I hang the last sock on the line to dry and take a moment to check the kitchen garden. It’s coming along nicely. I need to take the hoe out at lunchtime to sort out the weed seedlings which are beginning to appear among the sweetcorn. Let the heat of midday dry them out on the surface.
The summer raspberries are doing well. I’ve left three thistles to grow among them. The purple mop head flowers are in full bloom, attracting the soldier beetles. That’s one diving into the purple petals. I lose count of how many beetles are among the spiky leaves and blossom. Both the larvae and adults will eat aphids. I never need to spray the garden.
I’ve used the three sister method of growing as usual. Sweetcorn, squash and beans. All working together. It also tickles me, as I’m one of four and the youngest of the three sisters. I wonder which plant I would be? I’d go for the sweetcorn. I love to walk among them, as they grow almost to my height.
The garden is slightly behind. I was slow to plant out, but it will be what it will be.
Picking up my laundry basket, I take the long route back to the house, via the greenhouse. Passing the hazelnut trees, I can see the nuts are almost ready. Not that I’ll see any, as the squirrels are faster off the mark than me, every year.
I’m pleased with the greenhouse. I’ve planted it well. Everything is planted in the borders. Not too many weeds, as I’m using my collection of cut off plastic bottles to water the roots and below the surface. Run off is minimalized. I grow small cucumbers. Half sized. The first one is ready to eat.
No spraying in the greenhouse either. I encourage my friendly mini beasts to visit with nasturtiums, and the cucumbers do their bit too. A spider almost hidden in a cucumber flower.
Bit of a mystery. Last time I was in the greenhouse, I noticed a dead hornet being dragged by an ant. It was fascinating. Such a small creature moving another many times its size. Like a caveman pulling a hairy mammoth, as I told my husband that night. Today I notice the hornet is in an empty seed tray, I left on the greenhouse path. Did the ant drag the hornet up and over into the tray, and if so why? Was it removing it from near the ant’s nest to stop other hornets turning up?
I like to work with nature. It doesn’t mean I always understand it.
Also in the greenhouse, is one of my cucamelon plants. A new one for me. The fruit tastes of a cross between melon and cucumbers, just as the name suggests. Its vines are beginning to find their way up the wall of the greenhouse. I spot the beginnings of the fruiting bodies. The length of my little finger’s nail. Maybe a week or more till we can try them.
Peppers are swelling too. The tomatoes and basil plants are bushing up.
I leave the greenhouse door open, but block it with a tray to stop the rabbits getting in.
Final stop, before I go in. The raised salad beds. Guarded by two fences which keep the rabbits and their nibbling tendency away from my salad. One bed is full of lettuce, turnips and tomatoes. The other popcorn, courgette and tomatoes. Some rows have failed, but the rest is thriving.
My double fence doesn’t keep the sparrows off. Oh my goodness, we have so many sparrows and they like to nibble my lettuce. No problem with slugs or snails this year, but the marauding sparrows make up for it. Brought out our last surviving garden goddess at the weekend and gave her a new outfit. She now scowls at the sparrows and shakes a bell. Go find something else to eat.
Finally back in the house. Next load of washing is ready for the line. Time to go out again. Might take the shorter route back to the house this time. It seems I’m so easily distracted. Although I didn’t check the blackcurrants. I could just pick a few. Maybe take a few kitchen scraps to the hen house, while I’m there.