Chive flowers

Last year the cubs planted a mixed pot of herbs at the set. Over the winter it looks like the snow and the frost have done for most of them excepting the chives. Mid summer is when they flower, and plant begins to die back. In a month or two we should have some more seeds to plant for next year’s chives. I think they look pretty.




In a bid to break up some of the flinty clay river bed we have for an garden I have been dotting the borders with some lupines, they look pretty and add some nitrogen back to the soil. the roots help break of some of the solid mass of soil as well making future digging a little easier.


The potatoes are looking vigorous after a few days of sunshine. We have them in tubs this year as they it is then a lot easier to root out the escapees. The last thing you need is rogue potatoes shooting up by surprise amongst your nicely planned patches.


This year we did well with greens, well i suppose we did well with reds and purples as well. the Lettuce is a heritage variety courtesy of the National trust gardens at Hugenden Manor, The broccoli a commercial long standing variety that we have had before and know works well in oui garden. At the Back is some purple pak choi which we had time to plant two rows this year.

I mentioned in a previous post about using hawthorn as a makeshift needle for stitching up tears in the field. I recently picked up a tear on a back pack of mine so I thought this would be a good time to show you the basics.

There a are a few things I ought to mention. The makeshift needle is wider then an ordinary needle so is not great on very fine fabrics, and will occasionally get stuck in the fabric. Just ease the stuck needle out slowly to avoid snagging the fabric.


Needles are sharp, as are knives. the objects worked on are small so always work which the sharps away from the body and on a solid surface.

Walnut Shell

Early immature walnuts have several qualities that you should be aware of. The first and most important is that the green husk is difficult to remove, and quite frankly you shouldn’t bother trying to strip a husk which is not ready. The husk contains a green sap with will dye everything it touches, but dont’ worry It will oxidise fast and stain will become brown/black and very difficult to remove. To remove the husk completely I sliced the majority of the husk off with a sharp knife and then scrub the nut’s shell with wire wool to remove the last strand of green goop.

Immature walnut flesh

Breaking the Nut open with a blunt object (throw a cloth over the top to stop fragment flying everywhere) Looking inside the configuration is that of the English walnut (sometimes called the common or persian walnut) with plenty of white seed inside the shell. Note the brown outer skin has yet to form, indicating that the nut is not ripe.

I will be coming back to this tree when the nuts start to fall.

delicate but nutty

Walnut find

Note the squarish, slighly unkempt shape.

Ah, a side effect of searching for things is that it sometimes means that you miss the obvious.

I have looking for a walnut tree in a public place for a week or so and the only specimens  have found have been far, far away from the Sett.

Passing through a local park this morning I have just spotted the squatting outline of the walnut tree. From a distance the walnut seems to have a squarish, ragged outline and as you get closer you can see the heavily striated bark.


Closer inspection reveals it to be a good-sized tree brimming with fruit. This is quite a find as there are enough walnuts on this tree for a few families for the winter. The only thing I needed to do was to check the type and quality of the fruit. There are always a few early windfalls. and I picked one up for later inspection.


See from this picture the distinctive large oval leaves of the Walnut tree. They are found on large light green stalks with occasional symmetrical pairs of side shoots with leaves.

Oval leaves

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