KIALO

A new toy to play with. I think it could be brilliant in schools at 6th form level. My first attempt is here. https://www.kialo.com/lawns-are-an-environmental-disaster-53664?path=53664.0~53664.3&active=~53664.3

BUTTERFLIES

Perhaps our most colourful wildlife. This summer I saw very few, and most of them were small whites. The wet spring may have been a case as they are coldblooded insects. But statistics show a decline of 76% since 1976.

THE WINTER AHEAD

In line with recent times it looks like this winter could be ‘interesting’. Fuel prices are definitely going to be higher – by how much we do not know yet. The impact on commercial coal firms is already hitting with CO2 production slashed which has an impact on meat processing and fizzy drinks, as well as the NHS whose supply the government says is safeguarded. So food and drink supplies are likely to be disrupted rather than curtailed. Power supplies should be OK but it might be touch or go at times if we have overcast high pressure reducing wind capacity and leading to low temperatures.

GARDEN

Things are winding down now – only 2 tomatoes ripe this morning, Bright orange chillies have been good with about 30. I have had 2 red peppers and might get another couple. I also have cranberries ripening – hopefully enough for Christmas dinner! Quite a lot of parsley if anyone wants – I could dry some I suppose.

EDIBLE FLOWERS

I know this is pretentious nonsense but have just made a salad with chicory flowers (blue), pot marigold (orange) and nasturtium (yellow and red). I might use the marigold flowers to dye some cakes or even cheese straws later! The flowers are lovely so I will limit my consumption and leave most for the insects. I especially like the chicory flowers which have self seeded from one plant last year to 3 this year.

WEATHER

Rather Autumnal for August. Cloudy without threatening rain, the breeze is from the north creating a chill. Seems to be set like this for a while with high pressure to the north of Scotland. It makes watering the garden a bit problematic, pots need watering, but as temperatures are lowish, how much and how often? The tomatoes are coming to an end – earlier than I expected. I also have something that nibbles them – it looks like a wasp or insect rather than mice.

The cold spring followed by wet summer and now a dry spell with warm (!!) days and cold nights could produce a riot of autumn colours this year, especially sycamore, wild cherry, hornbeam, small leafed lime and oak.

I was thinking about some brussel sprouts in the greenhouse? For Xmas? This year I need to take my glasses so I get sprouts not purple sprouting!

WEATHER

I guess this has been a crap summer for those on holiday. I am reasonably happy as the garden has not needed a great deal of watering! A dry spell for the next week or so may not live unto the Daily Star headlines of a heat wave though, as the air is moving down from the north. To be honest this is the summer I remembered from childhood, showers, sunny periods, nothing spectacular!

WEATHER

I guess the weather may put people off a staycation next year. I am quite happy with the weather this year, plenty of rain for the garden and enough sun to ripen the tomatoes. Not great for sitting around outside though!

GLUT OF TOMATOES

I am getting about 500g per day, so pizza and then dried tomatoes. HF-W recipe 1kg toms, 1tsp salt,1tsp sugar, 50ml white wine vinegar, 100-150ml olive oil. Halve, sprinkle salt and sugar, slow bake for 10-12 hours, then bottle. 2 or 3 small jam jars worth.

Then to make some pasta and then some tomato sauce. And a recipe yiayia