Sunday, 7 July 2013

Lavender's Blue, Dilly Dilly

Pink and purple miniature lavender
Congratulations to Andy Murray for his first Wimbledon championship win. Stunning performance. I've been listening to it on the radio with brilliant BBC Radio 5 live coverage whilst enjoying the sun in the garden.
Lavender with a pin hole effect on the camera
Summer and sun has finally arrived here in the north of the UK and today, I have managed to spend the whole day in the garden and I have only just come in to the house for tea. I planted some miniature lavender a month or so ago and they are in glorious full flower now and there a couple of pictures here to show you how these plants are going on. These are the only things I have planted this year.

I've had a busy few days. Yesterday (Saturday) I went to Leeds to the football stadium Elland Road, not to watch football, which is on its summer break but to go to a mind, body and spirit festival at their conference facility with friends, Linda, Helen and Phil which was very good and saw a couple of interesting free lectures and many interesting exhibitors. 

In the boatyard - seen better times
I also continued my exploration of the South Bank of the Humber in North Lincolnshire at a little town called Barton upon Humber. It's not so little now because a quick and cheap journey across the Humber Bridge makes this commuter land for Hull and Lincoln as well as Scunthorpe and Grimsby.

A rusting barge
Just to the east of the town and on the Humber Bank is the Haven area. It has a few ageing boats on it, a boat yard which has seen better days and lots of wildlife reserves including a lovely observation centre, Water's Edge which overlooks the Humber mud flats and open to visitors for bird watching. An ancient cemetery excavation lends evidence that the village was occupied in the late fifth to early sixth century AD however there is a possibility of a late Mesolithic settlement in the Barton area from between 6,000 and 4,000 BC.

Sunset under the Humber Bridge
There are plenty of safe designated walks with footpaths with stunning open views of the Humber. We saw a huge Heron float by and land in the reeds nearby.  I'm afraid my photography wasn't good enough to capture it. An old coastguard station lays empty now, a testament to busier days as a ferry point before it moved further down the river.
The late evening sun shining on the Humber mudflats at the entrance to the Haven

Today, the town has a population of just over 9,000 people and we were privileged to hear the church bells ringing in the distance as we were finishing this little walk at dusk, this was a throw back for me as I remember the church bells ringing on a Thursday night in Cottingham as a lad.

Today's blog title by the way comes from a traditional English folk song of the 17th century.

I hope you have a fabulous week.

Chat soon



  1. Sounds and smells do evoke memories and experiences . I was brought up with the sound of church bells and the steady 24 hour thump, thump, thump of the steam hammer of (the then) Firth Brown Tools. Both were very comforting. I miss them.

    If you are making a soup, try dropping a few heads of Lavender in it. It's related to Sage, which is supposed to be good for the brain :) I found there is no taste of lavender, but like sage, adds a rather nice...I dunno. Thingy to it. Same with Roast chicken, or in autumn, a hearty stew.

    Peeps tend to associate it with pillows and stuff, but nah, its much more versatile than that. My family love it. As long as I don't tell them.

  2. Hi Wheelie
    I do put a couple of drops of concentrated lavender on a hankie under my pillow now and then if i can't sleep, it's quite powerful stuff. My grandmother always used to put lavender in a little bag - is it called a pot pourri? Not sure, but it smelt delicious.

  3. Pot pourri is any fragrant petal or leaf in a little muslin bag. Traditionally, they don't last long. If you dig around google, there's lots of recipes for it, but they use modern stuff, like olive oil. Doubt grandma had that, and besides leave leafs and flowers too long in the oil, and the oil goes mouldy.

    More likely, she used stems of Lavender which continue to release oils as they dry and replace themselves quite quickly. If you grow a lot of roses, if you dead-head a lot of them (or brave enough to sacrifice a lot of blooms) you can boil them down in a lidded pan and use the water from everything to a pot pourri, or with a little sugar and gelatine for Turkish Delight :)

    If you want to make an old fashioned Turkish Delight, or Lavender Cubes the gelatine can be extracted from pigs trotters - a delicacy I'm told in up market restaurants. :)

  4. Hi Wheelie
    thank you so much for the tips, I particularly like the rose idea and doing my own lavender stems bags. I'll let you know how I get on.