Monday, July 15, 2013

A brief respite and a glut of veg.

Today has been perfect for temperature, not only am I breathing a sigh of relief but I'm sure I can hear the  plants doing so as well. Many of the roses and leaves of trees have been scorched by the sun, normally being a country of high rain fall the growth of plants is that much softer than the same plants growing in dryer climates and they are not so able to stand up to the heat, they will all recover when normal weather returns, but the forecast is for more very hot weather.
The veg is producing far quicker than we can eat it, so things are now being frozen on a daily basis, it has all come at once, beans, peas,
1.6 kg, that's quite big. 3lb 6oz in old money.
 cauliflower , calabrese and spinach, we are spoilt for choice.
We have not needed to water at all, we always plant close together for most things, this way each plant gives it's neighbour protection, helps to retain moisture and helps to keep the weeds under control, it might look nice to have well spaced orderly rows of veg, but in our experience they do not do as well as those planted close together. Although we have very good soil here we also use large amounts of compost and manure, this improves the organic matter in the soil and also helps to maintain the right amount of moisture, especially important with raised beds.
Rhubarb has been particularly good this year, with plenty more to come, most of this will get bottled, and the outside Cambridge Favourite strawberries are producing well for their first year, they would probably have done even better if we had had normal Irish weather which is why I chose this variety. The blackcurrants are now ready for picking and will have to made straight into jam or bottled as we are going to be short of freezer space again, the first of the chickens are now ready for dispatch.
The Dahlias are early this year.
Although the season got off to a very slow start things caught up and some plants are now in advance of their season. It looks as though there will be a very good crop of blackberries this year, the bushes are full of blossom and I have never seen so many blooms on the Elderflower trees, we haven't collected any this year as we still have plenty of elderflower cordial that I made last year, we also have nearly a gallon of elderflower champagne, shame we don't really drink except when we have visitors. For anyone who is thinking of making either cordial or wine, remember to smell each tree, some elderflowers smell distinctly of cats pee, ignore these trees and find the one where the blossom smell of Muscatel.
Sparky is now calming down a little, he has been taught some manners by the older cats, most of them now like him, he has been taken under the tuition of Tommy, a lovely tabby boy , eleven years old, who has always liked kittens, he is teaching him how to play nicely!
Monkey is also very patient with him, but games with Susie are strictly on Susie's' terms.
Butter wouldn't melt! I'm just so cute.
My arms are healing nicely and it no longer looks as though I have been fighting my way out of a bramble patch.


  1. Impressed by the size of the calabrese head and the cauliflower. We are not there yet!

  2. Interesting! I did'nt realise different Elder trees smelt differently.