Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Too darned hot!

I've lost the label from this rose, it's one of the David Austen roses.
Is climate change just a myth, if you listen to the ginger incumbent in the White House and believe what he says, then yes, it is a myth. Never mind what the thermometer might say, he is right, he knows he's right. God save us all if we listen to him or his appointees. I however will believe what I can see and feel, it's now seven pm, the sun has disappeared but the temperature is still 22.6 or 72+ in old money. It's been yet another scorcher of a day, not what I signed up for when we moved back from Spain to escape the summers, maybe Iceland would have been a better choice. I might hate it, but the garden loves all the heat,
Much easier to pick of the berries if you're sitting down.
we have given up picking the blackcurrants, the last bush to be done gave us 7kg from just two thirds of the bush. We have made around eighteen lt. of Ribena, hopefully we wont run out this year. Only four of the blackcurrant bushes got picked, three have been left, the birds are welcome to them, for years we have always cheated,
we prune the bushes and then pick off the fruits at our leisure, although all the books tell you this is the wrong time to prune , it's always worked for us, maybe too well. Simon is experimenting with drying blackcurrants in the de-hydrator, it will be interesting to see how they turn out.
The last seven pounds, or 3.5kg.
The redcurrants also cropped very well, we have had ten kg. from four bushes, fortunately I have a good sale for redcurrants and sold the lot, we didn't need any for ourselves this year.
The first three.
The newest Peach tree has now been picked, the nursery said not to expect any fruit this year,
well it gave us thirty five beautiful peaches, we have saved some for eating, the rest are now boiling away in kilner jars for winter deserts. The older tree is in the old tunnel and about a week behind, this tree seems to have about the same number of fruits.
The flower gardens have also been enjoying this new Mediterranean climate, in fact everything enjoys it except me.
Gertrude Jekyll.
The roses started early and are still going strong,
the Bergamot looks wonderful,
I moved the Inula to give it more breathing room and it has responded well to the transfer.
Lucifer and Linaria look lovely together,
and I have never seen so many flowers on the Hypericums, they also started early and have kept going.
The Hydrangeas are also looking really good.
 Yesterday for me was a very special day,
Common lizard, not so common for me.
I saw my first ever lizard in Ireland, it stayed where it was for some time, allowing me time to get the camera, although the photo's not great, I took it through the shut French doors, I didn't want to disturb it. It's one of several things I do miss about Spain, we had so many different types of lizards, frogs, toads and Salamanders.
I can never resist  brightly coloured flowers, this lovey dense red Achillea was a must, it looks good in the newest bed.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Summer abundance.

The soft fruit harvest has been very good this year despite the Gooseberry sawfly  stripping the gooseberries and redcurrant bushes leafs,
the gooseberries gave us around twenty kg of lovely fruit, we have sold around half ,
Last of the Gooseberries.
the rest has been made into jam or just frozen for winter deserts. The Red currants have given us around six kg so far with around another four remaining to be picked, most of these have been sold to a friend who will eat red currant jelly with everything, even with a salad. We don't need any of the fruit this year as we still have several pots of jelly left from last year.
The raspberries keep on coming.
We have lost count on the raspberries, there has been two big pickings one of six kg and the other one weighed in at seven kg, plus what we have picked just to eat for desert, this is one fruit that we keep mainly for ourselves, we have sold a couple of kgs' but it is just about our most favourite fruit so lots of jam has been made plus bags of frozen  berries for the winter month. Next to be harvested will be the black currants, some will be made into jam but mostly they will be used to make Ribena, vitamin C  in a bottle.
The peaches should be ready in about a week,  they are looking very good, what we can't eat fresh will be bottled. The winter store cupboard is filing up.
First of the Sweetpeas.
Both Sweet Peas
First Dahlias of the year.
and Dahlias are now flowering so lots of flowers for the house, and we have had our first picking of garden peas, the French beans are flowering, so they wont be long. So far the potatoes seem to be doing well, no sign so far of slug damage so maybe the nematodes have done their thing, I shouldn't speak too soon but so far there has been no sign of the dreaded blight although there have been plenty of warnings on the local radio station.
I survived the coronary angiogram and it appears that all is well with my heart, nice to know that something is working as it should, however the angiogram is the most unpleasant procedure I have ever had, if I ever have to have another one they will have to sedate me or knock me on the head.
Hopefully I can now stay away from hospitals until my next check up in October.
The last few days have been spent re-making the rockery, it had become very overgrown with silver weed and the dreaded mares tail, we re-discovered the water pump, so once again the pond has trickling water,
Misty is fascinated with the water.
Misty, Freddie's sister is totally fascinated with this trickle of water, and for some reason prefers to drink from it rather than her own bowl of water. The work on the rockery is not quite finished yet, but Simon has incorporated stepping stones into the rockery so it should be easier to weed without stepping on plants.
There is now lots of Ladies bedstraw growing in the hedgerows.
Golden Rubus, now in flower.