Thursday, 29 May 2014

Dining Out

I drove passed a man pulling an elder to bits yesterday and loading the flowers into a black plastic bag.  The traditional annual harvest is underway and Belvior Castle Fruit Farms are paying £2 per kilo for flowers.  A good flower picker can collect 45 kilos a day without breaking sweat.  That's a lot of flowers but there's still loads of elderberries on the trees come autumn .... especially at the top!
So what do they want with so much blossom?
They have taken the idea of homemade cordial to a whole new level.

 Landlove magazine has a whole feature on it this month and it includes some lovely summer recipes.
The website is not bad either.

Thoughts of summer are a bit far fetched in these parts at the moment though! I think we have had everyone else's rain dumped on us this week.  We did get one dry day and ventured out to the Burghley Country Fair. 

The air was filled with the sound of chainsaws as bearded blokes carved owls and bears from tree trunks.  Some were surprisingly cheap to buy too (£35 to £75 on average for an owl).
We made a sort of 'impulse' buy as we purchased a set of garden furniture.  We had decided to buy new seats but hadn't intended to do it that day! Well, the opportunity was there - we liked it and the price was right.

 We had ordered the cushions and arm trays but someone stole them from the stand.
They are on the lawn at the moment getting soaked in the rain.
Here is an unloved part of the garden which will make a great outdoor dining area with a bit of work.

Behind the old bench is a lilac tree that smells delightful at this time of year; next to that is the herb patch - sage, thyme, rosemary, parsley, mint and chives compete for space with strawberries and weeds.
There are two problems - the gas metre box needs covering/painting/hiding and the washing pole is in one corner (can't think where else to place that).  Otherwise a bit of a spruce up; possibly add a pergoda or an awing; decide on the menu and invite folk round!

Found this beautiful object on the internet -

 - and this quite scarey one!

 Drop two Hula Hoops in a cup of coffee and you get your own owl to drink!


  1. I can understand why you made an impulse purchase on that furniture - it is quite unusual isn't it - it looks well where you have placed it. I think we all have an area in the garden that we don't quite know what to do with - mine is under the willow behind the greenhouse - a barren sort of a spot where nothing grows. The owl seat looks like something from Lord of the Rings - beautiful, and as for the coffee owl - so lifelike yet spooky at the same time. Have a great weekend - if the rain stops for long enough that it!

  2. We made elderflower cordial last year - one lot was pink even with only one sprig of flowers from the sambucus nigra. The trouble is that it has an horrendous amount of sugar in it,. I love the owl log carving.