Day 31: The Tendrils of July

July has seemed to be one huge heat-wave
punctuated by occasional storms and a cooler day here and there!
What better way to finish my Photo Journal this July
than with these lovely sunshine flowers
which represent this hot and sunny month

Yellow connection

Black-Eyed Susan is my name

Rudbeckia are members of the Sunflower family
I do love their dark centres and their beautifully formed petals.


I have enjoyed these daily postings throughout this month of July,
but now I shall be posting less often
possibly once, sometimes twice a week
depending on what I see, how I feel and what there is to chat about!

I hope that you have all been having a wonderful month.
Thank you for all your visits
and especially to those who have left kind comments.
It's always so rewarding to have a little chat with passers-by!

See you all soon again!


Day 30: Jam Making

Apricot Jam
Making this particular jam has become a tradition.
I only use half the amount of sugar as the weight of the fruit.
I also use a small amount (about 100 grams) of raw cane sugar, called Sucanat.
It gives a delicious flavour and colour to the finished jam.
This year I added the scraped out contents of one vanilla pod.
It adds a little something special.

The apricots this year are exceptionally sweet and juicy.
They are great to eat raw all on their own.

The coffee is gurgling
The nut bread has been sliced
and the freshly made apricot jam is waiting!
Breakfast on my balcony
is the most wonderful place to be!

A small bowl of floating Phlox flowers for my breakfast table.

Days 28 - 29: Keeping Cool

A baby lavender plant on my balcony is just starting to bloom.
The bees are already interested and have been visiting the first tiny blooms!

Two excellent ways to keep cool.
Use some hydrosol (floral water) to make refreshing drinks and face sprays.

For the drink
Add 2-4 tablespoons (according to personal taste) of organic Peppermint hydrosol
to 1 1/2 litres of spring water.
Drink throughout the day and keep the bottle cool in the fridge.

For the face spray:
Fill a small aerosol bottle with spring water,
add 1-2 teaspoons of Peppermint hydrosol
shake gently to mix.
Keep this refrigerated and use on the face, neck and shoulders
to freshen up during the day.
If I'm away from home for a few hours, I take the bottle with me in my bag!

Try these two recipes and I shall be happy to hear of your experience!


What is a hydrosol?
"During the distillation process that yields essential oils, the steam containing the oils is chilled,
thus turning into water, with a layer of essential oils floating on top.
The essential oils are skimmed off and bottled for our use.
The remaining water contains both minute molecules of the essential oil,
as well as all the water soluble elements of the plant that are not present in the oil."

Text taken from this site

Days 25 - 27: My Flowers


Despite the torrid heat during this month of July.
the flowers on my balcony garden have done pretty well.
There are so many of them that it's difficult to know where to start.

Pretty in Pink

Fresh yellow

A tiny red rose which was part of the Mother's Day plant arrangement
sent to me by my son this year.


Tiny Asters

Blue Campanula

and white too.

Geraniums: pale pink

and darker ones too.

Phlox in different shades

Here is a collage of the many different kinds of flowers in my window boxes and big pots this year

My flowers are my biggest joy in the summer months
and I eat all my meals outside
surrounded by their wonderful colours.

My herb garden is doing well too:
A Rosemary tree
A big plant of Basil which I use a lot
Lemon Verbena for herb teas
and mint.
I have run out of chives and must get a new plant!

Day 24 - Steamboat

Today took me to a neighbouring lakeside town to enjoy the beautiful weather.
At least once a year, I love to take a cruise on one of these steamboats
on the Lake Léman.

This boat is called 'Simplon'
which is the name of  a mountain pass in Switzerland.
The Simplon Pass (2.005 m or 6.578 ft) connects Brig in the canton of Valais
with Domodossola in Piedmont Italy
and further on to the big city of Milan.

Off she sails to her next destination further along the lake!

Day 23 - Entrance

The entrance to the houses or buildings where we live is important.
Although I live in a building bordering the town centre,
I appreciate the fact that there is greenery and some flowering bushes 
along the path leading up the the entrance.

There's something welcoming about big hydrangea blooms
that line the path where I live.
The greenery nearby and the trees that are planted
are compensation for living in a built-up area.
I have all the advantages of  shops nearby and great public transport
but can still enjoy a little of nature where I am.

To get out into the real countryside, I need to take some form of public transport
like a bus, the metro or the train.
All of them are very easy to reach from where I live.

Day 22 - Gardening

A Gentian plant was missing on my balcony
I was happy to find it at the market yesterday.

It goes so well with the Edelweiss flowers that I already had.
Two mountain plants together.

This morning,
my walk took me up into the neighbourhood above mine
and I bought a beautiful bright Begonia plant
for the end of my balcony near the kitchen.

I had originally seen a deep pink one I liked 
but it had been sold.
This is a welcome flash of colour!

There's still some planting to do
of aromatic plants:
Basil and Lemon Verbena.

It's been a good day and the temperatures were perfect to do some gardening!

Day 21 - Market Day

Market day is on Saturdays and on Wednesday.
I love going there at least once a week to stock up on a wonderful choice
of fresh, locally grown produce.

There's a special atmosphere on Saturdays
with music in the streets and sometimes singers.

It's always a special treat to have breakfast out on market day
and then take a bus up the hill with all the shopping.
I'm so lucky with a frequent bus service
and the bus stops just at the top of my street
isn't that wonderful?

Here are just some of the things that were bought:
Fresh green beans
Red peppers
Crisp salads
and luscious rich coloured apricots
to eat and to make a few pots of low sugar jam.
We ate the courgettes for lunch
with fresh ripe tomatoes
and basil leaves! 

Day 20 - In My Hand

Nestled in my hand

A tiny phlox bloom

Searched for the light

She had fallen from the plant
at the height of her beauty

Looking for a tender hand to save her from her plight.

I was lucky to capture these photos on my balcony just before the storm broke and the 
heavy rain fell, bouncing off the road and path.
Coolness at last!

Day 19 - Evening Walk

Evening bee on sunflower.

There are many gardens and allotments in my neighbourhood 
and my early morning and my evening walks allow me to enjoy them all.

One garden was just full of beautiful sunflowers

They are glorious from every angle

Even from the back.

The colours vary

I love the young flowers unfolding their petals.


The sky was showing an announced change in the weather from hot and sunny

and then to hot and humid as the clouds increased.
Storms and rain are on the way and hopefully we shall get some refreshment
from the lovely rain!

Day 18 - Time to Dream

Isn't that what summer is all about?
Taking time to dream
and be totally immersed in the moment.

New flowers to plant in two of my window-boxes
I bought them down the market today
and just love their fresh colours.

Image result for time to dream quotes

Author: Gladys Taber