Sunday, 29 June 2008

I hate weeds ...

Oh heaven, its jam making time again ! I've still got about 15 jars of blackberry & apple jam, blackberry jelly and plum jam left from last year. You can never have enough jam :)

The blackbirds and slugs have been helping themselves to the strawberries, so I picked them on Thursday night in the pouring rain ... the slugs were already starting to appear, so I think I was just in time. I did much better than I thought and when I weighed them realised I had 1.3kgs.

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Here they are being boiled up:
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I had enough to make 5 jars - one of which has already been opened ! It tastes divine ... OH hasn't tasted it yet, apparently there was only enough bread for one of us ... pity that huh !

Here is Loki, ever the helpful little kitten, contributing to the jam making process by charging around like a mad thing with the bag that had the stockpot I'd just bought to make the jam. Later he slept for ages ... now that is helpful.

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The wild flower garden looks great and the bees are buzzing all over the lovely blue flowers:

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Large red poppy:
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Red Clover:
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View from the brick greenhouse ... OH finally popped up to fill up my waterbutts. We had a deluge of rain this afternoon for about half an hour, followed by intense sunshine.

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Here are my beans, looking much happier now that I've got rid of all of the weeds and stray potatoes. I had plans today to make a bit more progress on the jungle, but every bed is covered in weeds, the speed that they grow is incredible, so I spent practically all day clearing each of the growing beds of weeds. At the end of the bed are my Cara, which are actually last years, it will be interesting when it is time to lift them.

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They are currently in flower:

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as are my Vales Emerald. Its very hard to resist digging one up to see if there's anything there yet

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Disaster has struck my peas. They have suffered from rain and wind damage and now look as though they've been attacked by pigeons. I ran out of time today, but they need restaking and netting urgently next time I'm there.

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So far I'm having great success with my cauliflowers. It looks as though I'll have a succession of them, which is great as usually they all arrive together. I picked one for tea and gave one to Nick next door. He gave me some spinach in return ... yum

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This is the bottom bed, I've finally cleared the last of the weeds that appeared over the winter. I've planted out 15 sweetcorn and four squashes. Nick's sweetcorn had an accident with a naughty cat so I'll give him my spares.

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Whilst watering the squashes in, I noticed this fella wandering over the bed - OH thinks the white ball underneath him is his egg sack:

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This one is lurking in the brick greenhouse
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The courgettes are growing painfully slowly, but the plants look really healthy ... maybe this little fella will be my tea next weekend:

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The beetroot has shot up, but there are lots of gaps in the rows now. I might think about sowing some more to fill the gaps

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Having cleared the strawberry patch mid-week, I only expected to see the odd strawberry today

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but unbelieveably I picked another full basket:
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more jam anyone ?

We had our first raspberries tonight, with rice pudding. Yum, its the best way to eat them.

and now a slight diversion. Here is Ianto munching one of his pots of grass, he lurves his grass, he has three pots on the go at the moment.

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I recently learnt that a rule in the cat world is that a cat shall occupy a new box within three nano-seconds of it entering the room ... and its true !

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and of course where Ianto goes, Loki has to follow
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pretty cute huh

here is Ianto in box no. 2
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he's such a handsome chap xx
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Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Look at my lovely butt ...

OK, if that got your attention, hopefully its got OH's too ... hurry up and fill up my water butts, they are practically empty !!

Oh dear, I've had two casualties recently, the first was a very young bird, too young to have fledged. The second was this little fella:

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They both appear to have fallen into the pond and then drowned. I wonder if its partly due to the wild flowers that are now overhanging the pond.

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The three rows of salad are gradually making an appearance. I think they are being munched, but they do looking to be making progress:

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Hmm, looks like we missed the first raspberry .. notice that my strawberries are disappearing too, I really must try and net them:

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Tonight for pudding we had a bowl full of strawberries, with homemade shortbread and whipped cream .... mmmmm, they were gorgeous. No photo, but take my word for it, they tasted as good as they looked.

I was thrilled to see that the pea plants are dripping with baby peas .. the pods are irrisistable at this stage, they are so sweet.

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My sweetcorn is starting to grow - I still have another 20+ in the potting shed to plant out:

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yum, we enjoyed my first cauliflower at the weekend, sadly the cheese sauce didn't quite go to plan, but it was good nonetheless. Here is no. 2, making rapid progress and I notice that the others have more or less all developed tiny curds.

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I think the experiment can definitely be classed a success and I'll be sowing my next batch come late autumn again.

My Jerusalem Artichokes are coming along nicely, they are now just higher than the foxgloves. My staking seems to be working:

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This Feverfew self-seeded, its looking very pretty now, although it is being overshadowed by the Ox Eye Daisies, which have gone barmy with the recent rain:

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The onion bed is full of self-seeded poppies, they are really big and look as if they are about to pop:

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The bees are still buzzing around the Phacelia, but its looking past its best now - it has all blown over, following the gusty winds that we experienced at the weekend.

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Monday, 16 June 2008


I reckon another couple of days of sunshine and I'll have my first strawberry ! If the birds don't beat me to it.

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The garlic has suddenly developed rust. I'm not too worried as it'll be harvested in a couple of weeks or so.

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I pulled one, as I'm too impatient to wait, its a decent size, but I can't tell if its 'cloved' or not:

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I enjoyed my first broadbeans tonight, they were yummy:

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Here is my missing blackcurrant .. its been accidentally dug up a couple of times:

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My Vales Emerald Potatoes are just starting to flower. I'll give them another couple of weeks and then I'll start peeking:

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Two of the courgettes plants have got baby courgettes appearing:

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I've got lots of lovely little parsley plants so at the weekend I'll plant them up:

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My first marigold is flowering:

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Looks like one of my water lillies is about to flower - its my very first one, so I'm very excited. Its so long since I bought it I can't remember what colour it is, so it will be a surprise:

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ah ha ! finally my tall, spikey, carnivorous (!) plant has turned into a teasel:
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