July 2011                                                                                                 Back to June 2011


Friday 1st

9 to 17 to 8°C. Sunny intervals. Lighter wind.


Sowed new rows of radish, lettuce, salad leaves and onions


Saturday 2nd

6 to 20 to 12°C. Thin high cloud, Sunny intervals. Feeling warmer.


Time to change the pots against the house wall. Moved the daisies, violas and dianthus. Most of these are still flowering and will go into the wild garden. All but two of the lilies have finished so moved the other four to rest in a shady spot till next year, possibly repotted. Replaced with pots of short stemmed and medium height chrysanthemums.


Sunday 3rd

10 to 21 to 15°C.  Blue sky with only a few summery clouds,


A day for working in the shade so started cutting out the larger pernicious weeds from the wild garden and replacing them with primrose, viola, dianthus and daisies which will hopefully revert to their more wild forms in a few years. Added some cornflowers grown from seed and plants grown from wildflower seeds.


Monday 4th

14 to 24 to 18°C. High cloud with some sunny intervals but also thicker cloud towards evening. Rain is forecast tomorrow and the rest of the week.


Started potting on the new chrysanthemum cuttings from 1L to 3L pots.


The cherries have nearly finished so we may consider partly folding back the fine mesh net from the top of the fruit cage. This will let the little birds in but not the pigeons. Tits, especially, like caterpillars and hopefully will eat any they find on the brassicas. The first of the Golden Harvest cabbages are ready to pick. Cabbage, like most vegetables, are much nicer picked and cooked straight from the garden.


Tuesday 5th

14 to 19 to 12°C. Overcast with light rain on and off all day.


Managed to move some more plants into the wild garden between the showers.


Wednesday 6th

11 to 18 to 12°C. Heavy showers with warm sun between. Typical July weather reallySmile


Ate the last of the cherries. Plenty of ripe plums, too many to eat fresh, so some will be cooked or frozen for later.


Thursday 7th

12 to 18 to 12°C. Very similar to yesterday.


Started planting out the winter brassicas into cleared beds in the fruit cage, starting with the early winter broccoli. Pat pulled up the earliest of the pea plants, Excellenz, the remaining pods being ripe and needing picking. Some will go in the freezer. The second row, early Onward, are also nearly ready to come up. The Morello cherries are also nearly all picked and in the freezer. Most of these wil be turned into my favourite cherry jam.


Picked and ate the first cucumber with our salad. Only three plants have survived but, weather permitting, that should give us at least one every 2 days from now on.


Friday 8th

12 to 15 to 11°C. Heavy showers with a few sunny intervals.


Pat pulled up the early broad bean plants, Karmazyn, and put them in the freezer. I have already sowed some more Onward peas to replace them. Most of the calabrese has now produced its secondary shoots so those will the next to be pulled up and replaced.


A few of the cherry tomatoes, Koralik, have started to ripen. These are not those horrible sweet ones they sell in the shops but taste just like proper tomatoes, if anything even stronger and more acid.


Planted out the Basil in the herb garden and also into 5" pots for later in the year. Continued to repot the chrysanthemums.


Saturday 9th

11 to 23 to 13°C. Sunny most of the day with a few clouds, some black but no rain.


Folded back the fine netting over the top of the fruit cage to let the small birds, especially tits, in to take the caterpillars off the brassicas. There are still some raspberries and overripe strawberries which no doubt the blackbirds will be interested in but that saves us having to remove them! The wider pigeon netting still stays on to stop those biggert birds ripping the cabbages to shreds.


Sowed some more turnips, Snowball and Golden Ball, where the spinach used to be; the previous sowings are now getting quite big, though still suuculent without woody centres.


Pat picked the first Crown Prince squash which we had with mushroom and cheese stuffing for our dinner.


Sunday 10th

10 to 21 to 13°C. Overcast and humid with occasional showers and a few short sunny inrtervals.


Finished moving plants into the wild garden.


Monday 11th

13 to 22 to 9°C. Sunny intervals. Feeling warm.


Started planting out the winter brassicas into the fruit cage, January King cabbage, green and red curly kale.



Tuesday 12th

12 to 20 to 14°C. Overcast and humid.


Sprayed the potato plants with copper fungicide as a precaution against blight.


Wednesday 13th

12 to 20 to 13°C. Sunny intervals.


One year after my cataract operations went to the opticians for a checkup. Was pleased that everything is OK; better than that, nearly perfect long and middle distance vision but need glasses for reading and the computer screen.


Rest of the afternoon was spent watering in the polytunnel. Rain is forecast for the weekend so might as use it before the butts are refilled.


Pat picked a perfect Golden Acres cabbage and we investigated one of the polypots of Rudolph potatoes. A local free-range chicken, the potatoes and some courgettes cut into wedges and roasted with it and half the cabbage cooked in the microwave made a delicious evening meal.


Thursday 14th

9 to 22 to 13°C. Sunny with a few clouds completely clearing by dusk to a clear starry night.


The Sweet William have started to die back a lot later than usual but I can't wait any longer to replace them with the last of the summer bedding down the drive so made a start on this before the heavy rain forecast at the weekend.


Friday 15th

10 to 24 to 15°C. Warm and sunny till teatime then clouded over with some light rain during the evening


Now that Pat has harvested the early peas and broad beans I dug over the site, finely raked it and sowed swede and turnip. Covered with fleece to keep in the moisture and protect from the sun while they germinate. Horticultural fleece is just as useful in summer as it is in winter.


Saturday 16th

13 to 20 to 13°C. Light rain overnight and on and off till early afternoon. Sunny intervals after that.


Finally got round to planting the rest of the summer bedding down the drive. Heavy rain still forecast for tomorrow till Tuesday.


Sunday 17th

12 to 19 to 13°C. Mixture of light rain and sunny intervals with a few short heavy showers.


Weeded the whole of the polytunnel.


Monday 18th

13 to 19 to 13°C. Overcast with ocassional light rain.


Pat was doing some weeding outside leaving her slippers in the utility room. An hour or so later she can back, took off her wellingtons and started to put her slippers back on when she thought she felt a stone in the toe of one of them. But it wasn't a stone, fast asleep was this little creature



Looking it up we think it is a bank vole. Really tiny as you can see.


Tuesday 19th

13 to 19 to 14°C. Cloudy with the odd spot of drizzle. Cold breeze.


While it is cool decided to make a start on cutting back the shrubs behind the hedge running down the drive and removing the back of it, most of which is dead from the winter frosts. This will leave a wide enough space to plant a new hedge, probably privet, since this will be easier to trim when I start to feel my age. This will probably be an ongoing job for the next few months whenever we have time.


Wednesday 20th

12 to 22 to 13°C. Sunny intervals


Finally got round to planting out the last of the summer bedding in the beds around the roses. A bit late and they are not it very good shape. Hopefully with water, liquid fertiliser and tlc they will eventually look OK.


Thursday 21st

13 to 20 to 13°C. Mainly overcast with a few brighter periods. Heavy rain for a short while in the early evening.


Continued to cut the back out the hedge but have now run out of space to store the brash so it will need chipping before we can continue. So turned the compost into the last two bins as much as possible to make room in the other three.


Friday 22nd

11 to 22 to 11°C. Sunny intervals and heavy showers.


Rained enough overnight and late morning to fill the conservatory butt to overflowing even though it was nearly empty yesterday. Which was good because the squashes needed watering in the polytunnel. Later it rained again and it is nearly full for a second time. Better weather is forecast but sunny intervals and showers arec quite liked by plants if not humans!


Saturday 23rd

7 to 18 to 11°C. Sunny intervals but with a cold breeze. Rather cool for late July.


Yesterday I had 12 trays of really healthy young kale plants, both green and red. I had nurtured them for weeks in the polytunnel, protecting them from slugs and butterflies and they were now big enough to plant out. So I moved them out of the polytunnel to acclimatise for couple of days before moving them into prepared beds inside the fruit cage.

Today when I went to fetch them all that was left of most of them were a few stalks, no leaves. Slugs!! I hate slugs!!


They do have a good root system and some of them still have a growing point so they might recover. So these I have planted and scattered slug pellets round them to hopefully protect them. I know some people say you shouldn't use slug pellets but they probably don't live in a rural garden surrounded by damp ditches and  wet undergrowth. Last year we lost the winter greens to the frost; this year it looks like they might not even get that far.Frown


Sunday 24th

7 to 20 to 11°C. Sunny with some thin high cloud. Hot in the sun but cool in the shade.


Spent most of the day shredding the material cut from the dying hedge.


Monday 25th

6 to 22 to 14°C. High cloud most of the day with little breeze. Feeling warmer.


Pat pulled up the rest of the broad beans yesterday and I dug the soil over and raked it till covered in fine soil. Planted leek seedlings into 20cm holes made with a dibber fashioned from an old fork handle. Then washed all that fine soil into the holes with plenty of water. Another winter vegetable started on its way.


Tuesday 26th

11 to 23 to 15°C. High cloud and milky sun.


Time to strim the verges again. Avoided catching the strimmer line on a discarded CD, Red Bull can, Lucozade bottle and a plastic sandwich box. There were also several discarded crisp and sweet packets, polystyrene fast-food  boxes and cigarette packets. All thrown from passing cars. Why can't people take their litter home? AngryThey would complain if I threw rubbish into their front garden.


Wednesday 27th

12 to 24 to 15°C. Overcast thin cloud with a few short sunny intervals.


Sarah and Ian and the three boys have come to visit. Ian is taking the two elder boys Thomas and Cowan, camping in Wales tomorrow but Sarah is staying here with the youngest Euan, until Sunday when they will all go back home. Kirstin is also bringing Anna on Friday. I only hope we have enough room for all of them.


Thursday 28th

12 to 22 to 14°C. Broken sunshine in the morning but light rain by early afternoon.


Friday 29th

14 to 19 to 14°C. Overcast and humid but no rain


Went for a walk round Colemere with Sarah and Euan and Kirstin and Anna.


Saturday 30th

9 to 24 to 16°C. Sunny intervals and light breeze.


Pat, Sarah, Kirstin, Euan and Anna went to a children's farm for the day and had a great time. Not really my scene so I stayed at home cutting out more of the dead hedge, trying to stay in the shade as much as possible.


Sunday 31st

15 to 25 to 19°C. Mainly overcast and humid.


Ian and the two older boys returned in the afternoon and they all went home around 6pm. So back to normal.


August 2011