Tuesday, May 29, 2018

We’ll start with the pictures I couldn’t persuade the iPad to let go of yesterday.

Here’s the Good King Henry patch:

You can see why we lazy gardeners are disappointed that it tastes so bad. I don’t expect anything of the fermentation flavour-wise. It’s strictly an experiment. But I did hope for some vigorous bubbling, and it’s not happening, so far. Tomorrow is the crux, the 48-hour point.

Here’s the fruit hedge and the cat:

And here are the flowers on that hitherto unproductive apple tree:

Two more pictures. My husband’s beloved rose:

I have never been able to identify it. It blooms late in the season (no buds yet), sprays of flowers in the floribunda style, single, a good red. It’s growing on its own roots. We bought the house 54 years ago (or was it 55?) – the plant wasn’t new then. It’s looking very happy this year. Taking care of it is always the first gardening I do. 

And here’s our white lilac, a recent and unusually successful planting. There always was a lilac there – you can see parts of its corpse in the foreground. I was sorry not to see it in full bloom -- other people's lilacs are fully out. But that was better than missing it by a week.


I scarcely did a stitch while we were away, and at the moment, in fact, I am slightly less far on than I was when we left.

I have embarked on the second broad Fair Isle stripe. I have six colours to play with, plus red for the centre, and I chose badly. The colours for the first four rows didn’t have enough contrast. I thought that maybe when we got on to the next pair, the contrast between them would lead the viewer’s eye to discern the overall pattern. But I reached that point last night, and it didn’t work. A nun at the school in which I used to teach taught me the useful maxim, “When in doubt, take it out.”

So I did. I have picked up the stitches successfully, and established the pattern anew, with a better pair of colours. Some stitches were sitting wrongly on the needle. Some had been split in the picking-up. While attending to those problems, I occasionally got the pattern wrong. So that first round was slow. But I’m now on track.


  1. Anonymous10:22 PM

    Have you tried eating your Good King Henry before it flowers? Many plants turn bitter or at least unpleasant once they begin to flower - lettuce, cilantro, dill. Could that be part of the problem?

    1. Anonymous10:22 PM

      Oops, that was me, Beverly in NJ.

  2. Matthew3:54 AM

    And the cats... now that you've returned with them, did they both come to sleep or fall into their old city ways?

  3. So much fun to see your beloved garden! A knitting friend's maxim that works for me is "If you look at it three times still thinking there's a problem, take it out." Working out the contrast in Fair Isle, especially with those heathered yarns, can be tricky.

  4. =Tamar2:38 PM

    Somewhere I read that you can check colors for contrast by taking a black-and-white Xerox or printer scan of them (or a color scan and then use a program to make it greyscale). If they contrast in greyscale, they'll contrast as colors.

    Just personal taste, but I find that too strong a contrast can be an irritant, too; I once had a single round of just the wrong color in a hat. (I replaced it by using a yarn needle to thread a better color along its pathway through other stitches and then pulling the old strand out, and felt very smug.)