Tuesday 29 September 2015

The Big Dig

It was not long after the snow melted in the spring before we discovered a major flooding problem in our back garden.  Each time that it rained, we had water half-way up the basement windows and the garden turned into a lake.
Putting drainage into the garden involved a considerable amount of disruption and digging three foot trenches.  Within a few hours, the garden resembled a battlefield.

We had to hire a contractor to do the digging and drainage, as this was far beyond anything that we could undertake.  In order for the drains to be effective, they have to slope down with the gradient of the garden.

This view was taken from upstairs and shows just how much digging was involved.

A large part of the back deck had to be dismantled to allow access for the digger.
Once the trenches were dug, a membrane was placed in the bottom and then the hole back-filled with stone.

This last photograph shows the garden levelled to remove all those hills of soil and the newly laid drainage along the basement windows.  Hopefully, there will not be any further flooding issues now that the work has been completed.

Saturday 26 September 2015


We have a very short growing season, so our tomatoes are only now starting to ripen.  The ones pictured above are a tasty variety called Siderno Hybrid, which I grew from seed.  

These three plants were purchased from our local nursery and are prolific producers.  The variety is Tiny Tim.

I didn't have any success with growing cucumbers this year.  They were somewhat neglected and failed to produce any fruit.  I bought these pickling cucumbers at the farmers' market one Saturday.

This is my first attempt at pickling cucumbers and I wanted to make dill pickles.  I searched through my recipe books and found the recipes very complicated and time-consuming.

I then searched online and came up with a simple recipe which only required boiling the salt, vinegar and water and then adding it to the cucumbers, which were packed in jars with the fresh dill.
I omitted the garlic and opted not to use pre-packaged pickling spices, as I did not like the aroma once I opened the packet.  It will be interesting to see how they taste in a few weeks' time.
PS Since I drafted this post a while ago, the season has changed and I was out picking the remaining tomatoes this afternoon, as we have a frost warning for tonight.

Monday 7 September 2015

Farewell To Summer

It seems that summer 2015 has been and gone and I've barely noticed.  It has been a strange year with a cold, wet spring and a very late improvement in the weather. 

On a personal note, I have felt very unsettled and homesick ~ it seems to get worse with each passing year and is particularly bad as we approach the end of the year and Christmas.

Can you believe that it is September already? I can't.  In a farewell to summer, I made some Pimm's ~ lots of fruit and lemonade with just a dash of alcohol.  We raised a glass and bid farewell to summer, wondering just where we might be at this time next year.