June 2016                                                                                                                                               back to May


Wednesday 1st

12 to 17 to 12°C. 5.68kWh 1.1kW max. Mainly cloudy, still with a northerly breeze.

Still no rain and none is forecast for this part of the country. So spent most of the morning watering the vegetable garden and inside the polytunnel (which of course needs watering even when it does rain).


Later continued to train the squashes in the polytunnel and pot on more of the perennials.


Thursday 2nd

6 to 17 to 9°C. 9.10kWh 2.0 max. Mainly sunny


The runner beans growing in trays in the polytunnel are ready to plant and it is unlikely we will get a frost. So built the runner bean frames with Pat's help and planted them out.


Friday 3rd

4 to 19 to 14°C. 14.36kWh 2.1kW. Cold clear start but soon warmed up with the continous sunshine in a clear blue sky though it did become hazy in the afternoon. The breeze is still northerly.


Looking for a job to do in the shade we decided to cut back the holly hedge between the drive and the vegetable garden. I was going to cut this down entirely last winter and dig out the stumps but my broken hip stopped me doing this. Maybe next winter? There should be enough room now for the summer bedding but the perennials I have grown from seed for this are will have to stay in their pots for now in the nursery.


Saturday 4th

13 to 23 to 17°C. 6.51kWh 1.8kW max. Mainly cloudy with a few sunnier periods. Feeling very warm and humid.


Finished clearing the bed in  front of the holly hedge and started to plant the summer bedding of marigolds, geraniums, petunias and bacopa.


Pat went for a day out in Birmingham with Kirstin and Sarah including a matinee performance of Cats and some window shopping around the posh stores.


Sunday 5th

13 to 24 to 16°C. 10.39kWh 2.1kW max. 38°C max in the polytunnel. Cloudy start but cleared by mid-morning to a very warm and sunny afternoon.


I decided that the holly hedge needed more trimming, not just the front of it, so cut most of it down to less than 5ft but some I will need to do from the back. We did this in the morning before it got too sunny. In the afternoon I did the job I was reserving for a day with UV 8 warnings, cleaning up the hosta bed which is almost all in shade even in June.


Had our first full serving of strawberries for tea. We have had one or two for several days but now there are a lot ripening in the sunshine.


Monday 6th

13 to 27 to 18°C. 13.2kWh 2.1kW max. Another very sunny day.


Pat went into the polytunnel, in the morning before it got too hot, to take the side-shoots off the tomatoes which are growing very rapidly. So are the squashes and the cucumbers which already have some small fruits nearly ready on the main stem. So those needed training up their strings as well.

In the afternoon I dug over the bed between the big shed and the roses and planted out the the Bloody Butcher tomatoes. These are an old heritage bush tomato I thought we could try; it will be interesting to find out what they taste like.

Pat moved all the pots of summer bulbs out of the polytunnel where they were much too hot. This was only to a temporary place; the daffodils and bluebells in the bed in front of the house still haven't died back enough to clear and cover with woven polythene for this summer display

Once it had cooled down a little (to only 22°C!!) I spent a long time watering in the polytunnel, the chrysanthemums, the pots of summer bedding and bulbs and the trays of leeks. We have now used over half of the stored water. There is only around 1200L left so hopefully the rain forecast for the end of the week will replenish this.


Tuesday 7th

13 to 24 to 16°C. 8.84kWh 1.7kW max. Cloudy but bright. Very humid. Heard some thunder in the distance but it didn't rain here.


Cool enough in the polytunnel to do some more potting on of the coleus and more of the perennials I raised from seed over winter, Astrantia Shaggy and Hollyhock Chaters Double. One of the grafted cucumbers had some small fruits right at the bottom of the main stem which I took off as they were causing the flowers higher up to abort. They were small but nevertheless delicious!


Wednesday 8th

14 to 25 to 18°C. 8.49kWh 2kW max. Misty cloudy start with some sunny intervals. Very humid with some black clouds to the east but no rain.


The daffodils and bluebells in the bed near the conservatory finally died back enough to clear the dried haulm away and cover it with woven polythene. Then moved the pots of dahlias, zantadeschia, gladiolus, tigridia and other summer bulbs onto this sheet.


Thursday 9th

12 to 25 to 17°C. 11.46kWh 2.1kW max. Misty cloudy start but soon cleared to a cloudless sky by late morning. Became overast late in the afternoon but didn't start to rain till 10pm, though not very heavy.


Took up the woven polythene in the nursery and tidied up the soil beneath it before putting it back the other way up. There were a few holes, probably made by mice, but we patched these. Then, when it was cooler, went back to potting on the perennials.


Friday 10th

16 to 23 to 16°C. 5.42kWh 1.8kW max.  Heavy rain between 23:00 and 2:00 then cleared to a cloudy morning with a few sunny intervals and then some more heavy showers in the afternoon with thunder in the distance.


Enough rain to replenish most of our water supply and there is more to come so spent some time giving the polytunnel a good soak the lazy way using the water butt pump rather than watering cans. Everything is growing really well with some squash and and tomato fruits already set though it will be weeks before they are ready to pick. While it was raining in the afternoon Pat added more strings to train the squashes and I finished potting on the perennials, this time the Rudbeckia, at least for the time being and moved some of them down to the nursery in between showers.


Saturday 11th

15 to 19 to 15°C. 5.15kWh 0.8kW max. More light rain overnight then grey skies with some heavy showers for most of the day.


The rain almost stopped in the afternoon giving us time to plant out the leeks. Actually quite good weather for doing this. It was much easier to dip the holes in the soft wet soil and puddling in was almost not necessary.


Sunday 12th

14 to 17 to 15°C. 4.08kWh 0.7kW max. Drizzled most of the and during the day with some heavy showers. Eventually cleared in the evening.


Continued potting on the perennials in the polytunnel, moving them to the nursery whenever the rain stopped for a time.


Monday 13th

13 to 16 to 14°C. 4.2kWh 0.8kW max. A damp dreary day with drizzle, light rain and a few heavy showers.


In between the showers, but still with drizzle, continued to plant the summer bedding in the bed down the side of the drive.


Tuesday 14th  Our 47th wedding anniversary

13 to 17 to 13°C. 5.8kWh 1.4kW max. Drizzly morning with sunny intervals and some heavy thundery showers in the afternoon.

Started filling seed trays with spent soil from last years bedding so I can sow more wildflower mats.


Wednesday 15th

13 to 17 to 12°C. 5.97kWh 1.8kW max. A slightly better day in that there were some drier periods without drizzle or light rain but there were also some thundery showers.


Pat weeded and I hoed the polytunnel. In the afternoon Pat had to throw out a lot of strawberries that had gone mouldy with the dampness and lack of sun but there were enough sound ripe ones for our dinner. I finished planting down the side of the drive.


Thursday 16th

13 to 16 to 13°C, 5.33kWh 1.6kW max.  Drizzle or light rain all night with some very heavy rain during the morning. Cleared for a short while in the afternoon with some hot sunshine but then clouded over with some more heavy rain showers.


The rain was so heavy that it was running from the roof into the water butts and tanks faster than we could pump it into the polytunnel. Filled some more seed trays with soil for the wildflower matts.


Friday 17th

13 to 18 to 12°C. 7.85kWh 1.8kW max.  Cloudy start clearing to sunny intervals in the afternoon and evening but with a cold northerly wind.


Continued filling the seed trays. In the evening it was nice enough to go for a walk round the back roads. Only the 3 mile route which I managed quite well.


Saturday 18th

13 to 17 to 13°C. 7.61kWh 1.8kW max. Sunny intervals with a chilly northerly breeze..


Planted out the last of the brassicas, the kale, apart from the winter cabbage and late broccoli which I will sow later this month. The blueberries have set so moved them (they are in 30L pots) into the fruit cage to protect them from the birds. Then started clearing the weeds from several parts of the garden which have been neglected since I damaged my hip. This will be the main job for several days except when it is raining.


Sunday 19th

9 to 18 to 16°C. 4.43kWh 500W max. Cloudy start. Started raining around 1pm and continued, quite heavily at times till early in the evening.


Before it rain I managed to remove some of the coarser weeds from the wild flowers growing on the verge.








































































































Monday 20th

13 to 17 to 12°C. 4.63kWh 1.8kW max. Not a very good day for the summer solstice with drizzle or light rain most of the morning. Finally got some sun late in the afternoon.


Sowed the late broccoli Claret and spring cabbage Ormskirk. Continued to tidy up the garden, removing weeds and cutting back sprouting stumps round and behins the rose bed.


Tuesday 21st

8 to 18 to 14°C. 10.47kWh 2.0kW max. A much better day with thin cloud and some short sunny periods in the afternoon though there was a chilly westerly wind keeping the temperature lower than you would expect.


Wednesday 22nd

13 to 20 to 14°C. 8.28kWh 1.8kW max.  Mainly light cloud with a few glimpses of the sun in the afternoon.


Thursday 23rd

10 to 23 to 14°C. 12.43kWh 2kW max. A near perfect summers day with thin cloud taking some heat out of the sun and a light southerly breeze. Not like the southeast where there have been thunderstorms with heavy rain and some flooding.


Walked to the polling station to cast out vote in the referendum this morning and came back the long way; just under 3 miles. Once we were off the main road it was really quiet round the back lanes with dog roses and honysuckle in the hedges, swifts darting in the sky and blackbirds, thrushes, finches, warblers and robins singing in the sunshine.


Pat picked the first peas today. A variety called Douce Provence. Despite its name it isn't soft and sweet but a solid marrowfat variety even better than the early Excellenz we have grown in the past.


Friday 24th

11 to 18 to 12°C 7.89kWh 1.2kW max. A cloudy day with some heavy showers around midday. Finally cleared in the evening but more rain is forecast for tomorrow.


The referendum didn't turn out the way we wanted but there is nothing new there; I have always voted for the loser in every election apart from the first referendum to stay in Europe over 40 years ago. There is going to be a lot of uncertainty for a long time but maybe in the long run it might turn out OK?


All this rain has grown a lot of weeds, especially in the vegetable garden so we spend most of today trying to get rid of at least the larger ones before they seed. We now have raspberries as well as strawberries each day.


Saturday 25th

12 to 18 to 13°C. 8.84kWh 1.9kW max. Sunny intervals with some very heavy showers, some with hail.


More weeds to pull, this time in the raised bed and alongside the privet hedge down towards the wild garden.


Sunday 26th

12 to 16 to 13°C. 6.4kWh 1.7kW max. Sunny intervals in the morning then rain most of the afternoon and evening though most of it was only light.


Managed to do some more weeding before it started raining. Pumped more of the rainwater into the polytunnel in the afternoon.


Monday 27th

12 to 17 to 13°C. 10.03kWh 1.9kW max. Broken cloud. Felt quite warm if you were sheltered from the chilly westerly wind.


Finished weeding the path down to the wild garden and cut down some of the thistles and cow parsley which was growing there. Then trimmed the cypress hedge down the side of the drive before the postman has trouble driving up in his larger van. Before I hurt my hip I had planned to either remove it or cut it lower last winter. Maybe next winter?


Tuesday 28th

10 to 16 to 10°C. 3.88kWh 1.6kW max. Cloudy start but it was already looking black to the west. There was a brief sunny spell around 11am and then it started to rain, light at first but quite heavy by mid-afternoon. It finally cleared in the evening. Not what you expect in late June. There was reminder that 40 years ago today the temperature was in the high 30s and it stayed hot and dry will late August; I am not sure which I would prefer the least.


Started to cut the privet hedge before it started raining. Pottered around the polytunnel for a time in the afternoon potting on some chrysanthemum cuttings and striking some more but then ran out of work in there.


Wednesday 29th

8 to 17 to 12°C. 4.2kWh 1.2kW max. Another miserable day with heavy rain most of the morning and even when it cleared in the afternoon there was still a strong cold wind.


Pat didn't even bother to try picking the strawberries today. Most of them are mouldy. We did try our first Rolet squash. They are very small, about the size of a tennis ball, but delicious sliced and fried in olive oil. There are many more to come.


Thursday 30th

7 to 16 to 12°C. 8.86kWh 1.9kW max. Sunny morning but cloudy by lunchtime and raining by 6pm and still with a chilly wind.

Started cutting back some of the hedges but we can't do much because the pile for shredding is already quite high and we can't get the shredder out while there is a risk of rain. What I could start was staking the chrysanthemums in their pots.