The end or the beginning


It cannot be all over, can it?  Last week we had mid-summer’s day and that means that from now on we are heading for longer nights. It hardly seems possible.  I have noticed that the house martins on the building opposite have only just started visiting their nest again, so they will have to get a move on if they are to rear a brood.

Our blackbirds have had no such hesitation. They have reared a nest full of young in our cow byre. The door is always closed so the parents used to go in through a small missing window. The nest was safe from predators there and the nestlings grew without threat. But when it came to flying out the task was not so easy. They had to negotiate the hole in the window and that was not simple. One young one was left behind and so in the end I had to leave the door open and hope it survived.

I was hoping that my tomato plants survived too. I was given them by a gardener friend last week. Our greenhouse plants have not done too well this year I think that it is because we have had lower than usual light levels and not too much warm weather, so this gift was very welcome.

They were grown from his own seed harvested from his ripe tomatoes last year and dried out on paper before being sown indoors early this year. He asked me if I would like some as I went up the lane and when I came back down, he had them ready. They were only in little pots and in ordinary garden soil, but they have already grown faster than our carefully tended packet seed in special compost. Sometimes homegrown is better.

We saw the talent of local people when they opened their studios at an art event on the Shropshire Border. The idea was that you could travel round to people’s houses or workshops to see what they have made. It was an art trail in the countryside. It was wonderful to see the talent of people making pots and sculptures. There was metal and textile work along with inspiring paintings. We travelled to places nearby which we had never even known about before.

One studio was so hidden in the border hills that it was difficult to find and a real worry when the road narrowed and there was grass growing in the middle. But we had a Post Code and the Sat Nav headed successfully towards it. The residents had applied to the Royal Mail for their very own destination. I did not know you could do that.

Tomato plants from a local farmer using his own seed


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