Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Up and downs of gardening.

This was a small cutting four years ago, it has a lovely perfume.
It's been a strange year weather wise so far, some things in the garden were early and then got frosted in May but other things are very late, held back by the earlier cold spell and low summer temperatures. It's years like this I'm glad we have a tunnel, but the one thing that we decided not to put in there were courgettes, they always do a takeover bid, however this is one year that we should have done so,
First pickings.
we are only now getting any courgettes, and it doesn't look as though it will be the usual bumper crop.
Sun Gold, the only variety we grow.
The tomatoes have only now started to ripen, but the cucumbers started producing a month ago, salads have rather been of the menu until now.
We have had a great crop of soft fruit despite the best efforts of the wild birds and the broad beans have also produced a great crop.
Lots of well filled pods.
We have frozen sixteen bags of beans and cut the plants back, we might get them producing new shoots for a very late crop, in any case we will leave the roots in to help fix the nitrogen and also so the earth is not left bare.
A duckling that thinks she's a goose.
The goslings and Muscovy duckling that we hatched ten weeks back are looking lovely, unfortunately we think all three goslings are male, the duckling we are sure is female.
Male dominated family.
They are very much a little family, and we had no intentions of eating any of them but what do we do with three ganders? We will have to try to do a swap with someone who has spare geese and needs a gander or two!
Planting for late crops continues, curly kale, which we had forgotten to do earlier, and another sowing of French beans and Mange tout peas should give us another crop in October, providing we don't get any early frosts.
First of the cuttings, lots more to do.
I have started taking cuttings of Dianthus and Lavender, two plants I don't think you can every have enough of. I will also take some cuttings from the Penstemons, they have survived the last three winters but are not reliably frost hardy.
On our way back from a visit to Foxford mills
we discovered yet another old ruin, this time a castle.
Ballylahan Castle was built in 1239 by Jorden de Exeter, for his wife, who by all accounts seemed to be a bit of a domineering woman.
The castle must have been a splendid sight it's heyday, it is easy to imagine it former splendour.


  1. A wonderful ruin to stumble across.

    1. We do seem to have a lot of old ruins around this area B.G, I find them so atmospheric.

  2. Love the Gothic ruins photographs. We have started putting our cuttings back in the poly-tunnel because they are going yellow with too much rain - especially the Rosemary and Lavender cuttings. I find a lot of cheap bought compost contains a lot of peat. Do you put any drainage material in yours like Vermiculite?

    1. I love old ruins Dave.
      Last year I used Vermiculite and in fact still got a big bag of it, I just didn't remember in time so I have used half compost and half agricultural grit, now that you have reminded me I will use the Vermiculite when I run out of the bucket of material I already have prepared. We use a certified Organic compost which I think is peat free, I will have to check that.

  3. What is peat and what is wrong with it? Excuse my ignorance, i dont think we have it.

    I'd love to sit out with a cuppa and watch all the fowl waddling around.

    Its hard to imagine the lost skills that went into building those castles with only manual tools and hard labour. Its pretty impressive.

    1. Australian Peatlands - Herinst.org
      Hi Lynda, yes you do have peatlands in Australia, I'm not sure if this link will work but if you just Google peat in Australia you will find all the information explained far better than I can. It is very important as a carbon sink and to combat climate change.
      I always marvel at the way hundred of years old places were built, many of which are still intact. I doubt that will be said of modern buildings.

  4. Haha I love the first photo of the geese, all facing one way with the little duckling head peeping out facing the other way.

  5. They are very much a family at the moment, that might well change as they get older.