Growin’ In The Wind

SUMMER

(Life in the garden)

carciofi sott'olio

carciofi sott’olio

There’s quite a bit happening in the allotment right now. We harvested the last of the artichokes and I pickled them in olive oil. The preparation is quite a mission but worth it in the long run as they really are summer on a plate. We also harvested the end of the broad beans that survived the snow and being squashed by the collapsed shade cloth. I double podded, blanched and froze over a kilo of them. I think that they are the most delicious of all beans, with their lovely creamy and nutty flavour. Kho leaves a bowl of freshly picked strawberries on our kitchen counter every morning and we enjoy eating them with yoghurt and cereal for breakfast, or in smoothies. We are also picking spinach, lettuce and a variety of herbs for salads. I haven’t bought a salad pack for months.

Our potatoes are almost ready to be dug up and I think Meg (our house-, doggy- and granny sitter) will be reaping the rewards of our early planting more than us. Otherwise, we’ve got chilli, pepper, brinjal, tomato, beetroot, beans, peas and cucumber seedlings coming on, and hopefully we will be harvesting those when we return.

There also seems to be a lot of activity in the garden, which is starting to feel like a real country garden at last. And I just wanted to share these photos with you before I leave to go on my travels.

male thick-billed weaver, with breeding white patches on his head

not sure if this an immature or a female thick-billed weaver

not sure if this an immature or a female thick-billed weaver

thick-billed weaver

thick-billed weaver

this cheeky little fella (pin-tailed whydah) is very entertaining to watch as he defends his turf

double - collared sunbird (not sure if it's a southern or a greater)

double – collared sunbird (not sure if it’s a southern or a greater)

sunbird

sunbirds love the freylinia flowers

this slender mongoose on our front lawn is a frequent early morning visitor to the garden.

this slender mongoose on our front lawn is a frequent early morning visitor to the garden.

DSC_0049_edited-1

I was caught off-guard by this shot

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6 Responses to Growin’ In The Wind

  1. michele harpur says:

    I don’t think my last reply went thro cause I am having the same ghosts! Having visited your special spot in the midlands brings your blog to life! Go big in the States – don’t think I need to tell you!!! Will pop in at Midlands for a full update in new year. Love to you all!

    • Cathy says:

      Hi Michele, those damn ghosts seem to be proliferating as deadlines loom. Look forward to seeing you in the new year. Hope you have a wonderfully festive Christmas. Lots of love.

  2. Adam Rice says:

    Have a great time in America, I will look forward to a blow by blow account when you get back. Adam

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Adam. Kiera has bought me a new laptop, so maybe I can blog from the US! Can’t wait to have all my family together again. This will be the first Christmas together in years. Best wishes to you and Jenny for a wonderful Christmas from Peter and me.

  3. James says:

    I think that it’s a Greater Double-collared Sunbird.
    The male Southern Double-collared Sunbird can be distinguished from the similar Greater Double-collared Sunbird by its smaller size, narrower red chest band and shorter bill (Wikip).
    Greater Double-collared Sunbird
    http://www.robertsonline.co.za/bird/82530/82530-1.asp
    Southern Double-collared Sunbird
    http://www.warwicktarboton.co.za/birdpgs/783SDCSb.html
    The Roberts’ website does not have a public page for the Southern Double-collared Sunbird.
    I was not aware of the change of name to Southern Double-collared Sunbird. I suppose it is better than Cinnyris chalybeus.

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