Friday 1 June 2012

Home again

We are home again. We have done all we can for Jane's Mum, and she has lots of new "toys" to play with.

While we have been away, two helpers (Paul and Carol) have been watering my plants, for which (I and no doubt the plants too), am very grateful since the temperatures have been quite high and there has been no rainfall.

A quick tour round the garden shows me this:

The heavily-pruned Dogwoods are rapidly filling out again. That bright yellow one is by far my most favourite one!

The ferns have grown a lot in a week, and have got high enough to nearly obscure the big green plastic tub behind them.

In the tub some "Cobra" climbing French Beans are finally making a start. The position of this tub means that they get very little direct sunlight (until the beans get tall enough to peer over the brick wall). I sowed some Cobra seeds in the tub very early in the year, protected by a big cloche, but it proved to be too early and  the seeds rotted without germinating, so I had to start all over again. That's the penalty for my impatience!

The Runner Beans are showing no signs of pest damage, so perhaps those nematodes have done the trick. The plants are beginning to wrap themselves around the bamboo cane supports now.

The Broad Beans are a mass of flowers, but they have got top-heavy and are sprawling all over the place and will need some tidying-up and more strings to support them.

The pot of "Speedy" Dwarf French Beans is looking pretty healthy. These will probably be the first beans in my garden to produce a harvestable crop this year.

The Peas are also covered in flowers, though I don't see any pods forming just yet. The foliage of Purple-podded varieties is green just like the others.

The Sweet Corn in the 3 Sisters bed is perking up now that the weather is warmer. In this photo it looks as if they are holding hands to dance in a circle around their Squash companion! The Squash plant is not looking very good though - very weak and anaemic. The Garden Doctor prescribes a good dose of Liquid Growmore plant-food...

My other type of Squash ("Autumn Crown") is also on the feeble side and will need some feeding up. The white specks in this photo are not snowflakes, but fallen petals from the so-called "Fish Tree". This is the time of year when the blossom of that tree smells so like fish!

My Aubergine ("Pintung Long") plants are still under cover in the mini greenhouses because I know they like really warm conditions. This coming weekend I will probably be planting them out into big pots.

My tub of mixed lettuce is harvestable now. I feel a big salad coming on...

Most of the Tomato plants look really strong now, which is a relief. I have given away most of my spares to one of my garden helpers as an additional reward for watering my plants while I was away. This is much more sensible than just throwing them on the compost heap.

Finally, a quick glimpse of some "loot" I brought back fom MIL's place. Some Wild Garlic and an Aquilegia plant. I have just stuck them in some containers full of damp compost for now, while I think where to locate them permanently.

This coming weekend we have a long holiday to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, so I will be making the most of this opportunity. I have a long list of gardening tasks to do, which includes sowing seeds for Winter veg like Cavolo Nero and Sprouting Broccoli, and potting-on some of the plants which have so far been confined to small pots on windowsills and in mini-greenhouses.


  1. I am loving the Victorian rope edging.. Reminds me of my old Victorian property x

    I hope you and Jane can have a good rest now. xx Take Care Claire T

  2. I put up a pretty mild support for my favas. I keep thinking I should string a grid for them.

  3. Hi Mark,

    Welcome back home! Everything seems to be growing well in your garden and I’m particularly envious of all those flowers on your tomato plants-mine are so very far behind...thanks also for the reminder to sow the seeds for the Cavolo Nero this weekend-mine last year didn’t survive the Winter so fingers crossed this now to gather a bountiful crop of Sorrel to make a Vermouth and Sorrel sauce for tonight’ supper...

  4. Your garden has obviously been looked after very well by your neighbours I only hope mine do the same for me when we are away next week. I spotted two tiny tomatoes on my tumblers this evening - hoorah!

  5. We just need a return of the good weather again to keep the plants happy - and us too.

  6. Everything looks to be thriving Mark, hopefully the weather will pick up again next week.

  7. Glad to see that everything has done well in your absence. I can't believe how far on your tomato plants are, mine are still only little things.

  8. Things are looking good! It's such a satisfying time of year. Lucky to have helpers water while you are away!


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