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Tuesday, 15 July 2008

The Bottom of the Garden

This is the northeast corner of the garden, now cleared of undergrowth and needing fresh plantings. The trees are all very large and too closely planted. It's as if whoever planted them many decades ago did not believe they would grow so much.

The ground falls away sharply outside the garden and the outbuildings seen in the background are displaying their upper storey. Outside in the back lane there are garages below these lofts.
The largest of the trees is a gum tree and it is so close to the outbuildings that it has caused movement in the stone walls. The gable end appears to be about to tumble into the Wynd.
The Raby Estate Head Forester came round yesterday and took photographs of the impending event so that he can get planning permission to remove the tree. Apart from the obvious damage to the buildings, ten telephone lines go through the tree's branches to all the neighbouring properties. I have no regrets about the tree's removal. It is a necessity.
It will be a difficult job, though.

The block of land which is the northwest corner of the garden has been put in the "too hard basket" for this year. The weeds are higher than me and I'm just short of six feet in height. But the fine weather yesterday reminded me to check out the fruit trees planted a couple of months ago. They took a bit of finding but they are doing well. My searching exposed a blackcurrant bush. It was laden with ripe fruit which had remained hidden from the birds as well as me.
I picked a bowlful and brought them in to make into blackcurrant jelly

It's easier than jam and although it makes a smaller quantity, that suits me because I wouldn't know what to do with lots of the stuff. It also gives me a chance to use my strainer, which is one of my favourite kitchenalia pieces.

I had a lovely ride out to Chillingham Castle today. A friend drives a van around the country to work in various places and I rode shotgun. It's a fabulous old castle and parts of it have been in movies like "Elizabeth" and on TV shows about ghosts. You are allowed to climb up onto the roof and look out over the battlements to the Elizabethan Topiary gardens which look splendid from above.They also have a herd of the only wild cattle in the world. Guess which day the cattle have off. Yes, Tuesdays! I shall have to return to visit them.

Cheers Gillian


carol said...

The jelly looks wonderful as does the garden- and I like wild bits. The folk round here say thats's for the nature spirits and whether that's your language or not it seems to give a garden more 'souk' when it isn't too manicured.
Mine has lots of soul just now!! I'm also guilty of not expecting bushes & trees to gro so big. Oh dear. what a guddle!

joco said...

Blackcurrant jelly??
You got it all wrong ;-)
Blackurrants are for dying. Make a superb dusky rose. I know, I know....