The benefit of this is that when you look back through your photo files, you find all kinds of memories that would otherwise have been lost forever. The downside, of course, is that you store hundreds of photos that you might never have a use for!
I'm very happy to take part in Five on Friday this week as it has given me a reason to revisit some of the photographs that I've taken over the last week and gives them a place to be shown when otherwise they might have stayed, gathering virtual dust, in a computer file! So here we go!
One - Oriental poppies (papaver Orientale). I may have mentioned once or twice before how much I love Oriental poppies and at this time of year they are in full bloom in the garden. I've had a lovely time watching their petals unfurl in the sunshine, and spotting flowers appearing where they have seeded themselves in the borders. I have red ones with plain petals ...
and red ones with feathery petals (these are a variety called "Turkenlouis") ...
I have purple ones with ruffled petals (this is "Patty's Plum") ...
and orange ones with white petal bases (some of the flowers were more white than orange, they were fabulous but sadly they didn't flower all at the same time) ...
and coral-coloured ones (appropriately named "Coral Reef") which I'm particularly proud of as they were the first ones I grew from seed.
I have so many more - "Mrs Perry" (of course!), "Fruit Punch" and other varieties that I've forgotten the names of, but today I have just shown you five (Ha! Five within five!). I could quite happily fill my garden with nothing but Oriental poppies, but they only have a relatively short season and there are other plants that I love in the garden too so it's only right to make space for them as well!
Two - elderflower cordial. I make this every year, it's such a refreshing drink and I always feel such a sense of achievement to know that I've made it myself. It's terribly easy - elderflower heads, lemons, limes, sugar, water and citric acid all mixed together in a bowl and left overnight.
Big daughter and I picked the flower heads today; I was worried that I might have left it a bit late as I've been meaning to do this for a week or so, but this year seems to have been a particularly good year for elderflowers and there was no shortage of blooms - some of them much bigger than I've seen in previous years too!
The smell of the ingredients whilst you're preparing the cordial is amazing. Elderflowers and citrus ... mmm! I think the next big technological thing should be transporting smells across the internet. Just think how wonderful that could be - as long as you could only upload nice smells!
In less than an hour, my cordial is ready to sit overnight in a cool, dark place and tomorrow I'll be able to strain and bottle it, ready to drink straight away. It doesn't get much easier than that! I've tried a few recipes over the years, but my favourite is the one from this book which has never let me down. I've tried a few of the other recipes in the book too, and they've all been good!
Three - the first strawberry of the year. Back in March of this year, I replaced the strawberry plants that we have with some new ones and the very first fruit was ripe enough to eat. Small daughter made sure that she was on hand to quality-test it and it was deemed to be Very Good.
Four - Midsummer. Last Sunday was the longest day of the year (although you'd never know it from the weather in the photograph!). It was also Father's Day and we'd taken ourselves and my Dad out to Chester for a walk along the walls. We couldn't miss the Chester Midsummer Watch parade, which is held on the Saturday and Sunday closest to Midsummer (thank you to Mrs Tigglywinkle for setting me right on the date!) - a spectacular and very noisy parade featuring dragons, devils, unicorns, stags and a pirate ship amongst other parade participants. We weren't sure what our dog was going to think about it (he likes a stroll around Chester so we couldn't have left him at home), but he seemed to take it all in his stride and at one point we thought he was going to join the parade himself!
Five - new socks. It seems to have taken me an inordinately long time to finish these socks, but what with the Sockalong and university visits, my own knitting has taken a bit of a back seat at the moment. That's the best thing about socks, though; they're so very forgiving if you put them down for a while, especially an easy plain pattern like this one. I'm very pleased to have them finished now - it's always lovely to have a new pair of socks to wear!
The yarn is Zoofari by Regia in shade Zebra Paul (05866). I do like these zebra stripes, and it's good to know that if I ever meet a herd of blue and red zebras then I will blend in nicely.
Thanks to Amy at Love Made My Home for hosting Five on Friday, do take a look at some of the other posts!
Look out for my next post - an exciting new Fyberspates pattern book giveaway!