Almost Summer Again

Sorry for the break – hols and decorating have been keeping me from paying more than scant attention to the garden over the past 3 weeks.

The time away from home didn’t prove disastrous – although I had set up my drip feed watering system for the greenhouse plants and the hanging baskets plus tomato plants near the kitchen in case there was a heatwave. Although it seemed that it had been fairly dry while we were away it can’t have been too bad judging by the state of the plants.

It did mean some rapid harvesting sessions once we had settled back into the house – beans (runner, dwarf & climbing french), tomatoes (plenty, and harvesting every day since), broccoli (though not much – most had gone to flower) and cucumber forming the vegetable part. Then we had brambles (lots in the hedges – I need too make a pie now)) & damsens (the trees at the bottom of the garden only produce every five years or so and this year was it – they go into the freezer for jam making later.

Meanwhile, the lettuce have all gone to seed, as have all the other salad crops – still the guinea pig likes the lettuce. The courgettes didn’t really produce while we were away, but there are one or two coming on now.

The sweetcorn is in full flower- though the plants are rather dwarf compared last year – it looks like the cobs will be small – the lower light conditions in the plot has held them back I think. Still they were worth a try. The celery planted in the same are seems to be growing ok though.

In the greenhouse, the aubergine plant is flowering, but no new aubergine is being produced at the moment. The sweet pepper plants are now in flower, but the hopes of producing ripe peppers are now pretty slim. The grapevine has a good collection of grape bunches ripening up as well.

One slightly irritating point though – after renewing the guttering on the greenhouse side nearest the path a couple of months ago and resetting the water butt – I noticed it was leaking about a month ago. it had split near the base. So I emptied it, let it dry, and mended the hole with epoxy resin. Fortunately we’ve had enough rain to mean it hasn’t been crucial in any case. However, yesterday I noticed it wet below the butt – and the split seems to have spread and it is leaking again, slowly, but perceptively. So, it will have to be drained, dried and fixed again – I can’t even blame frost!

The lawn needed mowing when we returned from hols of course – which I did manage to do, but the bits of hedge that need trimmming will have to wait for now.

On the wildlife front – the robin, and at least on great tit have worked out that it is safe to go into the squirrel trap and pick up the peanuts left as bait! Which is annoying as another squirrel has been appearing during the last week or so. We also had a frog that seemed to think our kitchen was home – it promptly hopped in at least twice when the back door was opened. Also, more caterpillars on the broccoli…..hmmmm

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