Latvia in May

We have endured the hard winter and now into Spring than fast into summer.So we have to move fast to keep up with gardens and work hits us hard after resting all winter time. The brain work of design now to perform .

Weeding pruning chopping and clearing repairing and tool sharpening all takes its toll .Must be age but dont mention it .

Shifting boulders at 72 is pretty scary but somehow alone its either look at them or shift them.Drop one side on barrow against it wedged and slowly move the stone rolling into barrow. Then try and pull the barrow up from side with stone inside. Surprising how fit it keeps one .Or is it just me that thinks that.?

Wheel to the rockery and then ladder and roll the boulder up onto top. Sheer slavery but once in place wedged in all looks worth the sweat .Only four more to attack then nice cup of tea in my summer house.

Many roses to cut back .Die back must be cut right out as it is a killer . Winter damage. Only roses that never have to prune are Canadian John Davis and John Cabot climbers on my gazebo each side with benches for 8 people to rest at party time.

I bought more conifers and filled that gaps in my woodland garden. Shrubs too but need loads of rain now which never comes. Clay and sand soil with about two inch of top soil. Much effort in earning that I can tell you. More farm manures left two years in piles .We are using only now manures well rotted from two years back. Ill cancel the next years load as by then my mountains of dung will have to be gone on garden boards .Mixed with water as tea drink for plants .

Im delighted that my heated propagator produced enough Comfrey plants for making tea as plant food .Ill grow the 10 plants near my work site for grass cuttings to add to compost bins slowly. They grow big and wide so row them down East side but still in sunlight but not in danger from barrows full of grass cuttings. I made 4 bins for composting quicker . It will replace the five years of spending 50 euro now 85 euro a load of shit.if you will forgive the expression. He ,the farm tractor driver, said cow cake feed has gone up 100 % I said so had the price of shit it seems. Six ton at a time is helping the garden at a price. Once all trace has been used plan B is already growing .

My sweetpeas are looking good and could be planted now .Greedy feeders and we have the stuff they adore in the bed at base of trellis . This is divisional to garden room beyond is my conifer garden. Rose climbers and clematis later but will hold off with sweet peas as frost I can taste in the morning air. Can come juts as one plants up tenders and boosh all dead next morning. Took me two years before i began to face it this is not England . Sunny for a week then one morning at 6am wake to find one inch of frozen white killer frost covers the land like a blanket hugging the land . Once only then back to 77f at 6am 84 by luncheon time. Can reach 98 f by 5pm . One year it reached 112 f and sat on parade all day.Unbearable and shriveled all plants up. It is gardening on the hard side of all things holy .

Then when it settles like India the monsoons arrive and I love it rains .Now is the time we fill all ponds and tanks we have had empty .Rain for water lilies say in 4 inch of muddy water now up to the neck burst into amazing scented pink flowers floating happily on top of rising waters in the formal pond. From here on in summer is just perfect at 86 f tops from July to October its lovely .maybe odd day of rain from September on. Summers at best are perhaps the best in Europe .You can rely on it.

My need to make ready with grape vine roof over the oven I must build will herald the dawning of my first real garden party and entertaining a first in these gardens.

Watched many internet videos on brick oven build so having taken note designed my own my way. Im itching to start my build but many jobs still to do outstanding before hand I fear.

My Japanese flowering cherries are near opening their swelling buds to welcome late May early June blossoms at the waterfall room .

I have to trench in power for pumps and tall London street lights in the drive way.Also the folly needs power of electrics and the pergola roof lights too.

When complete if im not tired to death Ill kneel and thank God who held me upright and set in working so hard for so long. Its been a dream for so long and now its happening. More still to do but its no longer a maybe it is beginning to be what I wanted at first site I knew this flat land was able to aid my plan.

Rest for a day now as need too as I just do too much in a day. Im nearly there but the end game can wait a day or two. Five years of hard slog made a rough pasture into an English garden some 2000 miles from home.

I was told cant do it I said it was possible with hard work .Then I admit I had no idea of just h0w much hard work it needed . I am arranging photos for next weeks blog on my garden. Again its relying on other people with better camera that works and can be loaded onto blog. I seem to have lost the will as so many try and no win.

Yours always ,love Sir Kevin.

Copyright Kevin James Parr Bt2022

A very good story

It was over breakfast one morning in May. There I was about to delight myself with boiled eggs. The plate of toast ,served as soldiers and for my Marmalade after that.

In comes Anita with a strange look on her face. “Marmalade again. ”

Indignant of the comment and the look ,one cracked open the last egg in the holder and dipped on hot buttered toast as if no one else was there.

Again the call. I cleared my mouth and spoke my jolly mind. “Marmalade is a British thing. Love it or hate it depends decidedly on tasting it my dear.”

She had been rather slow on the take up but now by Gad it happened. Wide eyed I looked up from the finished egg and watched her slide a knife into my marmalade jar in somewhat somber motion.

I had no need to ponder it was instant and positive and flowing was the occasion and her countenance told it all.

Since then I have to make twice as much marmalade.

To think that reference to the product is stamped in the pages of English recipe books going way back into the days of good old Queen Elizabeth. .Then when it was made with Quince fruit not Spanish sour oranges.

So Saville in Spain had 80 tons of sour oranges and somehow the British bought them .Today the entire market is that of Britain .Spain has no other customer for her oranges of Seville are that sour one is hard pressed to find anyone other than Marmalade makers who adore the said fruit .

It changed from Quince grown in England to oranges grown in Spain around 1800. Queen Victoria so loved Marmalade that it became a product for the business man to produce.So much so for most households the only thing was to make ones own . Cooks in big houses made pan fulls of the stuff. The common workers bought oranges when spoiled as cheap and so made marmalade in the little kitchens .From that it became a sport as one cook challenged others all across the cities of England this went on.

Womens Institute WI or to us men Wild Indians made jam circles to sell at fairs they had open to public. Each member made a jam or Marmalade and brought jars to sell.

So it became a truly British thing over time of ,many centuries. When in 1953 Hillary and Tenzing reached the summit of Everest mountain they opened a jar on Marmalade and spooned it out to enjoy the victory .

Scott had taken Marmalade to Antartic cirlce . Sugar content stopped the jar freezing.

I believe it may even have been taken into space.

So is it good .Indeed it is a jar that trapped sunshine . It is fruity heaven and now two of us like the taste.

When ever one can find the sour fruit in Europe one can set too and cook up a batch of Marmalade . Not often enough are the sour oranges here as Latvia is not a Marmalade nation. Then not to fear I simply visit Lidll shops and there one can find the real thing on the shelves. Dundee Marmalade is common with the Germans also hooked by the taste it seems .

I try to have six jars always on my shelf to eat when I want.

The story of Italian chef seeing his lady Mary Queen of Scotland ill decided to make her a fruit jam to revive her mood . It is a nice tale but with little fact as he called it My Mam malady . Do not thing so .

Marmalade is a thing that brought millions of housewifes to compete making it .All over Britain they judge who makes the best. Even sell it on stalls at summer fetes. Why not it is the peer in the range of jams that brings back my youth with its taste in every bite of toast. Fresh and orangey sweet and delicious .It sparkles in the sunlight in the glass jar from pantry to the dish on breakfast table. Anita now conversant supports my efforts now but says rather have honey but marmalade is good too?

The truth is a thing called Meladosa made with oranges and lemons into jam existed in Portugal in the 11 century .So the Marmalade may have come from that .Our Quince jam goes back to much the same time . The oranges replaced the quince around 1800 in England and I add the juice of a ripe lemon to my marmalade making as it helps the flavour I say .

What ever, a good story and a great British product . If one adds a thimble full of Malt Whiskey in the mix after cooking you have Scottish Marmalade and to be honest I like it so much as it is not same product otherwise.

A bit of rest and light reading.I do so hope you liked it.

Copyright Kevin Parr Bt2022

Russia today

Putin has lost the war in Ukraine but says we now start World war 111 target is the whole Nato alliance .

How silly this cancer ridden fool is to think he has not been set up by Nato to come out fighting instead of hurling abuse.

He cant win against public in Ukraine what can he do to a mighty war machine called the West .

In a way we can finish this and Russia divided into many parts .Siberia belongs to China anyway . Then Ukraine may like a nice slice of land around Moscow and Petersburgh handed to Germany .Polish must have a big slice of the pie and Latvia takes back the land stolen from then in war time by Stalin the butcher

All will be happy if Russia just makes its move instead of threats and sabre rattling . Like children they need handling properly but if out they march it will be as we all hoped the end of threats and loss of Russia as warned of in 1856 treaty of Paris signed by Russian leaders after we beat the daylights out of them in Crimean war 1854-56 .

Putin broke that law in invading Ukraine . Crimea is part of Ukraine too.

I doubt if leaders behind the dying Putin will want a war with West it is just as always threats to lead to fear. But no one fears Russia and never did .It is a system of a form of Communistic evil starve that public tell them only what we need them to hear . Ill sod hungry we can control them. Then now is the slumbering population slowly waking up to what is really going on.I think its possible ,yes .

Putin is seriously ill he needed a win in Ukraine not just to have his way but because he is under they eye of evil big brother who will replace him now. That may be better for peace, or worse.Time will tell .Giving us time to build up even more our objective . Today Russia said Ben Grant a British soldier from Chetzin army aiding Russia against the enemy Ukraine he will run forever but death sentence has been placed on him . It is fine for other nations to help Russia but if any aid Ukraine its murder for them. It is typical cowards and brainless talk of idiots . I think Ben should be a medal holder for his way of helping Ukraine. His mother is Conservative MP which will fuel the situation no doubt. But it shows you just what trash the Russians are. News of Putin at best he has five weeks to live said Russian doctors to news press in Moscow. Published and on sale in Baltic shops . Cant see it being wrong myself. Good riddens to him I say .

I doubt Russia has much left to fight a war with .Only Nuclear which is old and mostly volatile . Meanwhile two British super ships are lined up on Moscow from sea off shore from Baltic knock out takes 12 seconds with all fired on them nothing will survive .So fear not the news it is all over in a flash if the rat pops its nose out of its hole its certain it will turn to vapour.

Yours with peace in defense, Sir Kevin.

Copyright Kevin Parr Bt 2022