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Lazy Days


At last!

The leaves are emerging on our walnut tree.  I love it when this happens because they are not green at first. That happens a week or so later, but for one week in the year, the leaves are the colour of a Cox’s Orange Pippin apple, a lovely rosy colour.  This disappears as the leaves mature, but for one week in 52, the tree is a lovely hazy pink.

We awakened to yet another day of glorious sunshine, and it was one of those days when I thought that a cooked breakfast might be good to have, it would get us through the morning an into the afternoon, when we could just have sandwiches for lunch.

No fruit starter, just egg, bacon, tomato, and as I had four small new cooked potatoes in the fridge, left over from supper the night before, I halved those and sautéed them for a few minutes, and sprinkled them with sea salt and black pepper, a rare treat at breakfast time.  Then toast and marmalade and tea.

Then into the garden.  I’m ashamed to say that I was very lazy and spent much of the day in the summerhouse, reading.  Husband did a lot of jobs, renewing some of the plywood under the eaves of the summerhouse (after 8 years it just needed some slight repairs) and then he finished painting the walls of the summerhouse – we’re waiting for the paint for the doors and window frame to arrive.  He also gave the garden bench a coat of paint, but he used the same colour as the summerhouse and while the pale green (Farrow & Ball’s Vert de Terre) looks lovely on the summerhouse, somehow it’s far too pale for the bench (as it next to the cream garden wall – a contrast was needed) and so we’ve ordered Farrow & Ball’s Calke Green which should be arriving any day soon.

A few years ago, husband painted the bench a rather attractive green/blue (a Farrow & Ball paint but I’ve forgotten the colour) but while we liked it, it didn’t ‘go’ with the summerhouse and so we thought a darker green would look better.  Let’s hope so.  I took the photos on the collage below in the spring of 2015. The bench is against the back garden wall, in the shade of the walnut tree, and is a nice place for tea or coffee.

But today I feel more energized, and will plant up the pots.  Talking of planting, guess what arrived in the post yesterday?  The first autumn bulb catalogue.  In May!  I’ve not yet bought my summer plants, I can’t be thinking of autumn now.  I chucked it in the recycling bin.

As I say, lunch was to be sandwiches …

We had those in the summerhouse.  Really, they were salad-in-a-sandwich, as they comprised granary bread which I spread with a low-fat cream cheese then added a thin layer of ham, then shredded lettuce, then some chopped spring onions, then slices of tomato, then some slivers of cheddar cheese, and finally a little salad cream, which we prefer to mayo, it’s not as oily.  With a few cheese & chive crisps (a packet of those will last the two of us a week) it made a tasty lunch.

While I was in the summerhouse, I just happened to hear the doorbell, and it was a delivery of the above book, which I’m looking forward to reading.

And so I spent the afternoon, reading and snoozing, and looking through the open summerhouse doors to the walnut tree …

With its haze of rosy leaves …

Its catkins are now beginning to drop, they are were walnuts will eventually develop.

The day became hotter and hotter, and I must now add some Robinson’s Orange Barley Water to the shopping list!

Not a fancy drink, not an expensive drink, but refreshing on a hot day with plenty of ice cubes.

And now, I’m off to fill the pots with plants,

Until next time.


About Margaret Powling

Margaret Powling
Margaret’s main interests are her husband and family, her friends, her home, her garden, writing, literature, architecture, décor, social history, photography, historic houses and gardens, and towns, villages and the countryside. She writes about the things she enjoys: flowers, scent, fine soap, monthly style magazines, and other such small indulgences, such as afternoon tea or simply enjoying her summerhouse with a book. She invites you to enjoy this virtual visit to South Devon, England.

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  1. Your garden is lovely, your meals look delicious and the walnut tree is absolutely beautiful.
    J x

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Ooh, Joy, thank you! I’ve always been taught that compliments should be received gracefully, and I do accept your lovely compliments with one proviso: you can’t see the weeds on those photos, ha ha! The garden was looking good in 2015 but right now it’s not as good – the boundary wall needs painting (painter booked to come, paint ready for him), and the archway over which we had a lovely clematis rotted and collapsed in the winter, taking the clematis with it, so we have an archway to go up, but not until the wall is painted. Then I shall buy a lovely climbing rose (I have a note of one from David Austin Roses that I fancy). The only thing wrong with roses is that they have thorns, but as I read in a novel only today, it is best to think of them as plants with thorns that have lovely flowers!

  2. That should be a lovely green

    Calke Abbey is my favourite National Trust house, also
    known as
    The House That Time Forgot.
    Oddly its a house and not an Abbey
    Have you been there ?
    Worth a google and you’ll see your Calke Green in a room. (Maybe put a photo on here).
    We went when the house was first opened and it was as they had found it, wonderful.
    Another lovely sunny day
    Your breakfast looks good

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      First of all, I must say that I’ve not forgotten to send you (via email) photos of the construction of the summerhouse … it’s on my To Do list!
      I’ve not been to Calke Abbey but I know its story, and how it is shown to the visitors (it’s National Trust) more or less how they found it. I’d love to visit it sometime.
      Yes, another sunny day. Lunch will be in the summerhouse again – a prawn salad today, I think.
      We only very occasionally have a cooked breakfast these days, and therefore we appreciate it when we do have it.

  3. Thanks, look forward to seeing the photos.

    Its very hot now so have had to come indoors.
    Have white tobacco plants to plant when it cools down.

    We had the rose New Dawn, a pretty pale pink with
    a delicate perfume and it flowered from Spring to Autumn.
    It mixed well with the pale pink Clematis ‘Elizabeth’ both fast growing.

    Thorns are a bit of a problem.
    So we’ve recently panted a yellow thornless climbing rose, hope it does well
    Our soils not the best for them really.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      I love the rose New Dawn, it’s one on my wants list! I think there is a climber called The Generous Gardener which I might consider for the arch, once it’s been erected. The yellow climber without thorns sounds ideal, but sadly yellow doesn’t look good in our garden because of the cream wall.

  4. I’m a big fan of R. New Dawn and will be buying one for the pergola in my new garden. I dug out carefully a Trachelospermum Jasminoides the other day because it was half dead and clearly not happy so I now have a spare post and a TJ recovering well in in intensive care and once fully clothed it will adorn a South-facing house wall. I have never been very successful with David Austin roses, I have bought two over the years and although they flower brilliantly in their first year, by the second they are running out of steam and by the third or fourth year they are dead. I don’t know how he grafts his roses but I know I am not the only rosaholic to have this experience. I have inherited some gorgeous roses and lilacs and peonies and clematis and although I loved my old garden which I made from scratch I am feeling so happy here. I brought three roses in pots with me: R. Lavender Lassie which grows at Polesden Lacey (I have booked a dentist appointment for 24 June and will spend the afternoon at PL), R. Blush de Noisette and R. Floribunda Margaret Merrill. I do love my roses. Your walnut tree is beautiful Margaret.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Funny you should say that about D.Austin roses, Sarah, because our Gertrude Jekyll and You’re Beautiful, both Austin roses, were cracking to start with and no matter how we feed them or care for them, they haven’t done all that well. But our area is notorious for black spot, too, and they seem to get that. Plus aphids, of course! But I will certainly consider New Dawn for the garden. Our garden is tiny so we can’t have many roses, I have only three surviving at the moment. But I suppose having a walnut tree helps make up for the lack of space, we do have much-needed shade on hot days, but there again, it grabs all the moisture from the soil!

  5. Those sandwiches look really yummy!

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      I like sandwiches which are high on filling and low on bread, hence always removing crusts. Yes, wasteful, but I don’t want loads of bread, but a meal that is contained between slender slices of bread, if that makes sense. And yes, they were yummy, Jeannine.

  6. What a wonderful breakfast and so beautifully presented. I have a tip for you and your readers we have chives growing under our climbing and rambling roses,we never suffer with black spot or aphids. I agree with the comments re David Austen roses,you pay a lot for them and they don’t last very long.We bought ours from a local nursery although they are hard to find these days.We have Compassion which has never let us down and Graham Thomas,Madame Alfred Carriere and Zephirine Drouhin(thornless) and round our front door we have Albertine.Did you inherit the walnut tree when you bought your house?Your lucky to have solid walls rather than fences,I’m always trying to clothe ours in roses and clematis.Very grey here today,still the gardens need a good watering. Enjoy your day Margaret.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Thank you for your kind comments regarding the breakfast, Margaret … but we shall have to cut out bacon entirely if we are to believe information in today’s paper regarding cancer, i.e. cut out all booze (their words) and bacon if we want to avoid cancer, and only drink water, and that way we can cut down the risk of cancer by up to 40%. But think of life without the occasional bacon butty or an ice cold G&T if only now and again. Next they will tell us that breathing is bad for us!
      I must consider other rose growers, I think. But we have to get the garden wall painted first, and then erect the new arch before I can even think about the plants. We have today got the paint for the doors and window frame on the summerhouse and this afternoon, soon after we returned from a very long shopping trip (more in my next post) the dark green paint for the garden bench has arrived. Just more work for dear husband!

  7. As always, your photos are beautiful and your words so descriptive I feel as if I’m peeking over the fence into your garden 🙂 Your walnut tree is a real asset in your garden.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Thank you for saying my words are descriptive, it’s good to hear that, Lara; to know that what I’m saying captures the essence of life (well, for ourselves here, I mean) here in the UK. We love our walnut tree and this is the very best time of the year for it, when the new leaves are emerging. But I think we’re in for rain and even thunder storms this weekend. We shall see!

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