Pumps, beans, peppers… and a temple?

Our garden is frying and, owing to my absent-mindedness in June when I emptied the underground rainwater harvester AND burnt out the pump, soft rainwater is in short supply. The pump is now (expensively) replaced. This shows the challenge of waterproofing the electrical component. I just love the men at play – sorry – work’. DSCN9638

Meanwhile the vegetable plot which was mostly growing marigolds, DSCN9660 - Version 2

is now pouring out beans – this morning’s haul – runners on left and flat French climbing bean Algarve on right – they are delicious and stringless (unless you miss them for weeks).DSCN9769 Autumn raspberries make good grazing and we are eating the first tomatoes too. I’m getting quite excited about the peppers. Patience is still required; we must wait for the yellow ones to turn red and the green ones to turn yellow … before they’re ripe. DSCN9736My husband has been hard at work in the unpleasaunce, recycling more parts of the old shed and has produced a … temple?DSCN9759 - Version 2During the June storms gravel was swept all the way down the concrete path on the right. This is because the ground on the other side of back fence is two foot higher – hence the barricade of ancient building stones that we have found around the garden. The old shed door atop the two uprights is meant to provide another log shelter.

Some rather crazy colour schemes I am enjoying. And in lovely contrast the indomitable DSCN9695Californian tree poppy (Romney coulteri) is lighting up the dried out August garden. I treat it mean and it never fails. DSCN9734


46 thoughts on “Pumps, beans, peppers… and a temple?

  1. Ancient stones? I am curious, Hilary. How ancient? Roman times ancient? Poppies decided to come up on our dry hillside this year. The plants are tough and used to hot, dry summers. Speaking of hot, it hit 109 here yesterday and may go higher today. Like the ‘temple.’ What relics will be added? Do you have any convenient saint’s finger bones lying around? 🙂 –Curt

    • I think the ancient stones could be anything from medieval to last century. One is just a lump with an iron loop set into lead on top (https://greenwritingroom.com/2013/04/09/boulder-with-iron-loop/), the others are cut and faced, some with some bevelling and have clearly come off buildings. I was thinking Shinto rather than Catholic for the shrine. I do have the skeleton of a hand (medical remainder), but maybe some oyster shells will look better. Hope it is cooler for you now!

      • Cooler not. Bordering on 109 and heading for 110. Shinto is good. Although I find the shrines along the roads in Mexico interesting. I’d love to have your stones. I could make up all kinds of stories. Hey, your next book… –Curt

  2. I like the bright burning crazy colour schemes! Makes me think of tropical places. And I must have a Californian Tree Poppy if it takes abuse. I’m such a neglectful gardener, I need plants that survive despite me.

  3. Your garden looks wild and beautiful. A dose of neglect is always welcome especially by poppies. We found a green parrot yesterday, very deceased. We looked Milo in the eye, but he shifted his gaze away.
    It could also have been a cat. That is our preferred reason for the poor parrot’s demise.

    • I just found this comment in my spam! The ways of WordPress are sometimes impenetrable. I am going to have to put up a post with the camera pointing in the all the alternative directions! I have only ever grown one or two peppers at a time in my greenhouse. I am as astonished at this bounty as you are.

      • Yes. For once, I found myself with a day free to read some blog posts so off I went. Unfortunately, WP decided all that sudden commenting could only mean that I was a spammer. Also unfortunately, I didn’t notice my comments weren’t posting for ages and so either I had to write a general “please check your spam” post or I just had to wait until people found them. Given my full time employment this week, I’ve had no choice but to take the latter option. Thanks for releasing me from spam-jail. 🙂

  4. Our garden doesn’t look half as good and after 2.5 weeks here it will look worse when we get back. I was browsing in a local bookshop this week and saw Edwin was a major player in the new history of HSBC. I recalled you saying he was involved. Now I have to read it. You are a productive couple!

    • See the comment above – it all depends on which way you point the camera and I think our third of an acre is a little easier to manage than your estate.
      Well spotted re Edwin’s role in the HSBC history. It was part of our lives for over six years. The authors were independent, but for Edwin, as archivist (then later as retired archivist, but on the History Committee) chapters would roll in for comment. There were regular high level meetings too. In addition Edwin had been co-author of a previous history. The joke is that we have both been retired for five or so years and still spend days at our desks in adjoining rooms! Life would be no fun without work!

  5. Looks yummy and lovely all at once, Hillary. We had a terrible spell of rain for almost a week (we’re much more fortunate, though, than, say, Louisiana) and, as a result, what normally is browning in August is vivid green. My grass is begging to be cut because I haven’t been able to do it on account of allergies. We are getting some decent table grapes in about now, though. We didn’t do a garden this year per se, because I have a weekend job to supplement my lucrative work as a writer [ 🙂 ], and I do miss it, apart from the squash bugs. I once burnt-out our well pump, so I can empathise. We could be using well water . . . if I hadn’t left the darn pump on that one time. Urf!
    I like the temple your husband’s built so far, too. All in all, a very lovely landscape in your yard/property! I think if mine looked that good, I’d probably never have time for anything else. Anyway, I’m rambling, but have a wonderful week!

    • I’ve just come from reading about your allergies. We have had a good year on that front and my husband rarely gets hay fever now (age has its virtues). Our weather is unpredictable 31c today and it was 15c a couple of days ago, but hey, this is England, the weather is always uncertain.

  6. Hilary, what are the flowers in your last photo, the white ones? We have them too. We sort of inherited them, when we moved in, 28 years ago, and I don’t know what they are.

  7. What a fantastic display, fried or not, Hilary. I’m interested to see you with such a large bed of marigolds, purely because I’ve heard so many people giving out about them lately. I don’t really understand why they get such a bad rap – do you? Although I will say I tend to stay away from mine (in a flower bridge, on a balcony) after it’s been raining. The smell isn’t pleasant at all.

    • I like to grow one or two in the veg plot because they scare away carrot fly, but they have no notion of restraint and have colonised half the bed. I bring them into the house where they look very dramatic. They don’t smell bad to me, though I wouldn’t stick my nose in them… maybe our guests have a different view.

      • I think mine were let go past their best, Hilary, so I shouldn’t blame the poor marigolds! That’s a great tip re the carrot fly, though. I’ll remember that.

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