In a Vase on Monday – Raspberry (jam) and custard

‘Happiness is like jam, you can’t spread even a little without getting some on yourself’ Author: Unknown

The weather in Manchester has made a return to its usual Summer windy, soggy-ness but that’s a good thing as you almost hear the plants sucking up the water. Everything is looking a bit more chirpy than last week. I’m still pottering along gardening in the shade, sorting out the house and making changes – it’s been a good summer so far especially as my arthritis pain just about disappears when it’s very hot.

I’ve been pondering a few things this week – in the garden as out and about. We’ve got a few trips planned including a trip to Derbyshire at the weekend and a WI camping trip in September. It was jam making of all things, that inspired my In a Vase on Monday.


In a vase on Monday: yarrow and marguerites

For the flowers I picked are Achillea ‘Ritzy’ and ‘Heidi’. Their common name is yarrow. The pale yellow flowers are ‘Madeira marguerite’ – Argyranthemum. I couldn’t squeeze anymore stems into the bottle 😦 I promise I’ll do a bigger vase next week :-). Both types of flowers have appeared on the blog before:

The titles of these posts made me smile – I am most definitely keeping calm and carrying on – and a change of scene is the right thing for me.

The ‘vase’ is a Chambord miniature it’s a black raspberry liqueur which can be mixed with wine, bubbly or gin/vodka. The bottle makes it seems as if it’s been around for a hundred years or so. However, it was launched in 1982, although it’s based on a drink made in the Loire valley in 17th Century. My vase is on a pile of cookery books – jam making, Nigella and WI – seems a good plan to follow their example.

Do have a look at the Rambling in the Garden where Cathy hosts the meme. She has many zinnia, rudbeckia and nicotiana in her vase today. Looking around everyone’s vases from around the world zinnias are popular this year. Cathy says they are fairly easy to grow so I’ll give them a go next year.


In a Vase on Monday: yarrow and marguerietes

I NEED to make Jam soon – I am going on a Women’s Institute camping weekend in Cheshire in September – we stay in a Scout bunkhouse but you get the idea. We always have food competitions and one of them is jam. I’ve only ever made jam a couple of times and it’s been a winner both times (weird) as I’m not much of a pudding or cake maker – that’s My Chap’s department.

lavender in pinkster gin bottle with autumn fruit jam

In a Vase on Monday from December 2016- lavender in v small gin bottle with my prize-winning Autumn fruit jam

I’m probably going to use a similar recipe to this one:

Recipe – Autumn Fruit Jam

It’s a very simple recipe I use – 900g mixed soft fruit which included:

  • about 300g v tart blackberries
  • two big Braeburn apples – cored, peeled and sliced
  • about 200g blueberries – only about 20 from the garden, most were from a well known supermarket 😉
  • about 250g frozen raspberries from the garden
  • handful v v tart red currants from my garden
  • 800g jam sugar (this has more pectin)

The Method is here in the original post.

Have you got a favourite jam recipe? Or a favourite flavour?

A walk along the Bridgewater Canal and Worsley Green

We went for one of our favourite walks on Sunday – it’s about three miles and takes an hour. I picked blackberries too.

Alphabet bridge, the warehouse – looking towards Monton

Here’s some pictures from along the canal, the Packhouse at Worsley Green. It was built in 1760 – the black and white Tudor style beams were added in the 1850s.

I’ve described this walk before – In a Vase on New Year’s Day – dogs, woods and walks 

There were some ducks who made very good models too.

For the gardeners among my readers – The RHS Bridgewater Garden is about a quarter of a mile from Worsley Green. Work is coming along well and I’m hoping to go on a tour soon.   I am so excited that this wonderful garden is coming to Salford.

In the garden

We decided to get an arbour for the decking at the bottom of the garden and collected it this evening. I talked about the area on my latest blog post – Six on Saturday 11 August 2018

The petunias are looking particularly lovely at the moment too. I don’t think they’re much good in vases as they’d droop quickly 😦

We’ve also been sorting out My Chap’s sedum and succulent collection. I’ve been doing my photography prompts. The succulent planter makes an appearance in the photo above too.

Week 33 – from above

Like many things in life – it’s often a good idea to look at the bigger picture.


I am trying to spread more happiness for myself, My Chap, my pals and most of all my family. We are looking forward to a long weekend in Derbyshire this weekend. We are planning to go to Hardwick Hall We will be going to Chatsworth House, another time as it’s a full day is needed there.

What do you have planned for the weekend? Do you have any recommendations for places to visit around Chesterfield, in Derbyshire?

Any favourite jam recipes or fruit combinations?

Let me know in the comments

Carpe Diem

Love Bec xx xx

16 thoughts on “In a Vase on Monday – Raspberry (jam) and custard

  1. thiscurvylife

    I love your flowers so much. You have a keen eye for photography. I have never been to Chesterfield before but I sure would love to visit if it is as pretty as your pictures make it seem 🙂


  2. Cathy

    That is a very pretty bottle and your bundle of flowers suits it perfectly. I am pleased to hear that your arthritis has been easier for you this summer and that you have been able to get on with all these different things in the garden. I think blackcurrant jam is my favourite but most of the jam I make these days I use in baking and this year I have started sieving jams I want to use for that purpose to make it easier to sread and remove any random seeds. I also get through a lot of jelly (redcurrant, damson or whatever fruit I have a lot of). I like Haddon Hall in Derbyshire and Crich Tramway is always worth a visit if you have never been. Oh and I am afraid I didn’t say zinnias were easy – but don’t sow them too early (April is probably fine) and don’t let them be overshadowed by other plants


  3. Jasmin

    Such a lovely recipe! My grandpa has been into making different jam’s lately, so I’ll be definitely linking this to him 🙂


  4. kanishka

    I really hope you succeed in spreading happiness ❤ Honestly the vase looks so cute! Ive never tried making jams hehe but I enjoy eating some


  5. Beth Berger

    I’ve been watching a lot of tutorials lately about canning because I think it’s something I would like to start doing. Perhaps a lovely jam would be a good first try?? Your flower arrangement are beautiful, as always!!


  6. olajumoke_a

    I’m glad to here that the pain from your arthritis reduces in the warm weather. The flowers looks so pretty and bright. And as for that jam, I love how you have a combo of different fruits in them. The photography on this post are so beautiful….. The colors are popping .


  7. Sarah-Scarlett

    It sounds bizarre, but trust me it’s delicious – strawberry, kiwi & banana jam. My friend made it for me and it blew my socks off. Loving the gardening photos too – my garden is just coming together now – our sunflowers are blooming, and so have the pansies and sweet peas. My coriander has spread nicely too!



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