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Summer Garden

Thursday 26th July 2001, West Yorkshire

the meadow in JulyWE'VE HAD five and a half pounds of Blackcurrants from our two bushes and now we're leaving the pickings to the birds. Because of the time it takes to top and tail them, Barbara and her mum have turned them into blackcurrant jelly this year. This involves hanging a pulp of them in a muslin bag and using the juice that drains off. In the recipe they've used you then add the sugar before boiling up the jam.

The first Courgettes are ready. Runner Beans in their pots on the patio have taken their time but now a few tiny, silky haired pods have appeared. I'll try and find a space for them in the garden next year,I wonder if they're too constrained in the pots, although we did well with them last year. In my five minutes of fame asking a question on Gardener's Questiontime (sadly cut from the broadcast version!), back in the days when Clay Jones was the chairman, gardening expert Daphne Ledward told me that the best crop of runners she'd ever had were grown up the sides of a concrete coal bunker. Perhaps I should try building one of those.

The Territory of the Wren

wrenmarjoram A Wren scolds us as we sit beneath the parasol by the shed. The ivy on the shed and the plants overhanging the pond are part of its regular round.

The Marjoram is in flower in the herb bed, but we're not getting large numbers of butterflies visiting. A single Meadow Brown touches down briefly.

meadow brown While butterfly numbers might be down on previous years, flies are with us in abundance. The new pony in the meadow has a long blond tail which it wafts in big swishing arcs, like a dancer at a Mardi bottle next page

Richard Bell
Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

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