24 June 2018

Dorset Garden Diary - Flamin' June and Water Butts Empty

Hi everyone,

It's been a mixed couple of weeks with cloudy days, foggy nights and not enough rain to wet a leaf. We've only had 2% of our rainfall for June and there's none forecast in the foreseeable future. The pond level is dropping and needs topping up regularly but I have to do it in stages because it's tap water as all the water butts are empty and the veg is at the stage where it's need water and lots of it. We are on a water meter so I'm saving all the cold water that runs before the hot kicks in which is enough for the cucumbers, tomatoes, chillies and courgettes and the rest is the hosepipe.

But it's all looking good, the garden has filled out with greenery and flowers. This gorgeous poppy was grown from seed
one of the climbing roses has spread across the back fence
this is what it looks like close up

Looks like it's going to be a good year for plums, we hardly had any last year
One of the lilies is doing well, still waiting for the others to bloom
And these sweet peas that were planted before we moved in have been growing every year in the shade garden and survived last winter's freezing temperatures
During the week I pulled up the garlic and it's in the greenhouse  drying
and the onions and shallots I've left on the veg bed
Thankfully some of the runner beans have survived the slugs

The spuds pentland javelin and maris piper are in flower
 as are the charlottes' which look nearly ready
we have tomatoes
and, thankfully, cucumbers - I had a lot of problems with them last year
first of the baby beets
and six gooseberries which is six more than we've had for the last three years

It's been very hot today with high humidity and the temperature in the greenhouse has been rising to mid 90'sF low 30'sC all week. I tidied up one of the patio gravel beds this morning

and pruned back one of the azaleas as it didn't look very happy. I have a few things to pot on during the week. One thing I'm very pleased with...I've been mentioning the squirrel burying walnuts all over the garden, well I found three and they looked like they were sprouting so I potted them up and look...we have the beginnings of a walnut tree! Thank you Mr or Mrs Squirrel.

The fish are becoming more alert and surface every time I walk near the pond in anticipation of being fed. There are some small black ones which are this year's fishlings. And we have miniature frogs. They are smaller than the black tadpoles lurking in the oxygenating weed
some of them are not much bigger than my little fingernail. They are soooo cute and perfectly formed.
Well it's going to be a hot one this week with temperatures soaring, I guess I'll be doing a lot of watering - I can't lose any crops now. Have a good gardening week and catch up next Sunday.



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3 June 2018

Dorset Garden Diary - Foggy Evenings and the First Sweet Peas

Hi everyone,

It's been a strange week with fog at night and a mixture of rain and sun during the day. It was so foggy Wednesday evening I couldn't see the houses opposite.

The garden is looking full and colourful after the rain we've had but it still needed watering again today. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get out there as much as I would like and the weeds have taken hold so I'm going to have to get stuck into that next week.

On Wednesday I staked the tomatoes in the greenhouse
and this was taken today - look how much they've grown
they're doing better than the plants outside
I fed the veg, raspberries, blackcurrants, courgettes and the olive tree with seaweed fertiliser. I was going to feed the dwarf runner bean but the slugs have got to it so I still only have two bean plants that have survived. The ones I put in the conservatory to grow have sprouted
so I'll keep them away from the slugs for as long as I can.

Today I put in the pond clear. It does help to keep the blanket weed down but because the pond is in direct sun for most of the day the water is never really clear. It won't be long before the tadpoles are frogs.

The courgettes are doing well, hopefully this could be the year I am successful with them as I usually only get a couple from each plant then it dies
The cucumbers are thriving

I've planted marigolds in with the tomatoes, courgettes, beans, lettuces and peas to hopefully detract the slugs from the veg and also to deter the green and black fly.

I earthed up the pentland javelin spuds
and the maris pipers
and this appears to be the first year I am successful with lettuce
The carrots, spring onions, beetroot and radishes are coming along, albeit slowly.

Nothing new on the flower front apart from an explosion of nigella everywhere which is delicate and pretty (note tip of right foot in foreground!)
I picked the first of the sweet peas
and next door's rambling rose has appeared over the fence

I went to Bristol zoo during the week and had to take a photo of this amazing tree - no idea what it is

Well, that's it for this week, I'll be back in a couple of weeks and it'll be interesting to see how much the garden has grown.



Follow me on Twitter @daisydigga