Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Flaming June ?

Flaming June -more like a damp squid - the weather has been really below par  - far too wet, windy and although warm, most days have been dull and overcast, and the nights have actually been pretty chilly - let's hope things start to pick up next month. This morning started well - even had my shades on as I drove over to the garden, but within an hour it was raining and continued to do so on and off til early afternoon. But there's no point in complaining cos I don't think the Big Man up the stairs listens to me!
So, as usual, here is todays piccie of the borders from the potting shed.

To begin with today, I dead-headed the roses and the lupins, hanging three spikes of each of the pink and the purple lupins in the potting shed to dry to collect the seeds. It may seem a strange thing to do given how readily the lupins seem to self seed in the borders, but the more the merrier, and there is a lot of space to fill in the rest of the garden!
Then it was down to the greenhouse to escape a real downpour where I weeded the beds and pinched out and tied in the tomato plants and tied in the cucumber. Everything seems to be growing well in the greenhouse and even the three aubergines are flourishing despite being in poor nick when I brought them over and they now have their first flower buds showing.
As the rain eased off a bit, it was time to tackle another section of the fruit bed ground clearance. Several barrowloads and numerous trugsfull ( is there such a word?) of weeds , roots and diseased gooseberry bushes later, I had sufficient ground cleared and dug over to plant out the leeks and PSB. Holes were dibbed to a depth of 6" and a leek plant placed in each hole which was then filled with water - this allows a bit of soil to be washed over the root sytem and help bed the roots in - the holes are not filled - the leeks shoud grow into them, and of course if July is as wet as June, the rain will probably backfill the holes with soil anyway. There are a couple of leeks left as spares as replacements for any that decide to turn up their boots. In total there were 96 leeks - two varieties - one grown from seed and one bought as young plants.
 Next door to the leeks there now reside 29 psb plants planted at about 15" spacings all round. Photo's of the fruit bed will follow - but like most plants after transplanting, things were a bit droopy and not looking their best.
I also finished planting the Alchemilla mollis down the side of the greenhouse steps, planting up another 9 clumps of young plants.
Everything is looking good in the temporary veg border and the two small beds - all we need is some sun for the runner beans!

The lettuces are ready for cropping, the onions are all looking healthy, the Petit Posy look like a really attractive kale plant and Sally ha started to crop the Brokali Chinese Brocolli . The carrots are starting to put on some good leaf growth, the potatoes are all healthy and clean, the brassicas are likewise so it's really only the courgettes and runner beans that deperately need some sun.As for what's new in flower this week, the Achillea "Summer Pastels" has started to flower - this is a plant that is obviosly very happy in the borders as both clumps have really put on a huge amount of growth this year.

The Ceanothus var. Skylark is flowering it little heads off and is obviously preferring it's more erect stance - hopefully by this time next year it will be firmly attached to the wall.

And finally here's a piccie of Astrantia "Rubra" - this has been in flower for a couple of weeks now but for whatever reason, I never got a piccie of it, and someone on a forum of which I am a participant was asking about red Astrantia so I said I would post a piccie today for her, so Abby, this is for you.

I know it doesn't look that dark in the photo, but it is , especially before it actually opens.
I saw our resident woodpecker several times today - as I came into the garden this morning he was perched atop one of the sweet pea wigwams but of course, as soon as the camera appeared he was off.. There are a lot of birds in the garden just now - old and young alike -but the stars today were the woodpecker and a tree creeper.
Anyhoos, that's it for another week. Hope you're enjoying following the garden's progress as much as I am enjoying working there.

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