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August 13, 2017

A sound I’d almost forgotten yesterday evening: rain falling on the skylights. I hurried outside. A wonderful smell I’d almost forgotten: damp earth. The smell lingered this morning, although the rain had stopped. There are clouds in the sky and more rain in the forecast for today. There wasn’t much last night and it is unlikely there will be much today. Certainly not the sort of prolonged downpour that could give the garden a good soak. And much more sadly nowhere near enough rain to make any impact on the forest fires raging in the interior, smoke from which made it this far west last week. In six months I’ll be wondering if the rain will ever stop. For now I’m just enjoying its forgotten smell.

And what about the garden?

It played a reasonable role last week when my friend Irmani was visiting. My herbs used for dinner on Saturday night. My lettuce used for salad on Sunday. And on Tuesday I harvested my beans. This is the first year I’ve attempted to grow them and I have to say the experiment has been a success. I’m afraid neither of us thought to take a photo, but both of us were blown away by how absolutely delicious they were. How fab that there is a second batch coming up.

And then there were the blackberries. My “crop” of other berries may have been disappointing this summer, but, as always, the wild blackberry in the garden (the one plant I have never given a drop of water) is producing a fantastic crop. Fresh blackberries in Sunday’s salad and with granola and yoghurt for breakfast every day of her visit. Yum!

08-13 blackberries

Yesterday I went out to pick more. (Irmani, if you’re reading this, you’ll know what it means when I say I have yet to pick the ones at the front.) Blackberries every day and blackberries in the freezer for winter breakfasts. Fantastic.

It’s almost time for the first batch of courgette and gorgonzola soup – two more almost-ready-to-pick yellow courgettes and one green. Not the best crop of courgettes I’ve ever had, but better than I thought it was going to be a few weeks ago.

An intervention staged to salvage the cherry tomatoes appears to be working. (Dug them out of the bed where I realised they weren’t getting enough sun and replanted them in pots.) Lots of new flowers coming along on three of them. Just a matter of the weather staying warm for long enough for these flowers to bear fruit. This has been the first summer since the garden project began that I haven’t had success with cherry tomatoes. And it’s my own fault. I mentioned to someone last year that I always grew mine in pots. They were so insistent that it was better to grow them in a bed that this year I did so. Wrong, wrong, wrong. A mistake I will not make again.

Time to go pick more blackberries.

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