Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Out and about

After last week it's nice to show a clean white dog even if it doesn't last long! Tavi is getting better at posing for pictures, there was one time when he was younger that you would just get a white blur or discoloured blob!

During the summer we have sought out empty places, discovering lovely new walks along the way. We recently walked from Swyre through meadows down to the Chesil beach. We had this vast landscape of sea, beach and sky all to ourselves. I subsequently discovered that part of this beach, just a little further along is for nudists!

We came across these rusted metal poles, which were placed very close together. We could only assume they must have been part of the World War II defences.

The Sea Kale was still providing a grey carpet to the shingle. Only this week while doing some research for a project that I am working on, a Merchant,  Mr H.B Way operating out of West Bay in 1812 produced detailed instructions of how to grow this plant for cultivation. It contains high levels of Vitamin C and has been used since Roman times to prevent scurvy during long voyages by sea. As mentioned in a previous post it is illegal to dig up the plants, but seeds can easily be purchased. Mr Way recommended planting the seeds in November or December. I will try and follow his instructions later in the year and see what happens. 

Over the weekend the weather turned more stormy and looking at the sea reminded us of those long forgotten winter storms. Sadly over the weekend in the UK there were six deaths caused by drowning as people underestimated the ferocity of the sea. Sometimes it is better to view the sea from afar.......

We have also experienced another cliff fall this week. It happened at 7.40 in the evening and there were still quite a few people on the beach, luckily no one was badly injured. We constantly see people ignoring all warning notices and standing on the edge of the cliffs or sitting right under the bottom of the cliffs or amongst recent rock falls.

East Cliff West Bay before the recent rock fall/
Out on another walk we saw these sunflowers. They always make me smile they look so bright and cheerful.

As usual the courgettes seem to have grown without us noticing them, does anyone have any good courgette recipes? I think we will be eating them for days!

Thank you for visiting, until next time.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

The Changing season

As the days begin to shorten many of you, like us, will have started to see signs of the summer slowly coming to an end. So it now feels even more important to make the most of these remaining summer days. We have been doing some decorating this week, both inside and out, but it hasn't stopped us from going some longer walks, enjoying the scenery and daily noticing changes.

 The fields are changing colour and tractors and combine harvesters are busy.

  A recent walk took us through fields of sheep, then barley and corn.

It was much easier walking through a field of clover 

 A field of newly cut grass was Tavi's favourite, he found a very wet and smelly cow pat and smothered himself in it! It really stands out on a white dog too! He usually has a shower inside and wasn't so keen on a cold shower outside!

If only we hadn't been so busy at the time, admiring the view and watching the paragliders in the distance!

The blackberries are just starting to ripen, we had our first blackberry of the year this week. Have you picked any yet? After a morning in the community orchard today raking hay and weeding I came home with a few of the first apples of the season - Beauty of Bath. They were almost falling off the tree as they were so ripe.

 On the flowering front the orange monbretia (crocosmia) grows very well in this area and this hedgerow was a spectacular sight.

Looking out to the sea the colours here have changed too, the grass on the top of the cliffs has turned to the colour of sand...

With a few days of higher temperatures forecast we will be heading to the sea to cool down.
Thank you as always for the comments you leave me I always enjoy reading them. Wishing you a happy week.
Sarah x

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Sidmouth Folk Festival

This week we took an hours journey down the coast to East Devon. It is still part of the Jurassic Coast but it feels quite different. You can walk through time, as the layers of rocks along the coastline record 185 million years of the Earth's history.  Although it feels as if you have travelled to another country, the telephone box shows clearly that this is not the case!

The Triassic red rocks in Devon were a tropical desert millions of years ago and the pebbles on the beach belonged to wide river flood plains.

Budleigh Salterton

On the beach we discovered these wonderful Jurassic pebble art creations which were created by a local resident in aid of charity. It was sad to read that some of his work had been destroyed by vandals.

The reason we had headed in this direction was to attend two evening concerts at Sidmouth Folk Festival. It is a great music festival that has been running in the town for over 50 years. Unlike many other UK music festivals the events are held within the town, which adds to the atmosphere. Tickets for the popular acts are often booked well in advance, but even if you aren't attending one of these you can still enjoy many aspects of the festival that take place in the streets. Many of the pubs have live music and this is so popular that the people often spill out into the street. It is normal to see many musicians walking by carrying their instruments or tuning their instruments in the park.

It did feel again that we had been transported aboard listening to Le Vent du Nord, a folk band from Quebec in Canada. Their songs were all in French, but for us this added to our enjoyment of listening to them. Many years ago we were on a camping holiday in France in Brittany and one evening a local folk group wandered around the camp site singing, they songs were so beautiful and like Pied Piper of Hamelin they enticed you to follow them! (As a child we often used to visit Hamelin with our visitors.)

The following evening we watched Oysters3 (a slimmed down version of the Oysterband) who are were also excellent. It is so good to travel a short distance and still experience music from other places. Have you been to any music festivals this year?

 The seafront also doesn't escape from the music either. Many dancing groups also take part. Although we didn't witness it this time. I will leave you with this clip about Things to do on a Saturday afternoon when it gets too warm!

Hope you are having fun whatever you are doing. 
Sarah x

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Through the garden gate July 2016

The garden changes so much each month ! Compare the images from last month it is amazing how the plants have continued to grow taller, despite less rain and the day-length slowly decreasing.

We are now enjoying Campanula Lactiflora Lodden Anna flowering in all it's glory. The soft pink bell-shaped flowers dominating most of this image below, are magnificent. I gave half the plant the Chelsea chop back in May so hopefully we shall enjoy more flowers as these ones fade! This border is also full of cosmos, penstemon, phlox and the purple Verbena Bonariensis.

In the border that edges the field, we have tried to capture a more wild feeling with the colours blue, white and yellow dominating. We moved a bench close by, and I have found pleasure in sitting in the early evening sunshine with a glass of wine, watching the insects close up enjoying this area too.

The sweet peas have also been at their best. The smell of them always evokes summer to me. I seem to have captured a few greenfly in the image too. CT recommended using a natural remedy  -10 drops of rosemary oil mixed with water in a spray bottle to remove them.

The stalks of my sweet pea flowers get shorter and shorter as the season progresses. Does anyone have any hints on how to keep them long?

In the cutting border the lupins have been joined by dill, cosmos, dahlias and snap dragons. I get so much pleasure from wandering into the garden, scissors in hand to bring a few flowers inside to enjoy.

These are some other highlights from our July garden.

Artichokes,vebascuim,holly hocks and echinops.
An exciting addition this year is achocha seeds  I received from fellow blogger Caro from a Urban Vegetable patch. They are meant to have a taste similar to green peppers, at the moment they are just twirling around and around! Have you tried anything new in your garden this year?

In the vegetable garden we have had some wonderful yellow beetroot, the tomatoes are just starting to ripen and we have had a good crop of red gooseberries.

This week, walking down to the bay, we noticed the seagulls were behaving rather strangely. Instead of lurking in the hope of pinching chips or ice-creams from passers-by they had all headed out to sea.You have seen this view so many times here before, but never quite like this!

The reason for this soon became clear, as we headed towards the harbour. The sea was literally full of  whitebait, which the seagulls were devouring.

The whitebait also attracted shoals of mackerel, and they in turn attracted the fishermen. We have never seen so many people fishing along the pier. The mackerel have just been too easy to catch.

My computer has died, so I am sharing my daughter's computer at the moment. There are many advantages in having one of your children still living at home!

Wishing you a happy and healthy week ahead. Thank you for visiting this area of blog land.

Others taking part in through the garden gate are:-
Coastal Ripples
Margarets patch

Sarah x


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