Each weekend that passed in June just seemed to bucket down with rain or the wind howled horribly and frankly it was far too cold to be outdoors, with this in mind and not a moment to mow, a meadow grew in front of my eyes. I tried to spark up the lawn mower during one of the only dry weekends we had, only to discover that there was no life in the engine at all, back in the shed it went and the more my meadow grew!
Village gossip intrigues me and I avoid it wherever possible, however it does have its quirks and before long, after some strong wind and a good downpour, a passing walker expressed her opinion to my wild and messy patch of land, I think the words were derelict & disgraceful, it made me smile. Little did she know of my plan that has evolved naturally.
Fortunately my brother came to the rescue the following week and no sooner had he sat down with a beer and a quick surf on the net (just to be sure he was still in touch with the world whilst stuck out in the middle of nowhere), he had sparked up the mower and promptly enlightened me that it had run out of petrol, say no more!
All filled up and away I went cutting my path through the tall fronds of grass. Since letting the grass do what it naturally does, many wonderful native plants have pushed through the lawn and are firmly establishing themselves, such as oxeye daisies and clover, even a wild orchid. The abundance of wild life is wonderful, the butterflies are wafting around, the male crickets are fighting for air time and the bumble bees are hoovering around like heavily laden chinooks, sadly not many honey bees as yet, though I hope to work on this. In the spring I photographed a stunning caterpillar who in June turned into a beautiful Cinnabar moth, showing her bright red underwing, she is safe knowing nothing will go near her! Growing a meadow is a huge learning curve and I am a complete novice but with determination and the space which lends itself for this purpose, next year will be even better. Perhaps a fire pit in the middle would be quite fun and rather satisfying on one of those life laundry days! One thing is for sure a couple of four legged family members love lolling around in the long grass.
I have rather a big list of things to accomplish before winter, one of which is to prevent my window frames to rot even further. The windows are now sanded and primed in some very bright red oxide primer and now I hope to apply to final colour, London Clay, just so long as it doesn’t rain this weekend. French Gray did its thing, but it’s incredibly popular with the Cotswold Stone and I think it’ll be good to try something out of the norm, I really hope my gamble pays off!
The garden finally come into its own, I will do a more recent update soon as now produce is in full swing, however last month it was so exciting to see the peas starting to climb and flower, as well as the broad beans and French bean. The first crops of lettuce and radish were eaten with true appreciation and the flowers from the roses, Reine de Violettes and Louise Odier have given me huge pleasure with their delicious scent and beauty.
Finally, the interior is making slow progress, the fresh white covering downstairs is dreamy and I just hope it isn’t too long before the upstairs gets a coat too. The curtains are finally coming down, my dear Mother managed to get to grips with my grandmothers old sewing machine, so the white blinds are up and ribbons now need to adorn them to hold them up! What isn’t evident is that there is a large glass of Chablis sitting on the table too, call it an incentive!
Lastly, a friend and I recently did a bread-making day with Clive Mellum at Shipton Mill, what an inspiring day. We came away with 4 loaves of different breads and a tin of Chelsea buns, divine. It was the most generous day I have come across not just for Clive’s knowledge and patience, but a complete treat to go home with 6 bags of various flours too. A wonderful day, the mother lives on… (sour dough chatter!).
That’s all folks!