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Sunday, 12 July 2009

Thankfully This Week Was Much Calmer :)

Yes a much calmer week was had by all and even got some gardening done, not as much as I would have liked as the beginning of the week was wet and the later part of the week I had house guests but life was much more relaxed.

Tuesday I spent a lovely half an hour with my youngest gathering ladybugs and their larva approx sixteen in all (including a few mating pairs) and transporting them to the runner beans which are being infested by black fly.

Wednesday was wet, wet, wet, which was very welcomed as it meant I didn’t have to get the hose out and the ponds and the water butts got a top up as well. The heavy showers truly saturated the ground and during a break in the showers I sowed two lots of French climbing beans a yellow and green varieties.

Thursday my house guest arrived with her three year old niece in tow much to my youngest delight and so spent the most of the day catching up, etc. there was more heavy rainfall overnight, so Friday I sowed my second lot of spring onions and beetroot (two varieties, the regular red sort and a yellow type).

Saturday I spent the majority of the day out with my eldest as she was in her stagecoach drama production which marked the end of their school year till September. The rest of the family joined us for the show and later we spent the rest of the day relaxing at home with my friends. The rained returned again quite heavily Saturday night.

Sunday the sun was out and I spent near on an hour collecting more ladybugs approx thirty in all (including about eight mating pairs) and moving them to the runner bean plants. I think it has already begun to make a difference as the infestation is not as bad as I thought it should be by now, also there are signs that the mating pairs I put previously have laid eggs as there are very young larva already on the plants doing their stuff.

I have noticed this year there are not only the record numbers of harlequin in all their guises but also quite a lot of the native two spot ladybugs. I was lamenting to myself earlier in the day that thus far I was yet to see a native seven spot ladybug and much later in the day when I was inspecting some of my potted plants guess what I found but a lovely native seven spot ladybug.

I had planned to sow some seeds in the lovely moist soil but spent a few hours finally potting up some of the rooted tomato cuttings, potting up the lime basil, Greek basil, Vietnamese coriander and the sweet potato plants into bigger pots.

I still have rooted tomato cuttings and some herbs surplus to my needs which I have listed on my local freecycle and they are going like hot cakes.

Here are a few pictures of other things seen this week.
Harvests over the week:

Tuesday - the first courgette and a bumper crop of mangetout (all that extra watering gave a really good result).

Thursday - first harvest of this year's sown rainbow chard and
the last of the first early potatoes.

And of things to come:

Ying Yang dwarf french beans which I'm growing to harvest the dried beans.

Galina tomatoes starting to change colour.

The one and only ochro plant to survive produced a flowers bud which never opened and is now appearing to grow an ochro, I have also noted how all of a sudden its starting to leaf up a lot more so its a wait and see what will be .....???????

The amaranth plants that made it to the planting out stage where planted out quite late and are now in full flower at only a foot to eighteen inches high (they are suppose to get to about 5ft). Any crop I get will be quite small I imagine but I look forward to them any way.

Pond Life:

Equisetum hyemale (Horse tail)
A water snail

Flowers to enjoy:
My mini meadow has only reproduced one flower this year the corncockle, with to very sad looking poppy plants. there are lots of grasses growing in odd clumps so lots of bare soil still exposed to allow me to sow more seeds this autumn and in the early spring. From bird seed I sprinkled in the spring the meadow is also sporting -
an oats plant
and a wheat plant

These blood red self sown poppies (the photo is not doing the colour justice) from where I don't know as I never grew them before are beautiful. I'll be saving seed to sow into the mini meadow area.

Red Valarien (though this one is pink)

The second sunflower to open but at half the height and a fraction of the size of the first.

Some variegated lemon thyme I planted out a few weeks ago.

Still a few opium poppies about.

Another self sown poppy but with double petals gotta to save seed and hope for a repeat next year.

The garden's Mini Beast:

The wild yarrow plants a proving very popular with the flying insects.

Newly hatched shield bugs.

Pyronia tithonus - 'Gatekeeper' its been around all week.

A leaf cutter bee.

A cabbage white checking out the new sunflower.


  1. You sound as though you've had a much less stressful week. It's nice to catch up with friends, especially when they bring a playmate for your girls.
    I love the horse tail plant. I considered getting one of these for my pond, but chose a water lily instead.

  2. Yes a much less stressful week and one where I got to do some gardening. Roll on tomorrow the last day of the school year yah!!!

    I look forward to more lay ins, great days out and long uninterrupted days (ie no school runs) in the garden.

    I know lots of parents don't enjoy the school holidays and the kids being home for weeks on end but I miss having my eldest home with us and all we used to get up to together when everyone was in school. Now the youngest and myself just have 6 short weeks to enjoy her uninterrupted company.

    Ah well thats life full of changes whether you want it or not, I'm just happy she's happy.

  3. Hi Kella, This is a lovely colourful post, it all looks brilliant. I'm glad you are growing Vietnamese coriander too, I finally got a good sized plant this year, so I will hopefully get a couple more out of it. My lemongrass it finally growing and the stems are thickening up.

    You sound like me, I loved having my children at home during the summer holidays and hated it when they had to go back. I hope you have a lovely time with them and lot's of days out.



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