The garden seems to be changing on a daily basis. Having been away for a week and a half the change was dramatic when I got home.
I felt a bit like a mother who missed her child's first steps - my blue poppy had come into flower for the first time ever while I was away. I planted it four years ago and I missed it's big day, but luckily it was still flowering. Not only that but when the first flower ended a second one opened.
Paul had posted a photograph of my Angelique tulips on facebook so that I could see them. They are stunning, and still flowering two weeks on. People have been stopping to admire them and ask me what they are.
In fact it has been a great year for many of my tulips - they have obviously thrived on the long cold spell at the start of the year.
The last couple of days I have been concentrating my efforts in the veggie garden.
Yesterday I showed my true Scottish heritage. I was thinning my carrot seedlings but couldn't bring myself to throw them out. I now have many more rows. A good watering and they all seem to be quite perky so I will hopefully have more carrots than I know what to do with in another month or two.
I then weeded the f-t-b-t-b/potato patch and have earthed them up as best I could.
It started to rain in the late afternoon and continued on in to the evening, but it was not the downpour that we really needed. The ground still appears to be bone dry today.
Today I have been sorting out the veggie patch.
I have weeded the whole area. I had potato plants coming up all over it. I have allowed two of the beds to keep them, but dug them out of all the others. A lucky few have been replanted in a spare part of the f-t-b-t-b and in gaps in the two veggie patch beds but the rest have been thrown in the rubbish sack. There are only so many potatoes we need.
I then planted out the Red Rum runner beans around my bamboo wigwams. They have theoretically been hardening off the last week or so, but as it has been so hot I am not sure what effect it has had.
Last Friday was the Paxton village plant and goody sale. Amongst other things I bought a couple of tomato plants. I am hoping they will survive outside as the veggie patch is well protected, almost a walled garden having walls on three sides.
Next I transplanted some of the cabbages from the raised planters. The home made cloches were not up to the strong winds we had - a rethink is needed. But I have reused the water pipe to make hoops directly into the ground and covered them with a couple of metres of the butterfly netting I bought a while back.
My dwarf bush beans were also ready to be planted. I have decided on a tactical positioning of these to act as a 'keep Jen out of the veggie patch'. So three of the obelisks have been placed at a couple of metre intervals along the front of the veggie patch. I then got Paul to help me untangle and cut suitable lengths of my bean and pea netting. This has now been attached to the obelisks, forming a barrier. I had planted two beans per pot, and in every case they had both germinated. I was supposed to discard the weaker seedling but I was too late as they had all grown so much while I was away. So each pair has been planted now alongside the netting. I have also planted Sunbright runner beans around the obelisks.
Everything has been given a good watering, including the raised planters.
To finish the day I have sown another batch of runner beans.
The sunroom is proving to be an excellent substitute for a greenhouse. I sowed some peas in one of my pieces of guttering last Friday and this morning I spotted the first seedling poking through. This evening I could see another four.
Hopefully tomorrow's weather forecast is as erroneous as today's. Next jobs are to thin/replant my lettuces, rocket and spinach...
The trials and tribulations of a life of leisure...
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