GARDEN MONTAGE – June 2024

30c4ed57-9752-4064-80df-95cc52d97e30-2-1

So everything healthy at the moment. Tomatoes are a bit of a concern as looking a bit leggy? And chillie plants have suddenly decided that they will join the party – 3 months of just sitting and now they are starting to grow. Pots of flowers I will put out the front when I am sure they are slug resistant? Is that such a thing? Morning glory amd love in the mist to be put out together with the plants from the shop that were dying.

img_1590

WEATHER FORECASTS

It has long been the retort of the forecast sceptics to state ‘look out of the window”. However there is no doubt about the long term changes that are affecting us. Many tories are deniers – why is this not made more public? This spring was the warmest on record but Flaming June has not appeared yet! But it has certainly been the dampest I can remember, and for June cold. But this is where we need the experts to explain how the patterns of change are relentless.; Just because this June was colder than the last one, or even tens, it does not detract from the fact that our climate is wrming up. And with this different weather patterns occur. – and any change brings the need to adapt – something humans can be good at but generally dislike? The number of insects is massively down – swifts have been non-existent round here and I have seen no swallows or house martins.

Surely it is time to ban household chemicals that can be used in the garden with no licence? Farmers may need to adapt as they are having to do with climate change but can a householder not pull up a weed if they want to? My garden is the only haven along the road at the moment – I am hoping for lizards and snakes as well as hedgehogs and foxes! I have an insect hotel up but it is empty!

OK – Positives – the flame lily by the front door is, Well doubling back having hit the 8ft ceiling and has lots of flowers forming – post to follow. And the sun is shining – hopefully tomatoes will be on stream next week.

RAIN

Well that was not forecast! However everything is lush and green so no complaints. I did one of my least favorite chores (the list of least favorite is long!) washing the quilt cover and then trying to refit it. Washing line has been taken over by raspberries so at least I could have breakfast whilst putting the washing out! I missed a photo of my deep purple rose – it will flower again soon but here is my new yellow one.

Rose

EXCITING

I do not usually post personal details, but as no one else reads this (no comments ever!), it is ok. Tomorrow my children and grandchildren are coming to visit – basically a treat for my 71st birthday last Tuesday. Last year we all went for a meal in Bruton which was nice and they offered to pay but I could not let them do that. This year I think Tams wanted to book a restaurant in Bristol on the harbour which I am sure would be nice. Nice is not a nice word! When Maz and Erin and Ads came up recently we went to the Railway Inn, in Sandford owned by Thatchers, but I was not impressed. So I suggested to Martin that I would rather give them £50 each for the,m to bring some food together. I am not particularly mean or tight, but the thought of £300 on a mediocre meal was not entertaining.

However my idea, which they have adopted, is fraught with difficulties. Firstly I am not tidy! So I have spent time clearing the patio (where the table and surrounds was covered in plants with weeds between the paving slabs! The kitchen is cluttered – I am going to have to empty the cupboards so I can hide things (I should have said ‘put things away’ but that is as likely as me voting for for one of the right wing clowns (Is Coulrophobia a result of fear of people like Farage and Johnson who both look and behave like evil clowns!). And then there is the table which is a horizontal book shelf! With candles, scissors, fruit and jars of nuts (edible) for some reason. I have had a clear out of the fridge – well a half hearted one – the mouldy lettuce at the back and the liquid cucumber have been deposed of! But jars of homemade jam and pickles and chutney were reprieved! So it will just loook untidy and I will laim that I forgot to tidy up – despite having spent a few hours attempting to! Oh well – It is my birthday celebration!

I also went to Waitrose to get some burgers and sausages (for 10 people)- big mistake – £180+ later I have to find space to put stuff away! Why so much? Well there were vegan sausages and burgers and vegan ice cream, and fruit and olives and lemonade and wine! Ah wine. And Holly cannot have sausages or burgers so I got some chicken and lamb. I stopped all alcohol 9 months ago, but what with giving up smoking 4 years ago, it seems like a bit too boring! So I will have a practice bottle today and a glass or two tomorrow – to be sociable. What else was there to add up to £180? BBQ tongs as last ones were a bit! rusty, then ice creams for the muggles, some cheese – I guess it all adds up – still it will be a lot better than paying out for a mediocre meal. And it gives me more time with them all!

I have also been told by Kate in the shop to ensure that we have a group photo of the family – we are not that sort of family but I guess it would be nice. If they ever need a control model of a human who has had no physical contact with another human – I am the man. I mentioned this to Holly a couple of years ago and Tams last year, and they both gave me a hug, but otherwise they are the only people to have touched me this decade.

I just hope they all get here before mid-day – I want to spend some time with them as I feel like a shitty granddad most of the time. And the grandchildren are all amazing.

Enough of that – I am a bit bored of the election. Can we fast forward 5 weeks? Basically there is fuck all happening with all sides hoping for the other to blunder – fortunately the bonsai PM is happy to oblige. In fact he is really pissing me off more than usual. Flitting around in his fucking helicopter when not posing for photoshoots by a train. Does he have relatives in Delhi? The team there is above 50C and people are dying – time to get the climate change agenda into the frontal of peoples brains. This is an issue that is not sexy, and is dismissed by many as being less important than the cost of living crisis, but I believe that the majority of peole do give a shit about it! Only those who should not be allowed scissors still deny it.

The garden is begining to look good – rose bushes growing and the mints thriving. Tomato plant with one tomato now has 2 but still green!. Wild strawberries for the forage effort are good and raspberries will be ripe in about a week I think. Flame lily now head height, no flowers on mulberry again though. Actually there are loads of roses and I hope the kids pick some to take home.

I will make a poulis tonight but will save cake making for tomorrow – something to do whilst waiting! It will be a lemon drizzle and maybe a date cookie with nuts.

DOMESTICS

Spring is earlier this year – I picked elderflowers. Last years post is below from 31 May 2023

I put the flame lily tubers in 20 days ago and they have sprouted and are 10cm high! I hope they will form a bright welcome to my porch! It is cold today – still got the N-E wind which brings the felt temperature down from 12C at present although 20C predicted later.Elderflowers might be ready for picking on the next hot sunny day!

It is cup final day – to reminisce it used to be such a BIG day. As a kid I would watch it from mid morning when the coaches arrived at Wembley. The first year I remember was the Blackburn Rovers vs Wolverhampton Wanders final of 1960 aged 6! The only one missed when younger was the ManU vs Leics final when my cousin got married (what a heathen!) my bro’ and me took it in turns to leave the church service to listen on the radio!

Prawns, pasta and homemade avocado mayo for lunch. All the plants have been watered in and out!

FOCACCIA

Just made the above and an asparagus soup. Just avoiding cleaning and tidying really! Garden watered and the 70 house plants. First tomato growing in GH. I am hoping the 70 hanging basket plants are ready for putting out next week – some more sunny weather will do it.

SPRING

At last we have spring weather – with the grim news about Climate Change I am not sure I should be so pleased! But anyway – I plated out the tomatoes left over, the sunflowers too. Coriander and basil doing ok and most of the mints are thriving. Hanging basket of thyme is doing well and the 3 flower ones should be planted tomorrow .

I just made baguettes with some chilli flakes – I should up the chilli next time. The baguettes with garlic, sun dried tomatoes, thyme and oregano and olives were very popular. I also just made a lemon drizzle cake – more ideas for tomorrow?

GARDEN CENTRE

I went shopping! I bought 3 tomato plants of different types and sizes for cheaper than 3 packets of seeds, I have planted some seeds as well but the temptation of 15cm plants was too much, I also bought a chilli, and again I have planted seeds. Whatever!

I have als had a planting session in the greenhouse. Greek basil, dark sunflowers, californian poppies, basil, coriander, bronze fennel, lemon balm, and ?

I have ordered plug plants for the hanging baskets including one with creeping herbs as and experiment and 3 lemon verbena plants as mine did not survive the winter.

COOKIES

I made up a lush recipe. 100g butter; 100g dark brown sugar; 50g rye flour; 50g plain flour; 1/2tsp baking powder; 100g rye flakes; 2tsp cinnamon; 2 hndfuls chocolate chips. 15 minutes @180C. Tasty!

It is cold outside so I have bought myself a new jumper! rather than bump the heating up. I have cut the roses back but wheelie is full so I will wait until Monday before cutting back more. Evenings are nearly back! I do not like the darkness! Bee hotel xmas pressie made ready to hang by front door at the end of next month. I will wait and see what has survived the winter before ordering new plants – hopefully I will have a dozen rose bushes and some bulbs. And maybe plant out the rosemary and thyme varieties alongside the road? Greenhouse is basically prepped ready to go with tomatoes.

APPLES

My apples that I normally pick in late October are going rotton on the tree. A friend of the other side of the village said her trees were the same. It is a shame as my labels were working a treat. My backgarden is too small to attract the birds and animals that may enjoy the windfalls. No windfalls here as they are rotten before they hit the ground.

Di Redfern who writes for the Mendip Times, liked the article I sent her on Nature, and the need for less tidiness to provide shelter and homes for insects through the winter, she had planned a similar article for a future edition