Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Beginning of June

Meteorologists declare the start of the seasons to be on the first of the relevant month. I have often wondered why but it seems that they find it better to compare three whole months rather than the slightly variable number of days that there would be if they took the dates from the solstices (whose date can vary by a day or three) and the equinoxes. Although I believe that the equinoxes do not tend to vary - but I am happy to be proved wrong about that.

Anyway. The Weather Dogs clearly followed the meteorologists rather than the solstice when it came to summer 2013 and declared it to have started on June 1st, since when we have had fairly lovely weather. Obviously, we have no idea how long the Weather Dogs are intending that summer should last, and it's a bit of a pity that they abolished spring for this year. But let's enjoy it while it does last.

To which end I took myself out on Sunday and began the clearing up of the garden bed around the pond. It's not been an easy area to clear out, partly because there are paving stones dotted about in there, but mainly because there are lots of "invasive" plants rampaging around, some of which, like the mint, we wanted to keep.  Also, there are non-invasive plants such as primroses, violets and cyclamens that we also want to keep. Alas, a number of the primroses did get dug up - collateral damage, I fear.  I've plonked them back in and will see if they survive.  It is beginning to look a great deal better, although now it needs a follow up weeding.


The aquilegia  are revelling in the newly weeded beds



Now I need to continue the rescuing. The second flower bed is next in line.  Plus there are the paths and the patio.  We'll get there.  Eventually!!

We need some more foxgloves! They started out, self-invited, at the top of the garden a few years ago, then over the years have moved their way down the garden, slowly but surely - and have now left. We might go to the garden centre and see if they have any seedlings.  Failing that, some seeds.  There is a large lupin down in the vegetable garden.  Every single year we think that we really must move it in the autumn. And every single year we forget to do it.  Probably best not to do it right now though - it's about to flower


Meanwhile, down in the vegetable garden, things are also looking quite good.  Almost all the potatoes are now up.  The bean plants have survived their brushes with frost and their cosy tents have been taken down. Alas, they are now under attack by slugs and snails, although we are fighting back.  We have been eating asparagus from the plants we put in first, and a few spears from the ones we put in two years ago.  We're getting quite a good crop now, although it was very slow to get started.  We are also getting a fairly good quantity of eggs from the new chooks.  They are not as prolific as Parsley, Coriander, Kiev and Schnitzel were when they first arrived. But they were hybrids bred for prolific egg laying and laid very prolifically for 12 months and then pretty much stopped.  Katsu, Curry, Udon and Ramen are multi-purpose chooks and were never going to lay as prolifically.  We are hopeful, however, that they may lay in a slightly more sustained way.

It looks as though we are going to get a good crop of all the fruits this year - so far at least.  Now all we need to do is hope that the winds don't blow all the fruit off and that we can beat back the birds a bit :-D

We have planted out the pumpkin seeds in one greenhouse on the allotment and the heritage tomatoes in the other.  There are still zucchinis, melons, capsicums and chillies to fit in, but they are nowhere near ready yet.  And there are seedlings yet to plant out on the allotment which haven't yet moved up into their second pots. I hope to do that this coming weekend.

Plantings as at June 3rd

Plantings as at June 3rd


To see the rest of the recent photos, click on the photo of the kitchen garden, looking up towards the house





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