Some Proper Rain At Last

The last few days have been punctuated by showers of rain, and some long enough to really get the garden wet and recharge the water butts, so quite appreciated rally. Also, most of the rain came overnight so didn’t interrupt the daytime activities too much – which is unusual as it was a Bank Holiday here yesterday and that usually means poor weather – instead we had relatively fine weather, at least in this part of the UK.

However, for various reasons, including running a half-marathon and spending hours in a boat, I couldn’t spend as much time in the garden over the Bank Holiday weekend as I would have liked. As a result all those seedlings waiting to be planted are still waiting….

On the plus side I did harvest some rhubarb for the first time this year (just removed the cover the other day) which we’ve had in a ‘sponge and rhubarb cake/pudding’ with cream – yum. Also talking about harvesting, the salad leaves in the long container are now big enough to harvest handfuls. The row of rocket outside the kitchen will be ready soon as well.

Salad leaves - you can just see the rocket behind the container

Salad leaves – you can just see the rocket behind the container

In the greenhouse I’ve repotted some of the pepper seedlings (‘Gourmet’) – there were three in a pot so they are now in individual pots. I’ve shifted three more growbags into the greenhouse and cut the holes in one and watered ready for some more tomato seedling – well they are getting out of hand now and although I can’t grow them a ll in the greenhouse I really need to get them into growbags. One of the bags will be used for pepper plants though.

Many tomato and flower seedlings

Many tomato and flower seedlings

The three tomatoes already in the growbag are flourishing:

Tomatoes - Ailsa Craig, Pomodoro and Gardeners Delight

Tomatoes – Ailsa Craig, Pomodoro and Gardeners Delight

I’ve also had to sit and prick out a load of antirrhinum seeds into pots – and there are still loads to do not just them but also- including mesembryanthemums of which there seem to be hundreds…

Outside I’ve taken a bold step and planted out the dwarf beans – and I need to sow some more now just in case!

Dwarf beans now in raised bed

Dwarf beans now in raised bed

The ‘Lollo Rosso’ lettuce seeds I sowed a few weeks ago are now popping up, though not in the precise row they were sown in – I suspect birds have been disturbing them. The radish, pak choi and turnip seedlings are all coming along nicely, but no sign at all of the chard so a resowing is now on the cards.

Lollo Rosso seedlings

Lollo Rosso seedlings

The ‘old’ apple tree (Lord Lambourne) is in full flower, as is the new and still small Braeburn. The plum planted last year looks like it is still concentrating on growing and hasn’t produced any flowers.

Oh yes and my nicely planted carrot ‘tank’ (which is standing on bricks so the top is about a metre above ground – to avoid carrot root fly) – where the seedling were all coming on nicely, was raided by something ?magpies ?cat and all the seedlings disturbed and moved about – too late I covered it with an old fire-guard, and most of the seedlings are making a valiant attempt to recover, but there is a rather blank parch in the middle which I’ll need to resow. Really annoying and unexpected.

Wildlife

Some amazing developments – I had a trailcam in place at the bottom of the garden for a few weeks and when the results were reviewed a few days ago we discovered the following passing through the garden:

Three different cats

A rather scrawny fox

A hedgehog

And – a big surprise – a badger!

No idea where the badger is coming from or going to but it appeared on several different nights so clearly is a regular visitor. I haven’t processed the pics and movies yet, but when I sort them out I’ll post here.

Many butterflies in the sunny weather as noted in previous post, plenty bumble bees on the flowers that are out and many ‘beeflies’ arguing over their territories while hovering over the lawn. One smooth newt turned up in some compost from one of the compost heaps – I was mixing it with some bought compost (by hand) when I suddenly saw movement – so I let it go close to where it came from. Also a ‘froglet’ appeared after the rain, possibly one of this years tadpoles as they hatched early this year.

I refilled all the bird feeders a couple of weeks ago with fresh seed,peanuts and fat-balls and the tits and robin plus collared doves have been visiting recently – I would guess they all have chick somewhere nearby.

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