Monday, 25 January 2016

Summer at our cottage

It has been a while since I last wrote a post on my blog, it was Spring time then.
Now we are into a hot and dry summer with temperatures in the high 20 and even above 30 Celsius degrees.
On Saturday it was 34 Celsius in the shade.
The garden has lost its Springtime fresh green look and the Summer garden has more muted and softer colours.
The vegetables need to be watered nearly every day and we have been eating beans, courgettes, carrots, corn, radishes, cucumbers, strawberries and potatoes.
Henk has made two more vegetables plots and I have sown beetroot and carrots, also cauliflower for the winter. 

The first apples are ripe in the orchard and we have a great crop this year. Some of the apples have coddle moth in them, because I didn't put a trap in the tree in Springtime, know now for next year.
Most of the apples are good and I have sold the first bag at my road stall yesterday.
While I am writing mint apple jelly is cooking on the stove.

Vegetable plots
Today I went and picked blackcurrants on a nearby blackcurrant farm.
The blackcurrants are picked by machinery and after the grower is finished the public can go and pick the leftover blackcurrants for free.
So I went this morning when it was not to hot and picked a container full.
It was not easy, because the berries are on the lower branches and more or less I had to crawl on my knees to pick enough.
I felt a bit like Ruth out of the old Testament, but instead of gathering left over wheat, I was picking left over berries and I was the only one picking in the field.
It got to hot, so this job is better at dusk when the temperature is cooler.
The pond in the garden.
I will make black currant jams to sell and black currant cordial for the winter, also I freeze the berries to use for baking.
Our cottage and the shell path and new vegie plots.
I am busy again with my art and opened a little studio with shabby chic furniture, bric and brac, handpainted cards and some of the paintings I have done.
The studio is the little cottage we build in the front and I open mostly in the weekends for visitors.

a Summer sunset
The little birds nests I found in my garden and were my inspiration for this painting. I love using soft colours and lots of layers of paint and washes to create a nostalgic feel.

Birds nest out of the garden
Two weeks ago we had a lot of rain overnight, it was a thunder and lightning storm with very heavy rain, so great for the garden and after the rain this beautiful rainbow appared.
Summer has many gifts for us.
The rainbow after a rain storm