for next year, and along the street! Chickory and fennel have already escaped! I have not noticed any Evening Primrose yet this year? But hopefully it will magically appear. Mist of mints and thymes have survived and I think I only lost one lavender due to my awful neglect. Roses are looking different! A bush yellow one is 1.5m high and proliferate, whilst the 2 others bought and planted at gthe same time are 50cm with only te occasional flower – maybe they will get going later. Tje Shropsire Boy rose is also looking a bit sad! I will feed it tomorrow with chicken shit – that should do the trick!. Inside mother-on-laws tongue and aloe vera are doing great, others less so! Most are OK but not on steroids!

Chillies looking okay but i might need to spread them out. The tomatoes are looking good with. the bush ones (small cherry?) covered in flowers and the others all having tomatoes growing, but nothing ripe yet. hanging baskets are fantastic.


I love cook books! And have over 100! After a super birthday meal with the family I was thinking about another one. Everyone gets on well. There is a super park over the road for the girls. What about I give them all £50 to bring up ingredients (thinking fish from Looe! Speciality stuff Bristol. Then everyone mucks in and makes things like Meze and Tapas – BBQ stuff too. maybe put up £??? for accomodation? Everryone has to contribute something?