We’ve had a burst of Summer

Yes a week or so of pretty warm and dry weather, so much that I was seriously considering getting the hosepipe out, we had temperatures into the 20s (C).

However, today the weather has changed and we’ve had some rain, through not enough yet, but maybe overnight…

I’d like to say that with the fine weather I’ve really got a lot done, but it doesn’t seem like it. One reason is that I’ve been putting a fair amount of work into the front garden, which was revamped last year, but has really been waiting for the spring to be finished off (it’s where a couple of the clematis plants have gone).

I’ve not yet planted any more crops outside, though some flowers were big enough to go in – some of the sweet peas and one of the clematis plants in particular. However, there are half a dozen trays of annual plants waiting in the ‘cold frame’ for me to have the time to plant them out – and if we have a decent quantity of rain this weekend the ground will be ready as well.

It’s just as well the trays were ready to go out of the greenhouse as it was getting difficult to move about in there….

And in the greenhouse I hear you ask? Well a lot more repotting and not a lot of planting or sowing – though I did sow some more basil into a pot the other day as only 1 came up of the previous batch! Also, I sowed a half-tray of chamomile (it’s for the front garden – a long story). The dwarf beans are now outside in the protected area formed by an old door leaning against the greenhouse waiting to be planted, though I suspect they will still need protection as frost is still a risk.

Seedlings - greenhouse

Some of the seedlings in the greenhouse. There are tomatoes, lemon grass and various flower seedlings above

Seven of the eight  aubergine seeds germinated and now I’ve repotted them – the only question is what to do with them – I may only be able to fit one or possibly two in the greenhouse. The eight climbing beans also produced seven plants, and I’ve repotted them just today – though a couple of them are a bit retarded – we;;l see if they come on ok. It looks like I’ll have at least five sweet pepper plants now after some rally slow germination, but they are stil pretty small plants. I did sow a couple of pots of chilli peppers and have kept them on the kitchen windowsill to germinate, but it’s not looking good at the moment as after two weeks there’s no sign.

The big development in the greenhouse is that just today I’ve planted three of the tomato seedlings (I’ve now got over 30! all potted on into their own pots) into a large ‘growbag’ – there’s one each of pomodoro, ailsa caiag and gardener’s delight. So that’s a start, I need to fit another couple of bags into the greenhouse yet – four if I can possibly manage it – and in order to try and make use of the tomato plants some of them will have to go out in the one of the raised beds I think (three or ofur of the bush types will go  in a conatiner near the kitchen as well).

I’ve still got a fair amount of work to do around the raised beds sorting out the paths particularly round the newest ones – but the plants come first.

The broad beans are looking good in full flower:

Broad beans, garlic in the foreground

Broad beans, garlic in the foreground

Wildlife

Th egood weather and sunshine brought out the butterflies – over the last week I’ve seen peacocks (several at once), small blue, orange-tip, a cabbage white and at least one more I haven’t identified yet. The birds have been a lot more active as well, parly I suspect because I completely replaced all the bird food and rearranged it a bit and partly because it’s spring – anyway a couple of greenfinches have appeared and just today a house sparrow appeared (I’ve seen none here over the winter – which illustrates the decline as we used to have several pairs nesting in our eaves). The blue and great tits have been pretty active and the blackbirds seem to have resolved their territorial differences as well.

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