Definitely not Summer Today

Yes, another variation on ‘summer’ the weather – we have gale force winds today (a deep low pressure over the UK) but at least it isn’t raining – here (heavy rain in Scotland). I’ve already had a close look at the runner bean support which are looking a bit under threat. It’s a good job the runner beans aren’t more developed so at least at the moment the wind can blow through the support netting. The trees around the garden are waving like mad at the moment. We had rain yesterday, but light rain all day so good for the garden really. Heyup though – this the summer solstice and all that…..

Elsewhere, in the garden things are moving on. Tomatoes are flowering in the greenhouse, and close to flowering outside. The coourgettes are producing – we had three yesterday – one curious point though, the courgette in the greenhouse is only producing ‘male’ flowers – I’m sure there must be a reason for this….

Courgete Row
Courgette Row in full flower
The french beans in the greenhouse have some baby beans already, and the ones outside can’t be far behind as they are flowering like mad.
I think there are enough broad beans ready now to harvest – they should be small and sweet as well, they do tend to be at their best when young. The blackfly menace hasn’t spread too much, I’ve had to cut off some badly affected stems but most plants are relatively unaffected. I haven’t had to resort to blasting them off with the hosepipe yet – pity that’s quite enjoyable…

Broad Bean Pods
Young Broad Bean Pods

The lettuce I planted in a pot in the greenhouse are finished now and I have resown the pot with more lettuce seed, so we are harvesting the lettuce outside now.

One disaster has struck though, I was watering section B the other night where the peas are planted (coming on nicely) and I planted other salad seed a few days ago – I thought ‘I will make sure I give the spinach-beet row (the only survivor of the first salad planting session and growing nicely) a good watering’ – and the more I looked the more they weren’t there! Except on close inspection the base of the leaves could be seen – they had been zapped by pigeons I suspect despite the protection. Very annoying – security has now been tightened over that section, especially as new salad crops are coming through just now. My annoyance was slightly reduced that day when I heard that Yorkshire had beaten Lancashire in the 20-20 cricket. Such victories are always worth savouring…..

I’ve also planted some other salad cops in pots to grow int he greenhouse – from salad ‘seed collection’. Some Mizuna, which I don’t think I’ve grown before and some ‘land cress’, also new to me.

As for wildlife, a week ago or so I noticed the female blackbird was collecting nesting material again, but flying off to the other side of the garden from the ‘cat’ side – very wise I think. There always seems to be at least one house sparrow collecting for a nest as well. The great tits have suddenly started feeding on the peanuts again as well after ignoring them for a while. Toads have taken up residence in growing bags in the greenhouse and outside as usual – they get very upset every time I water. Oh – and I caught and evicted the squirrel so we are squirrel free for the moment.

Elsewhere in the garden, the apples and pears are coming on and it looks like a good blackcurrant crop this year. I’ve managed to tackle more of the hedges, though there is still more to do of course – bit like the Forth Bridge painting really. Preparing for a shed to go up (in the garden near the house) has meant removing the roots of a large forsythia bush and a mahonia – I’ve got most of it out but it has been a fair struggle but the ground is almost ready to be levelled off now.

Baby Apples
Baby Apples (Lord Lambourn)

We have got some flowers growing in the garden as well, mostly perennials but some annuals this year as my son planted a pack of ‘flower seeds for kids’ a while ago and he has kept the patch watered well – and now the mixture has started flowering – I even managed to cut the hedge above the plants without damaging them – so they brighten up he garden.



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