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

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Drawn to the water

I recently discovered an old tourist brochure dated 1898 encouraging the public to visit this stretch of coast. It stated that on a warm summer's day there is nothing that can be more refreshing, nothing more recuperative, nothing more calculated to fill one with contentment and satisfaction than to throw care and business to the wind and visit the sea!

This statement is still true 118 years later and can apply to any stretch of coastline, particularly this week when the temperatures here have soared and it feels as if summer has really arrived! So if  you haven't had a chance to visit the sea, hopefully these pictures will help refresh you too! Some of them were taken on a recent walk around West Bay on a photography course that I attended. It was run by an experienced local photographer. We received so many great tips and were encouraged to experiment by taking lots of pictures. I'm glad to say that these are only a few of the 200 that I took!

I'm sorry I have been so bad recently in visiting other blogs. It's that time of the year when there are so many distractions with my time. My computer has also decided to stop working. It could have be a disaster as I stupidly stopped backing up everything at the beginning of the year. We were fortunate to discover a very helpful person who was able to retrieve everything on our hard drive. I shall be making sure that I do a monthly back up in future! Have you ever had problems such as these?

Until next time.
Sarah x

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Remembering the battle of the Somme

Last week was the 100th Anniversary of the first day of the Battle of the Somme. It was the bloodiest day in the history of the British Army. After bombarding the German trenches for seven days 100,000 soldiers were sent over the top of the trenches. As the British advanced they were mown down by machine gun and rifle fire. More soldiers were sent over to replace those who were lost.  At the end of the day 19,240 British soldiers had been killed. This is more than the whole population of the town where I live,

The battle of the Battle of the Somme carried on for a further four months during which the Allies gained  only 7.5 miles (12km) of ground. It resulted in a huge number of casualties - 420,00 British, 200,000 French and 500,000 Germans.

There have been various commemorative services to remember those who had lost their lives, particularly on this first day.  Did anyone attend any organised events or see any Walking ghosts?

An event in Exeter, which was held over the week demonstrated this huge loss of life in a very visual way. The artist Rob Heard had obtained a list of  the individual names of all those who died on 1st July 1916 and clad a figurine in a shroud to represent each individual person.

It was extremely moving to visit and you could really appreciate the huge scale of the loss of life. The names of the individual soldiers were read out by volunteers, and there was a huge marquee in which was listed the names of all the soldiers who had perished.

The voice on the video you may recognise as Jim Carter (the butler in Downton Abbey.)

Do you have any ancestors who died in the First World War? Both of my grandfathers were injured during the War. When I was researching my family history I did discover that one of my grandfather's cousins was killed at the age of  23 in Belgium, his name is included in the Menin Gate memorial at Ypres.. As the time goes by future generations may not be aware that there were unmarried men in their family who never came home and have been forgotten. I am glad that I found John Barker as he will now always be remembered in our family.
The link to  this site may help if you want to trace World War 1 Family History.

Until next time.
Sarah x


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