After a slow start Summer arrived with a vengeance last week. We seemingly only just got over 3 days of rain where we were forced to stay inside, when all of a sudden we had day after day of sunshine and temps in the 30’s and now we’re back into the summer routine of walking the dog either early or late and trying to hit the garden before the sun (and the flies) become too much. The fans are whirring and the icemaker is in full swing. Interesting salads and barbecues are back on the menu and the malbec and shiraz has been replaced with a beautiful French rose from the Loire valley (at only $11 a bottle!!!!) and icy cold gin and tonics and white wine spritzers. I found a lovely ‘syrup’ at The Treat Factory – peach and green tea – and it makes a lovely drink in a long glass with plenty of soda and ice for when I’m “being good.”
The garden has hit it’s straps with loads of things ripening, buckets of little yellow teardrop tomatoes, dwarf green beans and loads of zucchinis with their beautiful yellow flowers all ready to be stuffed with deliciousness and fried – Happy Hour will be extra happy this weekend with these little darlings on the menu.
The only trouble is once you get 5 zucchinis you get 50 so we will have a serious glut of these before too much longer. This has precipitated the need for a new fridge with a larger freezer to be able to cope with our produce (not so sure that growing your own veg is cheaper after all – haha!!). Much to the delight of the menfolk in the family this means our old fridge has become the new beer fridge and it can store a LOT of beer!!! Xmas is now sorted! I have also bottled my homemade limoncello and have visions of us sipping tiny ice cold glasses of it in the garden under our huge pear tree over the holiday period.
Some cornflowers from my garden – I love picking little bunches of flowers to place around the house. Half the reason I want to plant a hydrangea hedge is that I will be able to cut loads of them for the house without distracting from their hedginess in the garden. After speaking with the beautiful Carolyn, who has opened a lovely new garden shop in Berry called the Radish and The Rose, she has convinced me to go a little bit more country and plant a mixed coloured hedge of hydrangeas instead of the pure white ones I had initially envisaged. They look so gorgeous bunched together in a jug – pink, blue, white and even a beautiful dark burgundy. We are going to plant four magnolia trees between the existing hedge and the new hydrangeas to give them a bit of shade from the relentless westerly sun and also to enjoy their abundant flowers in winter when nothing much else is out in the garden. Carolyn invited me to her house to see some of her established plants and I have to share it with you as it’s so pretty. She has a holiday cottage on the property which I can highly recommend if you want somewhere lovely to stay in the area. http://www.jasminecottageberry.com.au
She may also be able to source a jacaranda for me as I have had no luck with any of the local nurseries and would love one at the front gate – they are such a fabulous colour and fill you with joy.
It makes my heart sing when I see a magnificent jacaranda overhanging a beautiful old cottage – a match made in heaven!
Another lovely place to stay in the vicinity is Bannisters at Mollymook which has had a recent refurb from none other than Collette Dinnigan. She is spreading her design talents to interiors and she has done a lovely job of the penthouse suites. How inviting and refreshing does this look???
Like a little bit of the Caribbean on The South Coast?
Back to reality and it is THAT time of the year again where I suddenly realise that I haven’t bought, let alone sent, my Xmas gifts to the family in the UK and last Friday’s weather forecast of 42C was enough to send me off to the airconditioned comfort of the nearest shopping mall which happens to be a 45 minute drive away. In contrast to shopping in Sydney where I could go to one of 5 different centres all within 15 minutes of me and therefore look, think and compare before buying I was forced into being decisive (yikes!!) and in the space of 5 hours I had done 80% of my shopping. The rest has been done online which really is a huge bonus when you don’t live near a major centre.
Now just to wrap them and send them……………
We do have a couple of lovely old fashioned shops in Berry where you can get unusual items and one of the best shops is The Toy Shop. Despite the fact that I have no grandbabies yet and hardly any tiny tots in the extended family I still love going in there and looking at everything. It’s a riot of colour and has something for everyone.
The only other fun thing that happened this week is that our library got a step closer to completion. In fact the boys got it into the house and were just finalising the mechanism for the pull down bed when the metal hydraulic spring sheared off and ricocheted across the room. Luckily no-one was in the way or they would have received some serious damage. However a new spring has had to be sent from Sydney and in the meantime we have a bed in the middle of our lounge room. After 4 months in the making there is just this one last thing holding things up but hopefully by the weekend it will finally be FINISHED!!!!
And that my friends is a wrap from another week in The Meadow!!