22 July 2017

Mean Summer Rain


The summer holidays have started. And they have started in a very traditional English way - with rain. Sneaky rain, though. Hot and warm morning that tricked me into a sleeveless top, skirt and sandals, only to turn into downpour whilst we were in the supermarket picking up food for the week to follow. In hope, we went to my in-laws, thinking it might stop, but after getting wet and trying to garden under a family-sized umprella (yeah, naah, not possible) I gave up and retreated into the house to read some gardening blogs instead - in the same summery clothing, only with the addition of fluffy socks and a warm cardigan. 

Even though I really wanted to do some gardening (my plan was to sow some green manure in the gaps where the plants died or I harvested them to enrich the soil with nitrogen), the rain was quite a pleasant visitor, I only wish it announced itself. A couple of days ago we received a leaflet from our local watter supplier stating that "After months of low rainfall, water resources are below average". Well, not in our garden. Both of the water butts are full of rain water (and flourishing colonies of mosquito larvae) and there is always enough water for the plants. I only wish we had rainwater supply at our flat, so that I didn't have to water my many plants with water from the tap. I am sure that if it becomes a big problem, we'll find a way around it though. 

So - how did your holiday start?

20 July 2017

Waiting List

Purple mangetout 'Shiraz' grown from seed in my current garden

I can barely contain my excitement today! After a short string of emails to various allotment societies I am now officially on a waiting list for an allotment! I spent most of my waking hours fantasising about a sunny spot of land with a little shed where I could grow all sorts of fruits and vegetables for us and food for Rocket, meet new people, drink hot tea from flask and enjoy being outdoors.

I love the place where I garden now, because it is where my husband works and where his parents live, but it is shaded by many trees and overgrown by their root which absorb a lot of the moisture and many plants don't do very well there. Having a little plot somewhere else would be a dream come true, even if it was just rented.

The waiting times for allotments vary but can be as long as two years - even so, all that time to prepare! My mind is buzzing with ideas for interesting crops to grow and ways to encourage wildlife to come and help with it.

How about you? Where do you garden? What do you grow? Do you have any experience with allotmenteering? Please share in the comments section.

01 July 2017

Legging It

This week Rocket has been proving that not only she doesn't need me on our walks outdoors, but also that if she wanted, she could disappear really easily. For some reason running was more important than eating and she kept on trying hard to get lost in the little neglected jungle of ivy, bindweed and brambles next to our building.

People imagine tortoises as these slow, heavy and stupid creatures, but they couldn't be further from the truth. A healthy tortoise is incredibly agile and can cover quite a distance before you realise it is missing.

As a child I had a Horsfield tortoise called Puťa. We used to take her to the cottage. My Gran has been watching her, but seeing that she was preoccupied by digging a hole next to a gazebo leg, she went in to do the dishes. Mistake! After fifteen minutes of frantic searching we finally found the tortoise - eating a fallen apple under a tree about twenty metres away (she had a sweet tooth)! Lesson learned : tortoises are fast!

Making a run for it.
Digging in.

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