Midsummer things

Old-fashioned spiraea that always reminds me of the gardens I played in as a child. I always think its peculiarly dark pinks and greens vibrate together even at midday in the glaring sun.

Broad beans with borage. I don’t know about other gardens, but here borage grows like a weed. Seemingly every borage seed germinates and every seedling thrives. You have to be ruthless. I’m too much of a softie: it wins me over every time with its hairy exuberance and the promise of bees on the starry blue (edible) flowers. Lore says let it grow by your beans to bring in the bees. 

Lush vegetable patch with last year’s forgotten onions kinking up to explode into flower.

Gooseberries for more childhood memories. My recipe for gooseberry fool. 1. Make loads of custard. 2. Stew loads of gooseberries (about 10 minutes). 3. Mix the two together until thoroughly combined. 4. Allow to cool. 5. Yum. 

I’ve just remembered that we used to call them goosegogs. 

Noblewomen of froth! Queen-of-the-meadows and lady’s mantle. 

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Don’t Get Too Excited. Sinn Féin Are Not Taking Their Seats At Westminster


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A Thousand Cures at Midsummer 

St John’s Wort 

A friend of mine had a French grandmother. If we were ever out walking around this time of year she would stop to fill her pockets with the little yellow flowers, take them back to her Granny, who would preserve them in oil, to be used as a cure. What for? I naturally asked. Oh, for everything,  yknow. In French it’s named millepertuis – a thousand cures.

In flowering mood this hot and dry year is another medicinal plant, the sage, which thrives under the so-called espaliers (now the garden’s tallest trees) particularly seems to enjoy the occasional savaging from the lawnmower. Top tips, get them here!

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The Blue Boat by Kathleen Jamie 

How late the daylight edges

toward the northern night 

as though journeying 

in a blue boat, gilded in mussel shell 
with, slung from its mast, a lantern 

like our old idea of the soul 

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Why Britain is a Flawed Democracy

I agree so badly with all of this except the last line. 


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The Three Most Important Facts About Tory Economics


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Tory Election Fraud: Craig Mackinlay Charged


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