13/7/24

mow, some strimming

clear out compost corner and put down poison

trim back borage a little 

next beans 

behind on feeding, but there’s been a lot rain

6/7/24

Mowing

Multiple buckets of dead heading

Multiple showers

Another lupin landed on

Weeding

Prop up peas and runner beans

Borage and calendula good 

Tie up cucumber 

4/7/24

Election day – and after voting a quick allotment visit. Some of the wood had been flicked into the pond as usual. Something (fox?) is clearly jumping over my fence by Mr B’s gate and crashing through my poor lupin. The first sweet pea has now flowered, with more buds on the way.

29/6/24

I’ve made another repair to the end of the pond, moving a paddle stone to cover the front wall and covering the empty space on the ledge with gritty mud and pieces of creeping jenny. I took a big bit from home, and a rooted piece from my own plants. I’ve managed to dangle at least one of the latter’s roots in the water with the hope that it will survive that way. Keeping the wood in place will be the real challenge as the birds like to flick it out of the way. I’ve tucked one piece half into the fold of the plastic, so I hope that will stay.

In other pond news, although I’ve not seen the snail again yet, I have noticed a couple of lines of snail eggs on the creeping jenny pot. So I should be set for a new community. Two shoots of hornwort have shown themselves and I need to thin the elodea a little. When taking the blanket weed out I discovered a new, coarser kind in the middle of the elodea.

I thinned the carrots out and resowed the holes in the carrot and beetroot rows.

The sweet peas are picking up, as is the candytuft in the same bed. I was afraid that they were going to be measly, but they just hadn’t come into their prime yet.

I watered the oca and garlic, and weeded and watered the onions. I didn’t have the energy to rake in feed around the carrot and beetroot, so watered them with some weak general feed with the hope that they won’t mind that.

28/6/24

Friday evening seems to be quite a good time to get the deadheading done ahead of the weekend. I filled a bucket with deadheading and a bucket with weeds, mostly because I cut down the huge weed by the compost bin (currently blocked by the enormous poppy) before it set seed.

The bark from the bank had been kicked into pond and it had fallen apart, so I’m clearly going to have to give up on this idea and turn this to soil and stones with a low-growing plant. Creeping Jenny is evergreen, so the best option to try and establish.

The first loosestrife flower has opened and it looks like that will be a pretty plant. Here’s to it self-seeding along the bank.

Also newly flowering is the callicarpa with tiny pink flowers. And the first cornflower is open in the woodland bed.

24/6/24

A day off for a bit more gardening, which turned out to be a fairly exhausting one in the hot sun. The big joy was another addition to the wildlife list: a snail in the pond.

I did the deadheading, giving the tangerine geum a lot of attention. I found a big pile of shield bug instars on a geum leaf, so left them well alone. I’d seen a shield bug earlier on, as if heralding the new arrivals.

I’ve fed the onions with a scattering of bonemeal and watered it in. I need to do the same to Bed 8 – and thin out the carrots.

The final marigolds from home have been put into Beds 6 and 7 to try and bulk them up a bit.

23/6/24

The pond was still intact this morning, which was good news. I even caught the blackbird having a dip. Some of the beach stones had rolled further down, but I’m happy with just scooping them up from time to time.

I was hoping for the next piece of wildlife to turn up and Mother Nature took the hint and gave me a pond skater when I was on my way out of the plot!

I did a mammoth weed of Bed 11 to allow the oca room to grow. It’s doing quite nicely and I think I’m missing two plants is all. There are also verbena seedlings in this bed and elsewhere, which I’ve left to mature further since my wall of verbena in the left bed has decreased considerably.

The first cucumber is doing very well and I’ve found another seedling under a borage leaf. There’s no sign of the other two, so the wigwam is just kinda architectural at this point. There’s a lot of borage in Bed 1 and 7 and it’s just started to flower. It’s still going to get ripped up if it gets in the way though.

I had little zinnias still at home, which I’ve pinched and put in Beds 6 and 7. Bed 6 is one of my disappointments. The nasturtiums really haven’t done much yet and the various  seeds I put in are coming up, but not spread out very well.

The woodland bed is quite pretty with weeds and seeds. I weed it bit by bit, taking out weeds when they’re obviously bad. There are small bits of log hidden in there too.

I mowed the whole plot on 1, which was delightful. It’s so much nicer (and quieter) to walk on when it’s this short.

I also did all the feeding, with tomato food going to the tomatoes for the first time. There’s no rain around at the moment and I think the butts are getting down a bit.

I ended up in among the apple tree, cutting back brambles and cutting down five foot tall nettles. If I had a bigger plot I might have set up a nettle fertiliser tub, but I just don’t have room.

22/6/24

I did the deadheading and finally planted the fuchsia that’s been languishing at home. I had to pull up a corncockle and a little poppy, but the fuchsia wasn’t going to last any longer in its pot.

The flowers are looking good and I have to keep telling myself that the plot actually looks really good if I don’t think about the few bits that are a little disappointing / slow this year.

Flowers have arrived on all the tomatoes and the beans have started to flower.

I did some major weeding: the woodland bed, Beds 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 and 9. This year there are lots of bramble seedlings over on the right and little unknown shiny-leaved volunteers.

In the afternoon I worked on the pond, digging out under the liner at the shallow end, deeper and further than I’d begun the night before. I had a collection of new farm rock and a bowl of foraged gravel to aid the new design. The beach is now wider and the sides are not quite as steep. I didn’t change anything under the big rock, so farm rock has made a nice wall there to cover the liner. The end of the front shelf was a real conundrum and I had decided to get more bark from the stream pile before I found a great piece under the apple tree when I was placing a new log there. I tried to bend it and it broke, so it’s actually wired together, with the wire hidden in plain sight. Hopefully the crows won’t immediately flick it into the pond.

18/6/24

A post-work visit to do the strimming. The clover had come up enough that I basically mowed the place with the trimmer too. Touring the plot shows that unfortunately every bed needs weeding.

Most of the ocas have come up in little clumps of foliage. In the next bed the onions have started fattening up. I need to water things again – though there was a random small, but heavy shower later in the evening.

Flowers have appeared on the runner beans and the tomatoes have flower buds too. The sweet peas are fattening up a bit, but have a long way to go. The front of the bed has lobelia and some candytuft coming, but it’s not going to be the sea of candytuft I had in a previous year.

The nasturtiums in Bed 5 are picking up. Bed 6 is still kinda weedy-looking. It’s not the best year really. Things just aren’t taking off the way I want them too. Maybe July will be better – although Bed 3 is on the turn to July emptiness now that the nigella has gone to seed.  The bought cosmos are robust though – but bizarrely non-random in their lines.