Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Carrying On.

Once again, thank you everyone for your kind words and encouraging comments. I realise how lucky I am to have supportive family and friends and that includes all the bloggers whose posts lift my days and who leave me positive thoughts.

And of course the only thing for me to do now is carry on. The garden is looking forlorn again I am afraid. Mr E only got half way through putting up an ancient second hand greenhouse. It’s been dismantled now and gone off to a new home. It would have been too big for me, had I even been able to complete it, and it made me sad. My sons are going to help me clear the ground ,I have a skip being delivered next week for the rubble. I quite fancy planting fruit trees, apples maybe and a plum. Anyone have any advice please on fruit trees, variety, best time to plant and how deep they need to go.

Meantime, I picked the tomatoes I had put outside under the half greenhouse.

First job, the green tomatoes.

All chopped up and cooking nicely
Green Tomato chutney.

Which just left

A few green ones and some red ones
Tomato and basil soup
Lunch for several days and some for the freezer.

Wondering about the remaining green ones, will they won’t they ripen? At least I carried on with the plants Mr E had started.

Crafting however has been harder to carry on with. Concentration was lacking for a long time. But then it occurred to me that Master J’s birthday was in October and if I made a big effort I could finish his sleeveless jumper in time. I was overly optimistic! The First thing I did was stitch the armhole edge to the neckedge to pick up stitches for the neckband. Um,not what I meant to do for sure. Several hours later I unstitched the seam, repaired the armhole edge where I had cut the cast off edge, and joined the correct bits. I waited a while after that, and finally completed the jumper.

The yarn shade is called tomato ketchup.

I have now started my next knit, but only when my mind is fully focused.

Any guesses what I am knitting for Master T?

Cross stitch is also something I can manage at the moment. I had a lovely shopping session at Hobbycraft on Sunday after the harvest festival at church.

Should keep me out of mischief!

I am really enjoying reading your blogs again. Full of admiration for everyone doing Blogtober. Maybe next year.

Take care,

Cathy x

Comments on: "Carrying On." (40)

  1. Lovely chutneys Cathy, and a warming soup to boot. Have you thought about a multi-variety tree or two? I think they’re sometimes called family trees. Might be an interesting option.

  2. The mini cross stitch Daschund looks cute. You have been busy

  3. I’m late here but so glad you are doing the things that make you feel better. The tomato colored jumper will be much loved, I’m sure. The blue one with Santa is too cute for words. Lucky children they are. I am not much of a cook when it’s just me. It’s good that you enjoy it. Heading out for my early morning walk and get ready for more packing. Good the sons are there to help you a bit. Mine will come later this month. Life is just full of changes at every turn. We just have to hang on for the ride.

  4. I’m finding Blogtober – Lucy’s posts – really are inspiring me to want to blog more often. I must search for others taking part. Can you recommend some Cathy please?

    The tomatoes will definitely ripen in a warm spot on the windowsill, ours always end up in bowls and give a continual crop into autumn. I made veggie curry last night with some and have more turning at the moment. We’ve still got green tomatoes on the vine outside, but I think it’s time they all came in now…

    I’m so impressed you’re tackling such tricky looking colourwork. A Christmas jumper, lucky boy.

  5. Karen Dodgson said:

    It’s so nice to hear from you again, I think you’re doing marvellously. Enjoy your chutney and soup, and keep taking one day at a time. I think you’re marvellous x

  6. I know absolutely nothing about gardening, but I do know about food and what you’ve made looks absolutely delicious! The tomato ketchup vest looks great too 🙂

  7. That is a lovely jumper! It is awesome you are able to post to your blog and know you have this blogging family around the world thinking about you and sending love!

  8. Lovely to hear from you again and that you are starting to take up doing little bits and pieces once more and obviously getting a lt of enjoyment from them. I feel sad for you that you had to let the greenhouse go but I think it is a marvellous idea about the fruit trees and once they grow you will be able to sit beneath them and think of many happy memories of Mr E and your time together.
    Re: the fruit trees – bare rooted trees are planted in the winter and the ones grown in pots can be planted anytime providing you water well in hot weather. We have a very large Bramley apple and have now planted a Braeburn eating apple that will grow to a half standard. Not only do you have to take into account the variety you want and whether cookers or eaters but they have to cross pollinate with something else, either in your garden or a neighbours, unless you choose a self fertile variety. You also need to decide on the type of rootstock depending on the final size you want. There is plenty of information on the internet https://www.orangepippintrees.co.uk/articles/planting-and-growing/pollination-of-fruit-trees
    is quite good advice and has a link to a pollination chart.
    Love that tomato colour.
    Take Care x

    • Thank you so much for the advice and the link. Braeburns are my favourite apple but they vary such a lot.

      • I wasn’t very knowledgeable on apple trees either when I chose mine and had to read up on them a bit. We chose a Braeburn as it is self fertile though we do have the Bramley next to it for company and I believe will help with a higher yield if it cross pollinates. There is also a good pollination checker here.
        https://www.orangepippintrees.com/pollinationchecker
        My trees are growing by the sea mild in winter but wet and we have strong cold winds and sea spray yet they have survived. The Bramley is very old now and still keeps on producing. You should do well where you are now – much warmer and more shelterd I would think. x

  9. Murtagh's Meadow said:

    You are keeping yourself busy and your chutney and soup look yummy. I can tell the Santa Claus is going to be very cute. Fruits trees are great idea. I love Pixie Apple trees – quite small apples but delicious. And I love Victoria Plums.

    Being gentle with yourself is a great thing to do. Grief is tough – not just on the mind but the body too. Take care.

  10. Seems like a tomato theme happening here. Baby steps are probably going to be you pace and that can be a good thing. Always happy to see a post from you here.

  11. Hi, Cathy!
    Delighted to read your post and see you’ve completed that wonderful tomato red jumper! Boy, that Christmasy one is gonna be a real treat, too! (Although I can’t wax too enthusiastic over any cross stitch as I never cared for the process.) As for fruit trees – my parents had some but that was in California, and the trees had been there for decades, inherited with their house. I’d suggest you canvas the good gardening shops round your place, and see if there are any gardening groups (clubs?). Is there a uni with an agricultural programme fairly close to you? Or in your region? [Over here, that would be my first choice, along with any local group. But somewhere recently I read England is a bit small for Regions as we know & have them over here.] Best wishes on your search & do let us know how things are going! Lots of warm hugs from this still-in-summer weather blogger! 🥵 xxxx

    • I am going to need some expert help I think. I don’t want to waste time or money. Really enjoying knitting this jumper, and I have a smaller project underway for TV watching knitting.

  12. I don’t know which looks better – the chutney or the soup. And happy knitting and stitching, both gentle and therapeutic activities xxx

    • Cookery is surprisingly enjoyable if I take my time over it. Today I shall make myself a goulash as Autumn has truly arrived.

      • Goulash! Now that’s a brilliant dish I haven’t thought of for ages – but I’d have to find a vegetarian recipe, don’t think there are many of those around *heh*

  13. Going Batty in Wales said:

    Lovely to hear from you Cathy. One step at a time is the way to cope – stops it all being overwhelming. Your knitting looks great though I understand the needing to concentrate – my brain went to porridge regularly! I suggest you ask around your neighbours about fruit trees – who grows what successfully because a tree which thrives in one garden may sulk in one a mile away. Then get advice from a local nursery or garden centre – preferably an independent one where they grow at least some of their own stock. The big chains tend to be just shops with staff who may not have much experience or expertise. Think about how big you want it to grow – the variety determines the nature of the fruit and how well it will grow in your garden but it is grafted on to a rootstock which controls its size. Your local expert can advise and explain. Plus there is loads online. If it feels too much get one of your grandchildren to search for you and then explain it to you – it will educate them as well! Soft fruit is even easier so consider that too. I am about to go out but will try to find your email via wordpress later and see if I can find anything else useful for you.

    • I think I am going to consult the lady who helped us last year as she specialises in fruit growing. It’s clearly not a straightforward decision planting fruit trees. Thank you for your encouragement.

  14. claire93 said:

    hello Cathy
    lovely to read your post. You certainly do need to rethink the garden somewhat, knowing that there’s only so much you can/want to grow now. We’ve got fruit trees in the orchard but honestly, harvest success is so dependent on the weather. Everything flowered too early (again) this year, and then the frosts came. I would suggest (if you like that sort of thing) that you plant raspberry/gooseberry/redcurrant/blackcurrant bushes in the spot where the greenhouse used to be. They should be fairly easy to maintain and are easy to harvest to make jams, or even just to pop in the freezer for soft fruits during the winter months.

    Also pleased to see the grandkids are keeping your hands busy with plenty of knitting ^^
    Bigs hugs
    Claire

  15. It’s a shame about the greenhouse but, really, I would feel the same about keeping one going as I am not the Head Gardener either. I can understand that it made you feel sad so I think you’ve made a good decision.
    Plenty of good advice about fruit trees from others – we have a lot of pears on at the moment but, something new I learned, pears don’t ripen fully on the tree so you have to pick them when they come off the tree easily and finish then off indoors
    We also have a glut of tomatoes. We’ve given lots away but I think a soup stash may be on the horizon,
    All children should have at least one jumper knitted by their nan, especially a Christmas jumper which is looking wonderful so far,
    xx

    • The amount of tomatoes I picked was far too many for me. I have used them because it feels right, but if I want tomatoes I can just grow an outdoor variety, I don’t need the hassle of maintaining a greenhouse. But I do like trees and fruit. Got to love a Christmas jumper. Oddly I haven’t knitted one before, and I do like picture jumpers.

  16. Gosh that soup and chutney look yummy.
    Well done for fixing the Tomato Ketchup jumper, I might have given up. Lots of HoHoHo vibes in your crafting at the mo – fun.
    Re apple and plum trees. Apples, pears and plums get maggots in them here – so it might be good to see if your neighbours have fruit tress and what they are like. The later the variety, that is, the later they flower, the freer they seem to be of problems. If you like pears I have two that are juicy and delicious and more or less free of problems: Clapps Favourite and Baronne de Mello. I got them from Thornhayes Nursery in Devon, but there is probably a nursery nearer to you.
    As far as I know, if they are grown in a pot you can plant them any time, but the best time is from now til March. If you buy them from a nursery, they will give you a time when they are ready between now and March.
    Autumn fruiting raspberries are also just wonderful to have in the garden.
    Lots of love. xx

    • Thank you so much for all the useful information. We did get help last year for Mr E when he was planning his greenhouse, I could consult her in the First instance. There’s no point in putting in something which won’t work. It does seem to require some knowledge, not just a case of buying something and plonking it in the ground. Yes lots of ho ho going on!

  17. Your green tomato chutney looks yummy. I can always go for home made tomato soup too! Love the vest, and that color is wonderful! As for fruit trees…apple trees need a friend in the neighborhood, and plums do as well. We have Aldermann plums with a Toka plum as the pollinator. We have bought trees from the nursery, and even from Walmart! Possibly your Agriculture Service can provide you with variety suited for your area?

  18. ‘Busy hands help heal a heart’. I read that somewhere, but can’t remember where. Dear Cathy, I am so glad to see you back in the blogosphere, and with projects to show and tell. I’m wondering if you can get grafted ‘fruit salad’ fruit trees in the UK, with several varieties of apple on one rootstock, for example. It makes the cross-pollination mentioned in the comment above a lot easier and takes up much less space than multiple trees. It’s done a lot Down Under, especially with citrus varieties.

    • I shall look into this idea Kate. I don’t think any of the neighbours has a fruit tree so I do need to think carefully about it. Doing something with my hands that I don’t need to think about does help after the somewhat frenetic activity of the previous month of organising stuff. I am beginning to sleep properly again which also helps. Thanks for being here Kate.

  19. Lovely to hear your news and see you getting on with all sorts of things.
    I do know that unless you get a self-fertile apple tree. (I have a self-fertile Cox tree) you need to have two trees for best pollination and fruit. Three trees if it is a Bramley. If you have a neighbour with an apple tree that could count. Fruit trees do have pests that like to eat the fruit. So people put grease bands on apple trees to help keep the codling moth at bay and I think there is something that likes plums too. My daughter has pheromone traps or something hanging from her plum tree. But when I was a child we had apple and plum trees and I don’t think we did anything special and still got fruit. Nothing like home grown fruit and my apples taste so much juicier than the one you can buy in the shops (when I get any that is!)

  20. It’s understandable that your concentration hasn’t been what it should be just now. I’m sorry if dismantling the greenhouse made you sad, I think planting some apple and plum trees is a lovely idea. A family I used to pet sit for had some plum trees in their garden, the fruit was delicious and I couldn’t get enough of them 🙂

  21. Sending love. Doing things that bring you joy is the best medicine!

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