These long, drowsy, lethargic days of summer tend to disappear in a bit of a haze, the weeks melding together. June is over before I’d hardly realised it had begun.
Emails back up in my inbox awaiting replies; text messages go unanswered for weeks; my laptop is checked perfunctorily in the evenings. Any spare moments I have are spent, instead, watering the thirsty plants in the greenhouse, trying to fix the puncture in the paddling pool or just gazing out of the window into the cloudless blue sky, daydreaming about this or that.
And so it is, a good few weeks have passed since I last wrote anything on this little blog. I thought it was high time to swing by and tell you a few of the things we’ve been up to since my last post.
The hubby and I spent a few childfree days in Wiltshire last week, while we did a little bit of house-hunting. We’ve long had ambitions to move to the country and start a smallholding, and – with the sproglet starting school next September – it seems like something we should probably try and sort out in the next year.
We checked out a few areas and are probably honing in towards somewhere close to Malmesbury. But I think we’ll return, with kids, in a few weeks to really check everything out en famille.
We also visited an alpaca breeding farm and found out all about the logistics of having alpacas, another dream of mine. I’ve got to say, they were outrageously fluffy and adorable and just so incredibly soft up close. Once we have a bit of space for them, a little family herd of alpacas will definitely be lolloping into our lives.
The sproglet, especially, is very excited about the prospect of having alpacas and pigs and goats in his garden, and I am planning a vegetable garden with glee. There’s really nothing like summer to make you yearn for a bit of country air.
We popped into Bath one afternoon too and I finally managed to get in a visit to the Foodie Bugle, where I mostly splurged on wooden-handled kitchen brushes. I think I could have quite happily bought up the entire shop though.
Back at home, the current “vegetable garden” (AKA small bed and part of the greenhouse) is prolific at the moment. I’ve been picking rondo carrots almost every day: a gorgeous fat little round carrot (as the name suggests), that’s perfect for growing in pots. This is my first year trying them. The verdict so far: simple to grow and they look gorgeous, but I have to say they don’t have the best ever carrot flavour that I’ve ever tasted. Anyone else tried them and have thoughts on that?
The borlotti beans are also starting to swell, but I lost a big collection of yin yang beans to slugs, so I’ve copper taped the top of the pots in the hope that might help.
The greenhouse is pretty much completely taken over with tomatoes; all five varieties going great guns now. I think I’ve probably got something like 50 individual plants. I have great plans for enough passata to last us through the winter…
And finally, a few weeks ago now, I made my way up to Hampstead to visit the Grow London fair. I somehow managed to win tickets from Gardens Illustrated, which was an unexpected pleasure, so I set off there for the charity preview on the Thursday evening.
It was good fun, but I was glad I hadn’t expected to spend an entire day there, since my sister and I had wandered the stalls within about an hour. Lots of aspirational / inspirational gardening items for sale. I was very taken with all of the teeny weeny succulents in tiny concrete pots. Very OTM as Grazia would say, no doubt.
Perhaps the most fun thing, though, was just chatting with all the stallholders and saying, “oh yes, I’m training to be a garden designer at the moment”… It made me feel, for the first time, as if I really might be about to properly change career and actually do it.
So, there we have it, a bit of this and a bit of that. Proper, structured, specific posts to follow again at some point soon, I promise. Just not until this glorious heat has passed.
PS photos above all from my instagram feed, so apologies if you’ve seen them before.