Sunday, 21 July 2013

Oh! Has It Really Been A Week?

Gentle Reader~I can scarce believe a week has slipped by since my last entry!  It has been blisteringly hot, over most of the UK, as the arrival of summer I reported in my last entry continues!  The Jet Stream drifted over us and is now sitting to the north of the country allowing the hot southern air to bathe us with some long overdue heat.  Indeed, much of Britain has been hotter than the Mediterranean! 

Here is a pretty posy of flowers picked from the garden, I am no flower arranger, I just gathered as I went along some oregano, Alchemilla mollis, sweetly scented pinks and lavenders, and more~

While this warmth is welcomed by many, it does bring it's own set of problems.  It is too hot to do anything other than sit in the garden by day ~ it is very uncomfortable working in your own personal sauna ~ and by evening I am generally too tired from the often oppressive heat, which is exhausting in itself, even if doing very little of anything.  I seem to have done little else other than water and pick fruit!  Why, those two jobs are enough anyway. 

The lack of rain means that the lawn is turning very brown indeed, for I will not use precious water on that, and as it is not growing it does not need cutting either.  The advice from Gardener's World is not to cut your lawns in these conditions.  I am concerned, so this evening I will throw the grey water from the house, which I save as much as I can, over the lawn in an attempt to give it some much needed moisture.  I do not want it to die completely as I do not relish the thought of re~seeding.

First, I must share with you some upsetting news.  For the first time ever, my blackcurrant crop has failed.  I had no reason to suspect anything was wrong.  The spring, although cold, saw good, healthy leaf growth which was quickly followed by plenty of flowers that in turn set fruit.  I truly believed I would harvest a bumper crop.  We have had a prolonged dry spell, so I watered the plants every few days, and then, at the beginning of this week they were looking plump and juicy, little jewels of deepest purple~black waiting to be turned into jams and pies.  I picked a bowl, but when I tasted them they are horrible.  There is no Delicious blackcurrant taste, they leave a bitter aftertaste in the mouth, and they are quite mealy in texture.  I cannot begin to tell you my disappointment.  I have been on the RHS website, and it seems I am not alone.  No one knows the reason, we can only assume the colder than normal winter and non arrival of spring is behind it all.  One person put it succinctly, saying the sugar:acid ratio is wrong.  I still have about 4lbs of fruit left over from last year, so this is now highly prized!  Such a sad waste of a good and nutritious food crop.

Happily, I can tell you, gentle reader, that the raspberry crop remains unaffected by the weather, and I am now picking a small bowlful of this delightful fruit (probably my favourite after blueberries) daily.  Some I am freezing, some I am eating fresh for breakfast.  I feel richer than a Queen!

While some parts of the garden, like the poppies, native foxgloves, and borage, are going over and setting their seed~the harvesting of which is a high priority job this week, other parts are coming in to their own.  Do you remember the few images, last week, of the oriental lilies?  They were teasing and taunting me with big, fat buds that just did not want to burst open?  Well, they have begun!  Oh! What a treat they are~a display of fireworks colour and brightness, in colours to rival the heat of the sun by day and the cool of the moon by night~

Here is the first one, a bright and vibrant yellow~

which was quickly followed by the Hot Hot Hot of this incredible orange~

I think it looks mighty fine along side that pretty pink rose?  A lovely contrast of colours ~ then, just this very morning, the cool, creamy~white, a perfect foil against the scorching vibrant orange~

There are still two more types of these lilies yet to open and delight~I wonder what their colours will be?  I hope for pink, and maybe even one with those delightful stripes and spots that lilies sometimes have~
Quite unintentionally, as the lilies have declared, my garden has taken a little side~step from it's usual cooler shades of purples, pinks, and blues with hints of white into brightly hot and vibrant hues, and the Crocosmia Lucifer, which I bought a few years back, is no exception~

For now I must leave you, Gentle Reader, until another day ~~ but I promise to return quite soon with a photo~heavy blog to catch you up with all the flowers in my Shire Garden~

~~~A Gardener's Work Is Never Done~~~


  1. How pretty all the flowers are! The colors are gorgeous!

    We have been very hot here,too. But a cold front is coming in today...Hooray!! I am looking forward to being able to work outside without melting!! LOL!

    1. Much better now it is cooler! Autumn is very nearly here!

  2. Some stunning pics here, love the lilies.
    Have finally found your blog and added you to my list to visit. Thanks for calling by at my photo one and your kind comment.

    1. Thanks Cait! Hope to 'see' you here again.


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