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.

basketofstrawberries copy

Strawberry copy

Here they are being boiled up:
Jam copy

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.

mischief copy

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

wildflowergarden2 copy

Teasel
teasels copy

Large red poppy:
redpoppy copy

Red Clover:
redclover copy

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.

ViewFromTheGreenhouse copy

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.

beans copy

They are currently in flower:

Cara copy

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

ValesEmerald copy

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.

pEAS copy

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

cauliflower copy

ArtichokesandCauliflowers copy

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.

bottombed copy

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

SpiderandEggs2 copy

SpiderandEggs copy

This one is lurking in the brick greenhouse
BrownSpider copy

The courgettes are growing painfully slowly, but the plants look really healthy ... maybe this little fella will be my tea next weekend:

Courgette copy

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

Beetroot copy

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

strawberries copy

but unbelieveably I picked another full basket:
Strawberries2 copy

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.

Iantoeatinggrass copy

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 !

Iantoinabox copy

and of course where Ianto goes, Loki has to follow
Lokiinabox copy

pretty cute huh

here is Ianto in box no. 2
Iantoinbox2 copy

he's such a handsome chap xx
Ianto copy