Feels Like Summer Now

With the last few days being sunny (mostly) and temperatures into the low 20’sC seems like summer is here. Mind we’ve had plenty of rain over the last month which hasn’t been entirely unwelcome in the garden, especially as I’ve been planting plenty.

All the perennial flowers are in now, and a few more I’ve bought in the last couple of weeks – I just went to the garden centre for a courgette after my seed failures, and came away with a load of perennials, some annuals and a few herb plants – but no courgette!

Not entirely a disaster as I’d found the last courgette at the DIY supermarket a week or so before, and then my neighbour gave me two seedlings, so now I have enough to cause another courgette glut later in the year…

On the negative side one of the cucumber plants has popped its clogs – and I’ve no idea why, still the other one is surviving.

We are now harvesting broad beans still small but very tasty they are, and not much blackfly has appeared thank goodness. Apart from the salad leaves outside the kitchen, a couple of small carrots and a few strawberries from the ‘climbing’ plants (not that they seem to be doing much climbing – makes the framework I erected around them look a bit silly) not much else is at harvest stage. Except that is for the redcurrants which suddenly started turning a couple of days ago and I’ve had to hastily put some netting round the bushes to keep the birds away – last year we hat very few, the birds got most. The new raspberries have flowered and are setting fruit now, so we’ll see if it was worth buying the full canes when they ripen.

The first rows of peas are in flower now, and I planted another couple of rows the other day, started off in pots in the greenhouse. The French and climbing beans are growing well, there are even a few flowers on one of the climbing bean plants.

The potatoes in planters are starting to flower, but have been rather got at by slugs and snails – partly because they are now in a part of the garden with a higher population I suspect – anyway their number have now been reduced by an application of slug pellets. I still had some seed potatoes lurking in the greenhouse, so rather than throw them away I put them into one of the new raised beds – I know they’ve gone in probably too late to produce much, but they may help to break up the ground under the added soil. I stuck a few left over onions into the same bed as well, well I though why not?

The other raised bed in plot C I’ve sown with summer ‘green manure’ (a few days ago)- then covered it with chicken wire to try and stop the pigeons from eating the seed – seems to have worked as I can see seedlings coming through now.

Inside the greenhouse the tomato plants are growing well, one or two have already set fruit, so I’m watering with tomato feed now. I’ve still got a couple of aubergine plants I haven’t potted on yet – can’t decide what to put them in. The outside tomatoes are mostly ok, though one plant outside the greenhouse looks unwell, but I’m not sure what the problem is – I’ll just see if it survives.

Wildlife

Well the birds are going though food like there’s no tomorrow – it’s the baby starlings, sparrows and tits (and their parents) that are almost constantly on the feeders – I’m filling the popular ones (with ‘fat pellets’) about every other day – but it’s good to see so much activity – especially as we can watch from the kitchen table. Still have problems with pigeons, which makes it difficult to put food out for the ground feeders, and the jackdaws and magpies are getting bolder so it’s a bit of a battle.

Meanwhile I have removed the couple of squirrels that appeared, and currently we seem to be squirrel-free.

Photos here

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