Gentle Reader, I must confess that this past fortnight I have spent more time watching Wimbledon than I should, and so all other jobs, gardening, housework, even shopping for food have been on hold! Still, Wimbledon reaches it's end for this year tomorrow afternoon and normal life will resume.
The weather has been improving slightly, but we are now on the verge of a minor heatwave! Well, as I say, the word heatwave is by comparison. Our recent average daytime temperatures have hovered around the mid 50's, but tomorrow they soar to a scorching mid 70's! As I said, comparative heatwave, and I know I will feel like I am melting with the sudden spike of around 20 degrees. Definitely not the off~the~scale heat that is across parts of America, and my thoughts and prayers are with those in areas affected by fires and heat so strong it kills. There are also early and heavy monsoons in India that have caused devastation with flooding. The weather patterns of the world are chaotic and worrying.
My strawberries did not ripen in time for Wimbledon! There will not be many, but I am more concerned about keeping the young plants healthy and strong so they will be productive next year.
Still, here are some of the bits and pieces I have been up to since my last entry.
Finally, a week or so ago, some of the courgette seeds I planted germinated. Today, I cleared a small corner and planted them out. I know they should be bigger before I transplanted, but I am eager to get them in the ground in the hopes that they will settle in with the warm weather and establish quickly, and that there will be something to harvest by the end of August, if not sooner.
I like to recycle and re~use or re~purpose things if I can. These two images (above and below) are two ways in which I recycle plastic water bottles. The bottle on the left is a 5 litre one and is used with the base cut off as a cloche to protect delicate and young plants while they establish. I can remove the cap in the day to regulate humidity and temperature, and replace it at night to protect from slugs and snails. The cloche also protects from birds and cats too.
The smaller, 2 litre bottle to the right has the base removed, the cap is also removed and the bottle is buried in the ground to the level of the roots of the courgette. I can fill it with water which will then slowly filter through directly to the roots of the plant where it is needed, minimising waste of water running around on the surface.
I thought this a pretty arrangement, with the yellow rose "Golden Wedding", as a cluster just tumbles from a stem over the old grind stone~
This is one of the petunias I planted. I do not usually plant petunias, for they need constant dead~heading and are sticky and messy to do so too! They are all growing well, however, and I hope there will be a good and generous display soon. I am particularly taken with the depth of colour and markings on this one though. I think it is very unusual, don't you?
Some more recycling ~ this time, an unused stone drainpipe that I planted with a dwarf clematis. I know you have seen this one before, but it is now going from strength to strength. I have never seen it looking so strong and healthy with so many blooms~
Gentle Reader~how I wish you could smell the delightful fragrance that is the Frances E Lester rambling rose! Now covered with bloom, and many, many more to open, in the warmth that is with us now the fragrance floods the air, and I can smell it many yards away as I walk up my drive! Such blissful joy it brings, to the eye and to the nose!
Tonight, I put a bowl full of more runner beans to soak and I will plant these tomorrow. If the weather stays warm there is a good chance I will harvest a small crop later on this year as Summer turns to Autumn. Fear not, you will be the first to know when they are ready!