Three fine days and a thunderstorm

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So far, June has been a mixed bag of weather. We had a glorious weekend of sunshine last week, followed by some chilly days this week, then close humidity and twelve hours of rain over the past day. This time last year we were barbecuing outdoors every weekend evening (not always by choice – we were living in one room in the cottage as the renovation work began and had no kitchen), drinking pink wine in coats. To date this year, we’ve eaten outside just once.

The garden has shot up, almost overnight. The herb garden is now around my knees and the mint and thyme that looked so straggly and parched a few weeks ago have revived incredibly. The sage is better than I’ve ever seen it before.

The peas and broad beans are about eight inches tall now, and I’ve staked the peas with some twiggy branches to wind themselves up. There is a garden down in the village which I pass every time I leave here and look enviably at their beautiful veg garden. Their peas are about two foot high and the beans about three foot. I can’t tell whether it’s because they’ve started them in a greenhouse (to have a greenhouse!) or whether the more sheltered conditions and a hundred feet lower than up here has that much of an impact.

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The turf that went down nearly a month ago is looking great and has grown several inches. The rain overnight will have done it good. There is still seeding to be done around the pond, hence all the bare soil still present in the picture. It will eventually be a mixture of grass with wildflowers around the banks of the pond. The stone wall has raced along and is now nearly complete. In the way of things round here though, one job completed and looking good only highlights many others yet to be done. The rest of the stone wall that wraps round the garden now looks in an even worse state than before in contrast to the new. You can just about see it in the far right of the picture, looking like a tall heap of stone. The stone mason is recommending a ‘take down and start afresh’ approach but I’m loath to knock down something that has stood for a hundred, a hundred and fifty years just to make it look neater. I don’t know…I’m unsure what to do on that one.

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