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Kathy

Well, now I have to go eat a Honeycrisp apple...I just happened to buy some yesterday. They are favorites of mine as well.

Like you, I can think of nothing better than that solitary view in Scotland, complete with plenty of tea, apples and books. Heaven. (And maybe some chocolate, too.)

Danielle

Yes, I think chocolate would be a perfect addition to the mixture! I just had a macintosh for dessert! :) I wish I could click my heels together now and wish myself to that view. Anna Pavord travels to the best places it seems!

Liz F

I have seen, and probably eaten, all the types of British apple that you mention over the years although some of them are a bit hard to find these days. The situation is improving though and some of the old types do appear in the shops although they are generally more seasonal and a bit blink and you'll miss them!
You were looking for another monthly read so might I suggest Wild Hares and Hummingbirds by Stephen Moss which is a year in a village on the Somerset Levels?
It wasn't an area I was familiar with but I found it fascinating and he is a really good writer.

Stefanie

I have never seen that fabled loamy soil myself but it is something to aim for. My soil is very sandy that I never worry about plants becoming waterlogged. But I do have to worry about it drying out too fast. Mulch is my friend and it improves the soil but it does't work miracles unfortunately!

Danielle

I *love* apples and literally do eat one every day (sometimes two!). A few weeks back I made applesauce, filled about ten little containers and then put them in the freezer. I'll ration them out over the coming months. I am sure we have lots of unusual apples, too, but it is not easy to find anything other than the most ordinary in the stores. If there was such a thing as going on a tasting tours of apples, I would (were I rich anyway) do it! :) I do have the Moss book--maybe that will work for my serial read next year. Is it more nature than gardening? I want something like the journal Roger Deakin wrote (the seasonal one) which I loved. I guess I could always reread it!

Danielle

She makes it sound sort of easy (though she always hastens to say that gardeners should be aware of what they have and work with it). I'm not sure what sort of soil I have--I suspect it is sandy, too, but I could be wrong. And mulch sounds like a good thing--I think you can buy it for indoor potted plants, too, can't you? I should really take better care of my house plants--they would probably like a little mulch! :)

LizF

The Moss book is all nature so no worries about that though if you want to re-read Roger Deakin do!
I've read it a couple of times and still dip into it if I'm in the mood for his writing. He is one person I really wish I could have met as I love his style and ethos. I have a couple of his other books and really must get around to reading those rather than re-reading the same one!

I'm also just about to start a book called Meadowland which is by a farmer who studied the same meadow on his farm throughout a year. I think it is divided up into months (don't have it with me as I write so I can't check at the moment) but I am going to have to hurry through that a bit as it is a library book (although if I find that I really like it I might just be tempted to buy it!)

Stefanie

I believe you can mulch houseplants, though plants in pots long-term present some interesting soil challenges. You still get evaporation through the sides of the pot. Also houseplants tend to either need fertilizer now and then to replace the nutrients the plants use up, or they need fresh soil every few years.

Caroline

Oh this is a coincidence. I've started an apple project - the idea is to sample as many as I can get, describe them, see which ones I like best. My best friend has a garden and he's nor gardener, so I'm allowed to plant an apple tree. I only have to find the perfect apple for all of us. I love Cox Orange best so far and Boskop, a German apple, one of the old varietes.

Danielle

I loved the Deakin journal and could easily and happily reread it. I was thinking of reading his book about trees next (or soon anyway). I do like the idea of reading monthly like I have been doing with the Pavord if I can find a suitable book. The Moss is definitely a possibility and if I can remember where I put my copy, I might go with it. Meadowland sounds good--I will look for it. I should really look for an American naturalist--Loren Eiseley is a Nebraska author and I have read one or two of his essays and might see what I can find by him--I might actually be familiar with the places he writes about. I usually don't try and read nonfiction library books--on a good day I am already slow, but really slow when it comes to nonfiction!

Danielle

My poor houseplants--they are all sturdy as I can be pretty neglectful. I sometimes wonder how they even hang on. I think I knew about evaporation through the sides of the pot--I am sure the soils in my pots are in dire need of fertilizing! Maybe that will be a winter project....

Danielle

How cool! I love apples, though lately pears are in season and so very tasty that is usually my after dinner treat! I have not heard of any of the apples you mention--I wonder if we eat any of the same sorts of apple varieties? Don't apples have the most creative (and appealing) names? I would love to have an apple tree in my yard--I hope you are able to plant one in your friend's garden--imagine just reaching up and plucking one of your own! :)

LizF

I tend to borrow non-fiction library books to see if I like them as some turn out to be not what I was expecting and it's not always a discovery I like! If I do like them I will often buy the book especially if they are history or nature books because then I can read at my own pace and pick up and put down as I want.
I would be interested to hear if you find an American naturalist with similar books. I have a couple of nature books about Cape Cod (can't remember who by at the moment but I think they are quite famous)but I would love to read about either the mid west or some of the mountainous states.

Danielle

I do the same thing actually--often I will buy the same books I borrow from the library if I didn't get to read them (but really wanted to), though I will at least wait for the paperback to be released. You could give Loren Eiseley a go--he has written essays and I think you would like him, I think I know who you are talking about with the Cape Cod books--is it Gladys Tabor--or am I confusing her with someone else? If I think of someone else I will let you know. I would like to read something by Isabella Bird after visiting the Rockies. I do need to pick up a good nonfiction book--I don't have anything at all on the go at the moment!

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