A long awaited gathering.

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A couple of days ago we had the privilege and joy to share our home and garden with some long anticipated visitors. Josie is a member of our family that is 17 years old and autistic. For about five years she has been attending an outreach service where she spends time with other young people with additional needs. Together they cook, go to the cinema, go horseback riding and do many other things. Last year a few of the girls from outreach came to visit us for a picnic down by our stream, in the gazebo. Unfortunately it was raining and we could not walk around the garden as much as we wished but it was still a lovely afternoon.

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How to double your raspberry harvest.

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We would like to tell you about an easy way to increase your raspberry harvest for the year. We grow autumn raspberries in the garden and the usual advice is to cut down all stems to the ground after fruiting in late autumn and let the new stems grow up in spring to fruit again the following autumn. We wanted to try a slightly different approach after reading James Wong’s excellent book “Grow for flavour”. It is a book we can highly recommend because of it’s wonderful advise on growing a whole range of crops in ways that increase flavour and nutritional values.We cut down the canes from last year but only where they were crossing or were growing too close together. We should probably have done this in autumn but as quite a few jobs around the garden, we did not get around to it until early spring. The remaining canes we topped by about one third.

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A lick of paint in June.

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Because half of our family comes from Sweden, we decided to add some decorative touches to our porch. In Sweden many old houses have what is known as “snickarglädje”. You could translate it into the Carpenter’s delight. It is seen around windows, porches and doors on many old houses. We choose a simple variation with a wavy edge created with the jigsaw and drilled big round holes. It was very easy to make from some rough sawn 4” by 1” planks. Many buildings in Sweden and other Nordic countries have much more elaborate designs.

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