June round up

The dry spell has finally come to and end and the garden heaved a sigh of relief in the rain.  Its been hard work keeping everything alive through this Spring, and I wish all the new ‘lockdown gardeners’ knew that it isn’t usually this difficult and hope they don’t get too disheartened. 

The break in the weather meant that every single slug and snail that had been hiding through the dry spell came out to celebrate and I times I felt like this medieval knight on snail patrol.

Macclesfield Psalter, England ca. 1330-1340

I love this image I came across on the ‘Everyday Art’ Facebook page. A little research took me down an internet rabbit hole and it turns out there are hundreds of images of knights fighting giant snails in medieval illuminated manuscripts, and nobody knows why.  Maybe they too were frustrated gardeners trying to keep their lettuces alive.

1st June

The greenhouse is now planted up with tomatoes, cucumbers and a courgette.  Tomato varieties are gardeners delight, Consuela, and some sort of beefsteak. Some of my gardeners delight seedlings had strange bushy growing tips rather than one main stem (photo on the left).  I have an experiment going where one of these I have left bushy, and one I have pinched out everything bar one stem.  We will see what happens and which bears the most fruit.  Also doing well is my courgette, which is putting on lots of leaf and some enormous flowers (secateurs for scale).

The front garden border is very much an early summer planting although this year peaked in early in the heat and was all but over by the first week in June. I have tucked dwarf bronze sunflowers and cosmos seedlings in the gaps to come up as the pastels fade.  This year I attempted a time lapse film of the garden.  Below is roughly one photo a week taken from approximately the same place between mid January and early June.  A tripod and camera would have been better than guesswork and an iphone, but what you can see is how quickly spring arrives once the alliums burst through. 

The meconopsis have flowered their hearts out through May and June and have been a real garden highlight this year – definitely worth all the extra fussing they have needed keeping them watered in pots.  I have limited myself to collecting half a dozen seedpods and deadheaded the rest to preserve energy on the plants part and germination burn out on my part. 

One the down side, the enormously fat wood pigeons ate most of the peas plants, have stripped the redcurrant bush of redcurrants (before they ripened) and the Victoria plum has not a single baby plum so I presume they got in there first at the blossom stage.  They also requisitioned the newly positioned swings as their own, the extent they were so covered in poo as to be unusable. In the end I had to install some pigeon spikes on the top bar. These are incredibly ugly, and I usually have a live and let live attitude to creatures in the garden, but there are only so many hours you can spend scrubbing green goo off your children. Lets just hope they don’t move onto the greenhouse instead!   

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