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Enjoying the spring garden in difficult times.

The whole country, no, the whole world is on lock down for our protection from this insidious virus; the busy lives we all lead restricted to four walls, unless shopping, exercising or working.

We have experienced a long wet dull winter, both John and I have struggled with drawn out health issues, longing for a warmer, brighter and healthier spring, our eagerly awaited European holiday already cancelled.

Fortunately we enjoy each others company, we already spend hours on the internet, I also enjoy reading and knitting. We both love the garden, John cuts the grass and does the heavy jobs, I do the planting and flowers, we both enjoy the wildlife we can attract especially, birds, insects, amphibians and mammals, we are happily surprised at the variety of creatures we can attract.

Today I had a walk around the garden, breathing in the warm fresh air, listening to the birdsong and droning of bees around the skimmia japonica flowers, just enjoying the heat of the sun on my skin. Here are some of the images I captured with my camera.

It is an uncertain time, but there is always beauty in nature.

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England Garden Home

Wordsley winery part 2

The crushed grapes with sugar and yeast added spent 5 days in a bucket, letting the grape skins infuse colour into the juice. We squeezed the grapes and filtered the liquid into a sterilised demijohn, adding more sugar. The spent grape skins were put in the compost. The liquid continues to bubble as the sediment drops out in the fermentation process.

We managed 5 bottles of rose wine, a little sweet and a little sharp, very enjoyable with lemonade. I think we will leave the grapes to ripen a little more. We will learn and tweak what we did to make an even better wine next year.

Wine and the discarded crushed grapes
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England Garden Home

Wordsley winery!

That title is written slightly tongue in cheek, as our venture into wine making is very much in it’s infancy, although we made wine from grapes in another garden over twenty years ago. In 2017 we bought wood to make a pergola, this would help support a shade for where we have a seating area and create height. We enjoy dining al fresco especially in the summer when the family visits. That year we bought two vines, firstly a cabernet sauvignon grape and secondly a semillon white grape vine, we planted them near to the sunniest side of the frame. This is the third year the semillon has provided a few bunches of small sweet white grapes, the other vine has grown up and over the pergola, but this is the first year of grapes.

We realised that the wasps were being attracted to the ripe fruit so decided we should pick the grapes. We collected them in a bucket, they weighed over 4kilos.

In the kitchen we picked the grapes off stems, quite a sticky job, we also removed the spiders and other bugs, we then crushed the grapes, mostly between our hands, which was quite satisfying. We have ordered a wine making book from the library, which should arrive soon, we have left the skins because we would prefer a red wine. We think we will have enough for 1 demijohn.