23 July 2017

Dorset Garden Diary - Not A Good Idea To Confuse Peppers With Chillies

Hi everyone,

It's been a good week for the garden, a mixture of sunshine and showers. Why do weeds always grow faster than the flowers?

Monday - hot and sunny today but I didn't do much gardening as it was flying ant day and they were irritating to say the least. Apparently they are a sign that a thunderstorm is on its way. I pulled the carrots Amsterdam that I tried growing in a container...they haven't been successful from the standard carrot point of view but entertaining nonetheless
especially this one!


I pruned back the sweet peas and did a little bit of tidying. There were no birds in the garden today, just bees and butterflies. I picked a pepper, lettuce, tomatoes and spring onions for lunch and found out why the green peppers are a weird shape...they aren't peppers, they're chillies. Hot chillies. Chopped up in my salad!
And now I look at them closely, they are definitely chilli-shaped. I just thought it was the normal mis-shapes I usually grow!

Tuesday - hot and sunny and humid despite the wind. One of those days when it's tiring just to move. But it didn't affect the fish as they were lively this morning. The leaf cutter bee is back, thankfully.

Wednesday - we had thunderstorms overnight, rumbling around for a few hours. Today was cooler and drizzly all day so again, not much gardening done apart from watering the greenhouse. The tomatoes are cropping well

Thursday - sunny and breezy. I trimmed back the tomatoes and cucumbers, tied back the peas and earthed up the King Edwards as the heavy rain on Tuesday night had washed some of the soil away. I'm going to call myself 'The Bee Rescuer' as I came to the rescue of another one trapped in the greenhouse. They come in through the vents then can't get back out. I dug up another pentland javelin plant that had died off, another 1lb (approx. 500g)
Not much of a crop but they taste good. There's another couple of plants left in the veg garden plus a couple in the big green bags I usually grow them in. I re-potted one of the apple trees that has grown from seed, it's doing very well

Found a couple of radishes lurking in the garden I'd forgotten about - definitely not for eating, too big and woody
I took some pics from inside the cottage garden

Friday - windy today with heavy rain showers so again not much gardening. I picked peas, runner and French beans and a typical Daisy Digga carrot

I fed the fish a few times, the water is looking much clearer which pleases him indoors.

Saturday - a day of dark skies, heavy rain and a few sunny spells. All week there has been a red admiral butterfly that settles on the patio. When I walk past it flies off then comes back, same as when I try to take a pic. I think it's shy.

Sunday - a sunny start but windy, cloudy and chillier. I fed the fish, cut back the passion flower growth coming over from next door. It's lovely but invasive. Watched Gardeners' World, the only relevant job for me was cut off the tops of the tomato plants to concentrate the growing on the fruit...done.  I tied back the goji berry as it had fallen over in the wind and had a general tidy up. There are some new flowerings this week. Aster (I think) or something similar
gentiana - gorgeous blue
crocosmia in the shade garden
coreopsis early sunrise
and lantana huff. I'm pleased about this because I thought I'd pruned it back too much

So summer is well under way and, with the rain, the garden is looking colourful and lush. And to finish, I don't think I'm going to be inspirational in the fashion world
but at least my feet were warm and dry! Just hope the neighbours weren't looking...

That's about it for this week. The forecast for the coming week is more sunshine and showers and temperatures staying on the cool-ish side. Enjoy your week and catch up, hopefully, next weekend...not sure what's on the agenda at the moment.



Follow me on Twitter @DaisyDigga

16 July 2017

Dorset Garden Diary - Veg Growing Well and A Riot of Summer Colour

Evening everyone,

It's been a much cooler week but still humid. We were away for a couple of days so Monday morning I topped up the pond (which I needn't have done because it rained all day Tuesday, apparently) and rescued a bee from the greenhouse before giving the plants a good soaking and fed the fish.

Wednesday - sunny and breezy today. As soon as we arrived back mid afternoon I checked the pond which was full and looking healthy and then the rest of the garden. The runner beans have sprouted
 and so have the chillies

On the tomatoes was this moth (?) taking a nap

And on the parsley in the kitchen another insect was dozing. I took the plant outside and it started to move around and wake up before flying off (wasp? bee?)

Thursday - sunny. Him indoors adjusted the pond pump filter and the water now clears the edge of the pond as it comes out. We had it on all day and the pond level stayed the same so fingers crossed. He mowed the lawn as the clover was dying off and looked too messy - looking good now though.
When he tried to get out the back to put the cuttings in the compost bin the blackberry bushes were blocking the gate so he had to hack his way through! He then did a recycling centre run - we always amass so much stuff. I tidied up a bit and picked peas, spring onions, lettuce, runner and French beans and a couple of carrots
one day they will all be straight...maybe...but then it won't be so much fun!
Friday - quite windy today with sunny spells. The fish ate well today, very lively. I was pleased to see I hadn't disturbed the leaf cutter bee last week and it is still going into the pot. I pulled the last of the onions for drying, picked the red tomatoes and tied back the sprawling cucumber plants. I dug out another of the Duke of York plants that has died back...1lb 4oz (approx. 600g) - they're bigger than they look here.

I'm sure I had better yields when I grew them in the bags but the silver lining is that they have improved the soil. Last jobs of the day were to put in the pond clear and swill it around carefully, feed the fish then water the pots and the greenhouse. I picked a cucumber and had sliced some of it before taking a pic - oops, so here it is not quite intact
very tasty!

We have some new flowering on one of the climbing roses
and in one of the shade beds - I have no idea what it is yet as I've planted so many that haven't taken

Saturday - a cool and cloudy day. I went out first thing to feed the fish and they weren't interested. I turned the pump on to see if it will wake them up. They perked up later in the morning and by evening were lively again. I dug up one of the pentland javelin plants as it had died off and, unfortunately, it's a failure. The potatoes are green and undergrown.

I just hope the rest are ok. I pollinated the cucumbers as there are masses of flowers but only a couple more cucumbers growing. Nothing else ready to pick at the moment so apart from a bit of tidying up nothing else in the garden today, but here are some pics of the cottage garden

I love this flower peeking out through the ornamental grass

Sunday - cloudy and spitting with rain early. I've been working all day so I fed the fish before I left and again, they weren't interested. Strange. But they pounced on it early evening. The hazelnut tree is looking healthy
the newly planted bed by the side of the greenhouse is now in summer bloom

and the free fuchsias are brightening up the pots
Well that's all for this week. The weather for the week ahead is hot and humid tomorrow then thunderstorms coming in from Spain and France late Tuesday, early Wednesday, then cooler for the rest of the week. Not so sure I want the thunder and lightning but the rain will be welcome. Have a good week and catch up next Sunday.
Follow me on Twitter @DaisyDigga

9 July 2017

Dorset Garden Diary - Cucumbers, Chillies and an Odd-shaped Pepper

Hi everyone,

It's been another summery week with plenty to do.

Monday - cool and cloudy to start then sunny and windy in the afternoon. I pulled up the radishes that had gone to seed and sowed more, plus little gem and coriander. Planted out the next batch of fennel and pulled more shallots and put them in the greenhouse to dry. Now...when  I checked the greenhouse yesterday evening I could've sworn there were no cucumbers, chillies or red tomatoes!

I tweeted a pic of the flower growing from what I thought was ornamental grass and the RHS tweeted back to say it is a hemerocallis day lily, probably black magic.

Tuesday - started cloudy then sunny at times. The pond water is looking clearer and the fish were livelier today...and hungry. Not much done apart from tying up the cucumbers and watering the veg and the greenhouse. After reeling the hose out and back in I found this fella on the drum...it must've been dizzy!
Wednesday - a hot and sunny day, unfortunately I was working! I had the pond pump on all night and the level was down by about 3-4 inches so I had to top it up. Him indoors is going to check the pump again. It could just be evaporation of water as it goes round the system. When I came home I picked lettuce, spring onions, peas and a carrot for my salad and gave the garden and greenhouse a good soaking. The ladybird poppies I planted are doing well
Thursday - hot and sunny again. I earthed up some of the potatoes as I could see some spuds above the surface which is surprising considering how deep I planted them. The fish were sluggish this morning, maybe they were having a lie in. Anyway, they soon perked up and were all over the food. The cottage garden is filling out

and the carrots and parsnips have put on a spurt

Friday - sunny and breezy today and quite pleasant. I started on the pruning and deadheading of the early flowering perennials and hopefully they will flower again. I picked what I think is probably the last of the first batch of courgettes, the second lot are thriving
and pulled more onions for drying. That's all the yellow moon shallots up now. There's just a few union troy left in the garden - I will grow these again as they've done well
As I walked towards the pond to feed the fish I saw them scoot across the pond to the 'dining area' before I reached it. How do they know?? The radishes I sowed on Monday are already coming through
I picked more peas today, not so keen on the sugar snaps as they are stringy so I won't grow those again but the others are very tasty. There has been a lot of bird activity over the past couple of days, mainly sparrows and blackbirds, and this evening there was a sparrowfest on the feeders.
Saturday - another scorcher but we do need some rain...overnight would be good. A busy-ish day today. I started by trimming back the sweet peas and cutting off the seed pods - I heard somewhere this encourages more blooms - then I cleaned and re-filled the bird feeders and topped up the bird table. Not sure what's eating the food on that as it disappears quickly, but I know the pigeons and magpies can't get on it. I planted out more peas and emptied out the last bag of Charlottes...again just under a 1lb so not bad I suppose and they are incredibly delicious
So far that's nearly 4lb from 4 spuds grown in small bags. There are still two Charlotte plants in the veg garden so it will be interesting to see if they produce more. I trimmed the tomatoes and tied up more of the cucumbers.

razzmatazz chillies

and peppers that have their own shape agenda
Sunday - another hottie, the temperature in the greenhouse at 10am was 27C 80F. I sowed spring onions and radish icicle white, moved a geranium growing out of the path into one of the beds and planted four apricot kernels - let's see if I can get as good a result with them as I did with the lemon seeds. I was going to mow the lawn but it's too hot and dry, it's already got brown patches. I tidied up the roses and sweet peas on the back fence
I don't know where the white sweet peas have come from, all the rest are red and mauve
I dug up the first of the Duke of York spuds that are growing in one of the veg patches. There was just under 2lb
and the nitrogen from the potato plants has broken down the clay...yessss!!
The curry plant (which is now at the top of the garden) is in full flower
and this lavatera has appeared in the flower bed beside the greenhouse, I didn't plant it but it's pretty
The only job left to do now is give the garden a jolly good soaking.
Well that took forever, the ground was parched. Watched the Countryfile weather this evening and we're in for sunshine and possible some showers this week and it's going to be slightly cooler. No complaints there. Have a good week and catch up next weekend.
Follow me on Twitter @DaisyDigga