Powerless – The Year the Lights Went Out

Sunday, June 22 – In an English country garden

Last night we sat outside till ten, after eating rabbit cooked with parsley and mustard, served with new potatoes and peas. As the light slowly faded, bats swooped overhead then Jane squealed, when she saw a large toad crawling amongst the pots of herbs. We all looked more closely and found what seemed to be a family of toads living in and around the garden shed. They must have thrived during the mild, wet winter and will do a great job eating the garden pests.
Everything in the garden is bursting with life because the ground is still so damp from those months of rain. And when we went to church today, we found that various gardens which open for charity every summer, were still having an open day. Although several owners have turned their flower beds over to produce, the gardens were still festooned with great flower-laden swags of pink and white climbing roses and purple clematis, clambering up cottage walls and over twisted apple trees. And whereas in previous years the owners would sell plants for their chosen charity, today they were giving away surplus strawberries, peas, lettuce, asparagus and radishes. Soon there will be broad beans, cucumbers and beetroot, making me think we haven’t done that well with our vegetable beds which have carrots, cabbage and potatoes, but not much else.
As we walked home we noticed the elderflower in full bloom in all the hedgerows and Jane asked if we couldn’t make something with the flower heads, so tonight we shall have a dessert of elderflower fritters to eat with strawberries. The hens have had the hulls from the berries, mixed with other scraps. The broody won’t leave her nest yet and I think I saw two little faces peering out from under her feathers, late this afternoon.

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