Monday, 27 June 2011

Finally, it's officially summer!

It was the summer solstice on Wednesday but it was a wet and miserable day.  I hope it's not a sign of things to come.

The weather was pretty much the same on Saturday, and we couldn't decide what to do, so we nipped into town because we wanted to get out of the house.  I bought some seeds from Wilkinsons, they had 75% off, and I saved £18!  I got the tomato 6 pack again (usually £4, but only £1 after the 75% discount), American land cress (meant to be like watercress, which I love), rudbeckia Irish spring, old fashioned sweet pea, dill, night scented stock, a fancy variety of geranium, and 2 packs of spring onion elody (which you can plant as late as September).  We came home and watched Robot Chicken Star Wars and fell asleep on the settee.  Then we ordered a curry and watched Family Guy Star Wars (which I thought was better than the Robot Chicken version).

Instead of taking photos this weekend I read Scott Kelby's Digital Photography Book 1.  I read it cover to cover and I loved it.  It's full of loads of brill photography tips.  I would highly recommend it and I can't wait to read 2 and 3 (I ordered the box set).  I also ordered Bryan Peterson's Understanding Exposure, which looks good, but I haven't started it yet.  I must stop reading about photography and start actually taking some photos!

It was boiling hot and sunny on Sunday.  We nipped to the flea market in the morning and I got a crystal owl and frog for only 40p, and Chris bought a mini birdhouse (too small for a real bird) with wind chimes underneath.  They've all gone in the shed.

We weeded the squash and pea beds - the weeds were getting out of control.  The outdoor squash aren't doing too well, especially compared to the ones in the greenhouse which are huge now.  I hope they pick up soon, otherwise there'll be no courgettes and marrows this year, which would be a real shame.

The peas are coming on well and a few baby pods have appeared.  I picked the first 4 spring onions - they were very crunchy and tasty.  We've harvested lots of strawberries and red and black currants too.

There was a huge frog in the pond, it made us both jump.  I spotted a tiny baby frog in the squash patch when I was weeding, so Chris carried it over to the pond.  The tadpoles are massive now and look like mini frogs with huge tails (a bit lizard-like).

I planted some kale and cauliflowers in the empty spaces near the squash and peas.  I also planted out 28 leeks - 7 rows of 4.  I made a 6 inch hole using a dibber, then trimmed the roots of the leek to 1 inch, and trimmed the tops off too.  I dropped the leeks into the 6 inch holes and then filled each hole carefully with water, about 1 inch of leek was peeping out of the holes once I'd finished.  I've used this technique for the last 2 years and had really good results.  I normally grow the variety called 'Bandit', but when I got to the seed packet this year I'd run out, so I think this time I've grown Musselburgh.  I hope they do as well as Bandit did.

All the beds are full now, and it's just a case of weeding, feeding, watering and harvesting.  It's been easier this year than it was last year, we had a lot of structural work and digging to do last year, which really added to the workload.  I'm looking forward to everything being ready to eat, especially the tomatoes.  Speaking of which, I'm worried that the weight of the tomato plants (once they're full of fruit) might be too heavy for the greenhouse (the tomato strings are tied to a wire along the roof of the greenhouse).  I don't want to risk damaging the greenhouses.  I might replace the strings with canes instead.  There aren't that many tomatoes on the plants yet, so I've got a week or so to decide what to do.

Here are some pics from the allotment.

I ordered Miranda series 1 off Lovefilm and watched it all in one sitting - she's very, very funny.  I can't wait to see series 2.

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