Making the most of it

Runner beansOne of my biggest disappointments last year was not growing any runner beans. It wasn’t through lack of trying but the seeds rotted in the ground and plants got eaten by slugs.  This year I’ve moved where I’m growing them, and dug in an extra couple of bags of horse manure for good measure.  I sowed the first lot a couple of weeks ago and I’m relieved they’ve started appearing.

I’ve spent much of the week hand weeding round all the flowers now that I can tell them apart.  It’s been slow work but well worth doing. Some seeds didn’t germinate so I’m going to sow some candytuft Spangles, nigella Persian Jewels and zinnia Dahlia Flowered to hopefully fill in any obvious gaps. 

SunflowerThere are plenty of sunflowers growing, being a mix of self-seeded and ones I sowed. I’m not sure which are what variety so it’ll be fun seeing what they are. I think that this one about half way along the bottom edge is a giant single.

Both the oriental poppy, which has at least 15 buds, and the rose Pretty Lady, with numerous buds, look like they’ll start blooming by next week.

I was pleased to see two birds using the new log pile pond. There was a wood pigeon drinking and this morning I watched a crow dunking stale bread before eating it.

It looks like staying dry, sunny and warm though to at least early next week so I’ll be making the most of it.

Have a good weekend!

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About Flighty

...allotmenteer, armchair gardener, blogger and sofa flyer.
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31 Responses to Making the most of it

  1. snowbird says:

    It’s been an odd year for seeds not germinating, many of mine have drawn a blank. I love oriental poppies and sunflowers so will look forward to seeing yours.

    Ah….crows….clever birds they are!

    Here’s to good weather for us all. xxxx

    • Flighty says:

      Snowbird it’s not really surprising seeing that it was the coldest spring for 50 years. I especially like sunflowers.
      I like crows, although I know many people don’t.
      Let’s hope so. xx

  2. Long may the nice weather last !

  3. CJ says:

    I always struggle to get runner beans to germinate in large numbers. I think I get about 30% success rate. And then when I put them in the ground they turn yellow. Eventually they sort themselves out, but it is an anxious few weeks waiting for them to take off. Great idea having a little pond at the allotment. I think maybe I should try that, although there is a stream just a few feet away.

  4. Joanne says:

    I hope your runner beans do well for you this year. I love them.

  5. Jo says:

    I hadn’t planned on growing runner beans last year, but when the French beans were struggling, I decided to get some in the ground. I’m so pleased I did as they gave me a harvest in the wet weather when other beans weren’t doing very well. Needless to say, they’re on the grow list from the start this year. Nice to hear that your new pond is doing well. I really should get one installed at the plot, the one in the garden is well used.

  6. Mark Willis says:

    I always grow Runner Beans, and last year I had my best crop ever. They loved the wet conditions during the Summer. I usually germinate mine in pots, so that I can protect them and give them extra warmth to get them off to a good start.
    Talking of dunking bread – I often see Magpies doing this in my bird-bath. But then Magpies are part of the Crow family too…

  7. pianolearner says:

    We tend to do french beans. Glad to see your runners are off the starting block.

  8. nikkipolani says:

    Hurray for surviving bean plants! Hope they really take off for you with all that extra TLC. I planted poppies, too, but they don’t have any signs of germinating yet.

  9. nikkipolani says:

    p.s., your card just arrived today — thanks! It’s a lovely one.

  10. elaine says:

    Hope the runners don’t get attacked now that they are growing – this year seems to be the year of the snail for me one of my pepper plants has been chopped off – it’s a constant battle. Looking forward to seeing all your flowers when they come into bloom.

    • Flighty says:

      Elaine I do hope not! I’ve seen more snails than slugs, but thankfully not many of either.
      Me too as I think there may be one or two surprises. xx

  11. Maggie says:

    Hope you have better luck this year with your runner beans Flighty. Have a good weekend. X

  12. Doris says:

    I like that visual image of the crow dunking the stale bread. They are so smart! 🙂

  13. Hannah says:

    Bad luck with your runner beans last year, fingers crossed for this year. I definitely planted mine out too early. Some survived but others withered away, thankfully a few are poking a fresh shoot back up on the ones that withered.

    • Flighty says:

      Hannah thanks. Runner beans really shouldn’t be planted out or sown until at least mid May. If you’ve any seeds left sow them now and they should romp away. xx

      • Hannah says:

        Thanks. I feel a little guilty because I’m actually glad not all of them survived my enthusiastic planting because we still have bags in the freezer from last year!

  14. Good luck with the runners this year Flighty, I’ve put off sowing them so far, it was so cold until this past week, and now I only have room for either French or Runner beans and I can’t decide which to go for! Happy gap filling, I had given up on my poppies and borage, but today I spotted some of each, albeit with large holes that need filling too. I am also looking forward to seeing what happens with “Flighty’s Mix”, always good to get a few surprises, like you with your sunflowers!

  15. Flighty says:

    Janet thanks. I sowed some more of each yesterday. If I had to choose it would be runner beans. I’ll be filling the holes this coming week and that’ll be about it with the sowing for this year. I noticed yesterday that there are buds on some of my ‘Flighty’s favourites’ pot marigolds which self-seeded. xx

  16. I hope you have a good year for your runner beans, Flighty. Just French Beans for me this year, but I’m really looking forward to them.

    How lovely that the birds are enjoying your new pond, I’m sure they’ve appreciated it during this hot spell of weather. Enjoy your weekend 🙂 .

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