Tuesday, August 2, 2016

July - just hangin...

Summer arrived - on the 16th of July to be precise. 

We are munching through our produce

In July I mostly:-

- tried a new beer festival
- ate scones with clotted cream and homemade jam - soooo delicious
- became obsessed with sculptures and the people who make them.  Cornelia Parker is my hero.
- was stung by red ants and bitten by horse flies
- played frisbee with a teenager (haven't lost it....)
- discovered colouring books :-)
- drank home-brew in the garden and sat in beer gardens in the dark!  Without a heavy coat on.
-  saw a red kite fly over the bonnet of my car in the village
- had a staring contest with a young male sparrowhawk with steely yellow eyes
- saw a stoat or a weasel run across the road in front of the car.  Long body, tiny little legs - bit like me really.

We ventured to deep and darkest middle Wiltshire to try the 17th annual Devizes Beer Festival at the Wharf. We shall certainly be back next year.  Helped by the sunshine but it was so chilled and fab beers and chilli wraps AND sausages in baguettes - beer makes you hungry you know.

Listening to 'Talisman', a Bristol based reggae band

Time to go home.....

We were lucky enough to use my parents' amenities for the night.  Lovely.

Their garden was a state as usual!

Big Dog likes to visit

The usual tour....

The highlight of the month was a visit to Sir Harold Hillier Gardens near Romsey.  Love, love, love... Some facts - it is over 180 acres in size, was established in 1953 by the man himself, is home to 14 national collections, over 450 champion trees, 42,000 plants from temperate regions, has one of the largest winter gardens in Europe and is one of the most important modern plant collections in the world!  Go!  You must!

Renowned artist Tom Hare made the Pinetum sculptures - this one is made from willow

There were 112 sculptures around the gardens.

The sculpture trail 'Art in the Garden' is on until the 16th of October this year.  It is in its 16th year.

Woody woodpecker

The bog garden

A walk under the plants - Gunnera Manicata

Jermyn's House - we had lunch in the tea rooms.  Very nice soup.

Sir Harold Hillier

Monarda 'Cambridge Scarlet' - Wow, never seen these before!

Sea Holly

Lilium Regale

The 250 metre long double 'Centenary Border'

Inula magnifica 'Sonnenstrahl' or Fleabane

Canna Durban

We stumbled on an embroidery exhibition in Jermyn's House

It has certainly been a month for sculptures and pleasing shapes.

Salisbury Arts Centre - Matt Cutts' wooden sculpture

Salisbury's mini London eye! 115 feet high.  

We have lots of new pots to water now the weather has warmed up

Can I be dreaming?

Some days have been too hot to be outside in our south facing, shadeless garden!

So I let Sarah have a go in my colouring book - I'm nice like that.  She doesn't half press hard!

I have had a few strawberries with my cream

Taken the old dog on some pleasant (but rather short) walks (or drags) around the village

Allium in the garden

Welsh Bill having a chin wag - get back to work you two

English marigold

Pink geranium


I spotted a bungee jumping slug one morning

Oh, yes - Anyone like a mole?  Free to a good home.....grrrrrr

Sarah made sausage rolls

and she has been boiling the wort for the beer - this one is Exmoor Gold 

We had a bit of an accident one night as she tried adding the brewing sugar to some beer on the hottest day of the year and it erupted all over the utility!

The rest of the time we have been mostly gardening and trying as many new ways to cook courgettes as possible - ideas on a postcard please.

Elephant hawk moth caterpillar - I disturbed this big boy whilst weeding the front garden

Well, chores done tonight, blog finished, too wet and dark to weed - so it's Downton Abbey, feet up and some home brew.  Bring it on.

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