The rain that has been persistent for most of the week – and not gentle fluffy drizzle, but the fat dropped deluge type that is often accompanied by thunder and lightening has finally stopped long enough for us to remember it is almost summer. But not without a final burst this morning.
Once it was no longer soggy and the sun had dried off most of the lingering moisture, I tackled a task that should have been done ages ago but didn’t – tying in the tomatoes and removing the laterals. I always aim to have nice single stemmed tomatoes, but it never happens. This year is no different – I have plants that branch off in all directions and whose stems twist and turn all about the place. I did my best to sort them out – but it felt more like binding them in place firmly to teach them a lesson for defying me yet again!
Then I looked around to see what else needed doing. I didn’t want to do anything boring like weeding, so when I spied the dead hanging baskets on the side of the house and the flowering petunias in the plant waiting room, I thought that it was just the job, and coincidentally it was on the list too so I’d be able to cross it off! Bonus sense of achievement. I got on with emptying the old baskets and adding a bit more coconut fibre to the liner so it would last another year, mixed up some rich potting mix and compost. But before I added the soil I put in my secret weapon – a third of a nappy! The boys have grown out of nappies years ago, but there was always some lingering in the back of the cupboard. If you have ever seen a toddler in a paddling pool in a normal nappy you know how effective it would be in a hanging basket and hidden in the base of the basket it should help the flowers stay fresh all summer long!
Then I pottered about for a bit, pulling a weed here and a weed there – nothing too serious. Then I realised there was a project I wanted to do and if I left much longer the window of opportunity would be gone. I wanted to make elderflower wine. So I headed off to the orchard to harvest what would end up filling a jug up to the 600ml mark with petals only. Apparently stalks would make the wine bitter. As a fresh flower they are delicate pretty things but don’t smell of anything much. I hope the wine comes out alright, but we won’t know for months!
As I think about the garden, the thing I notice most it is mostly green. There is a splash of yellow here and there as the pumpkins, zucchinis and cucumbers flower to flirt with the bees and the red of the strawberries, but the overwhelming range of colours are shades of green. It is such a fresh look. Looking back on the day I know I have been busy, but I just can’t put my finger on everything that I did, but I know it was good because my bones are weary and I am looking forward to bed!
Come again soon – now the rain has stopped I want to look at irrigation options.
Sarah the Gardener : o )