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

 

The waiting season

I find myself prowling the garden, waiting for the dramas of autumn. Some of them are underway already. DSCN8467 Though summer has not yet retired and tomatoes and apples (Blenheim Orange) are still ripening, DSCN8471 DSCN8466This rhododendron (Morgenrot) thinks it is spring. DSCN8473

No idea what this frog is thinking. We have no pond, but I bump into frogs a few times every year (he is a frog; he is smooth-skinned and he jumps). DSCN8463There are roses (Alec’s Red – knockout scent and cosmos (Chocamocha) in flower and even the odd sweet pea.DSCN8502DSCN8481 DSCN8496 What I am really waiting for is the maples to change colour. I am impatient to know which of my new seedlings has the best autumn glow. This impatience is foolish, I must not wish the summer away and the marigolds (Calendula) in the veg plot are still covered in blooms a joy to behold.DSCN8458And there is plenty of drama (Pampas Grass) in the botanical gardens. IMG_1260

Finding big errors

This is a thank you to the whole business of blogging. A few posts ago, I wrote about Barry in the Japanese POW camp, Chungkai, in Thailand in 1943 and 1944. I mentioned the Thai merchant Boon Pong, and because of your interest in this amazing hero, I did a little research and added a post about him. In the course of that research I discovered an error in the book I have put together using letters and memoirs of that period.

Barry was in his eighties when he wrote about his time as a prisoner. He was in Chungkai camp from July/August 1943 to February 1945. He remembered in detail (far, far greater than anything I have posted) working for the surgeon Marcowitz as he carried out amputations on those men with incurable tropical ulcers. But he remembered this period as the end of 1944, beginning of 1945. Marcowitz left Chungkai in January 1944. It is over the previous Christmas period that Barry worked for him.

I have had to move several chunks of text around, all with some tricky knock-on effects on the rest of the story. But I am so grateful to have discovered this. So thank you everyone.

A little spring cheer to say thank you, a marigold is still blooming in the vegetable garden (and I have been squashing greenfly on the new rose growth today).

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The most cheering pre-spring sight I know – winter aconites springing up all over. Sorry it’s not a great picture, but they really are unfurling in every corner of the garden.

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