So where's the snow?

Muddling through in Austria; God, life and a small black dog


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Garden Time;Katastrophe!

We’re not entirely sure of the cause, but we’ve lost all out tomatoes in the greenhouse and the cucumbers are rotting on the stems.  It could be a reaction to the intense heat, or a virus, but with two species of plants affected, I suspect the heat. At the same time, the Okaido pumpkin is blooming.

 So it means rather than having a colourful salad filled summer – I do like my cucs and toms, it’ll be green salad or begging off a smug Mr Paggy for some  veggies………


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Garden time; June Bugs and Mice

The weather has been so warm and wet lately, everything is growing  when it’s not being soaked. We had one day of continual rain then showers and a really hot day on Friday. All seems a bit behind, the Peonies which usually have finished flowering by now are only just coming into bloom.The air was filled with scents of all the flowers and June Bugs.  They’re all over the place but seem to do no harm!

The short dry break was used by the farmers to cut the first crop of silage and a lot of the now yellowing fields have been sprayed with slurry, which makes the Lungau a bit ripe.

I’ve found that the dratted mouse has taken up residence in our row of broad beans.  Its called a Wuehlmaus, and when I looked it up, its Myodes Glareolus or the Bank vole.  Most of the websites I found considered it cute, except for one that condemned it as vermin, carrying  disease.  It  can leave  holes in gardens, with runs underneath where it stores its foot. It eats fruit and nuts and some quietly said it nibbles roots -quite!  Quite how we’ll deal with it I don’t know, no doubt there’s more than one. Linda also said it could be our resident mole, but he tends to just leave big heaps of earth not neat openings.


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Garden time – Apples and Plums, Jam and Wine

It was when I was out to photo the apple trees, I noticed that the Plum trees have next to no flowers on them at all. I had to check back at my photos over the past few years and there are definitely less flowers than in earlier years and they look scraggy, not full blooms, just a couple of petals.  Another effect of last year, or just the trees having one of their rest years?  We’ve had so many plums the past two years we’ve got sick of the sight of them!  The cherry trees locally have had a great flowering, missing the Ice man, unlike the apples which did get zapped, but with so many flowers I guess it’ll still be a great crop.  My ornamental cherry has also had a pathetic flowering this year, nature’s cycle?

Especially with the fiasco of Paggy’s plum jam making. I’ve never managed to get it to set properly, as he wont let me add enough sugar as he’s a diabetic, but even with the gel zucker – it has extra gelatine and pectin in it I understand, it wont set. Then it goes moldy!  It seems we need to reduce it at least by half before adding the sugar, which  will do this year, if we get any fruit!

Very few people make home-made wine here, which is a surprise, Schnapps and jam yes. Maybe it’s because wine is so cheap! I can’t think why as there are so many soft fruits in  any garden, and jam making or cordial uses maybe more sugar.  Maybe its due to the beer drinking!   I’ve also got at last my own elderberries going, so now its do I make juice and then maybe jam from th flowers, or wait to make jam from the fruit??? Such dilemmas!  We’ve also just planted our first Blackberry, they seem not to be Lungau hard, which is a shame as they are like weeds in the UK.