The rain has decided to have a holiday and it’s been sun, sun, sun. This means mornings are spent watering the veg patch and evenings watering the garden. The well is still surprisingly full but with no rain forecast for the next ten days that’ll soon disappear.
I have finally discovered what has survived the relentless winter frosts. A week or two ago I would have said everything except the bougainvillea but even that now has new shoots. However, along with some of the lavender that is looking very sorry for itself, I fear we’re going to have to make some replacements. But overall I’m pleased that we didn’t really lose anything, even the lily in the pond has lots of leaves.
Frost-wise all survived in the veg patch too, even the runner beans that lost their first leaves are now climbing their poles. Another plant to survive the frosts are the lettuce. I bought a collection of them for one euro and they do very well. They are a fantastic cut-and-come-again plant, I can cut one every day and they’ll have grown back in no time.
But all is not well. One of the first years here I lost a number of brassicas but then boasted in this post from last year that I hadn’t lost any because I’d placed plastic collars around each one. Well, I did that again this year but alas I have already lost quite a few. One day the plants are all perky and the next one will look very droopy. Removing the collar you can see ants have made a nest under the plant although I don’t think it’s the ants themselves which are attacking the plant. There are moths that lay eggs around the base of the plant, which is what the collar is meant to prevent, but ants help them, like they do the aphids, because they eat their larvae, which in turn eat the plant. Something like that. I’ve tried to clear the stems of any bugs but they never look very good again. Very annoying.
The asparagus is enormous, and we have two beds of it. I wish I’d known how large they grow although in the intense summer heat they provide some welcome shelter. I have had to severely trim them all, it was impossible to walk past them.
Richard has been away and was due back yesterday but a cancelled flight means he’s back a day later. He has two jobs waiting for him: strimming and killing. The garden is becoming like the wild meadow from the previous post, sort of shabby chic with all the flowers, charmingly scruffy (actually a bit of a mess!)
The dogs will be pleased to see Richard but the roasties are making the most of the delay. Fat and lazy, they waddle around on huge legs, a far cry from their baby selves. There is one cock among them who has started a very pitiful crowing – he’ll be the first for the chop!
Finally, continuing with the floral theme, I have been busy doing inside jobs once it gets too hot outside. I have made some more soap with marigold flowers and, my favourite, some elderflower cordial. I’ve discovered another old house in the village with a large elder tree in the courtyard that catches the morning sun. How I’ve missed them both I don’t know. The flowers smell wonderful and the cordial is really the taste of summer. Oh, and I’ve made some strawberry ice cream too, we already have a bumper crop!
Time to sit in the garden with a glass of cordial topped up with fizzy water to enjoy the flowers (and ignore the weeds). Cheers!