All sorts of things are crowding for attention here on the blog after a few days when my laptop died and went away to be resuscitated. (Thank you Alison of the Allyway). It's just like a car breaking down: one moment you are taking it entirely for granted and the next you realise that your whole life is built around having access to it. It showed the blue screen of death and I began to prepare myself for its funeral but Alison not only retrieved all my data but got the whole thing working again, slicker than ever.
So here is a canter through some of things that have been happening.
I spent a few days down in Devon with my parents. It was that beautiful week when the sun shone so warm that the smell of spring was everywhere. My sister and I, with my son and his wife, took the dogs up onto Dartmoor one afternoon. The grass was not yet greening up on the moor but the stream was brown and clear like whisky.
There was swimming to be done if you were a dog.
The air was still and soft and Dartmoor rolled away into the haze.
At home we were experimenting with sourdough bread. Ian had been creating a leaven, feeding it daily with flour and water and watching it bubble magically into life.
You can take from it every day to provide the raising agent for a new loaf. The whole process is slow and gentle and the loaf itself needs to be left to rise for plenty of time, occasionally gently and quickly kneaded.
This is the bread I made from Dan Lepard's The Handmade Loaf. I was going to take a picture of the loaf all baked and beautiful before I cut it but it looked and smelt so good that I inadvertently ate quite a bit of it first.
And yesterday I did a great sowing of euphorbia seeds. At the end of last year I was lucky enough to meet Don Witton, who is the brother of one of our walking friends. Don holds the national collection of euphorbias in his garden and allotments in Yorkshire. We were on a walk with a group of friends and Don and I chatted and talked gardens and plants. A few days later a packet appeared through the post containing the seeds of seven different types of euphorbia and a book he had written on euphorbias for the Hardy Plant Society. Kate at Beangenie was blogging only the other day about the generosity of gardeners and here is another prime example!
So the seeds of Euphorbia griffithii have gone into the freezer for stratification and all of the others have gone into seed trays and into a heated propagator. I have never grown euphorbia from seed and am still a very novice seed sower in general so I am not holding my breath. If I only get one or two seedlings that will be exciting enough. There is so much more to do and so many more seeds to sow!