Sun + rain = crazy growth

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It’s summer in England and that means rain, sun, thunder, lightening, more sun, more rain. You get the picture.

It’s been very mixed this month. Very warm and muggy mixed with cool and windy, all watered down with lots of rain. The bees might hate it and blame me ( no I still haven’t managed a full inspection this month. More a dash in, do what I can and then a retreat to nurse my stings. The top inside of the leg and under the arm are both very sensitive to venom it seems!)
The plants however seem to love it.

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Some parts of the garden now look like a jungle.

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These self sown sunflower seedlings swamp a fuchsia.

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Blackcurrants are covered by top growth and I have no idea whether they need cutting back to let in the sun to ripen or if to leave until after picking as usual.

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White currants abound.

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Grape and fig thrive on the side of the chicken run.

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Hostas battle slugs and snails on a nightly basis.

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The clematis on the summerhouse is a picture!

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Autumn raspberries fruit early after I left a few canes from last year rather than cutting it all to the ground as you’re meant to. A rogue borage has sneaked into the row. It must know it has weeding immunity as the bees love it so much.

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Best year ever for the blue hydrangea. Even a piece that accidentally broke off rooted after being pushed back into the soil underneath and covered with a coke bottle cloche.

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The sweet corn experiment might be struggling. I think the corn is to close so the courgettes planted underneath are a bit swamped. Probably doesn’t help that I surrounded the corn by French beans that have gone crazy.

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The poly tunnel is thriving. Not to hot yet which is helping.

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I’ve planted the tomatoes in 2 rows with chillies in pots between but behind. Rocket and pak choi in the gaps. The cucumber is still in pots, still a bit slow but only sown less than a month ago. No idea where that will squeeze in. There’s still peppers and melons to come as well!

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While taking mum supermarket shopping this week I brought these 3 little clematis for £1.77 each. Miss C then repotted them into these bigger pots for me. Clematis like to be planted deep so she placed them right to the bottom of these pots and refilled all up the length of the stem. I lost a gorgeous clematis to wilt during just one afternoon many years ago. Luckily it had been planted deep and a couple of years later it just suddenly appeared and is now growing a treat again. Hopefully by the autumn, when I have the space for them, these will be big healthy plants. A total bargain.

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Mange tout. Note to self, better pea sticks needed next year.

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Miss C grew a pumpkin seed at her Home Ed group. She has plans to carve the fruit so let’s hope we get at least one. If not perhaps I could smuggle one in later in the year. While she’s in bed perhaps!

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Celery. Self blanching which is lucky as I have no space for earthing up.

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The carrots, swede and turnips are a bit slow but perhaps that is normal.

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Kale is to close but I think I’ll get something from it.

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Leeks, next to the French marigolds. I planted lots of marigolds between rows but I have to keep taking them out to make space.

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The onion tops fell over weeks ago when they were still quite small. I left them, even though the book said to lift, and so far am glad I did as they are already much bigger. They need weeding, it’s a constant battle.

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Contribution to tonight’s tea. Not the wax obviously, that’s just to show off!

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Talking of hive products. I helped the bee buddy today and he sent the chickens some left over drone comb. He said they would love it and he was right. They had a fine time picking all the larvae out to eat. Drone comb removal is a way of removing varroa from the hive so aiding hygiene.

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The chickens don’t care about science they just like meat. I think they would eat each other if they could. I love them but they are mean, very mean.

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