Tree following, August 2021

Liz – The Seven-son tree in my garden here in Lexington, Kentucky is about to burst into flower.

When it does it will take pride of place there through until September when even more surprises are in store.

 

Mike –  I was pleased to see that the leaves on the Hornbeam in my local park here in Harrow are looking better, and greener, than they did last month, when I guess that it was wind burn that caused the edges to crisp.

 

There is a lot of green lichen showing on the tree, which isn’t surprising given how much rain there has been lately.

 

Our thanks to Pat, The Squirrelbasket, for hosting tree following, and if you want to see what it’s all about, and perhaps join in, please have a look at this tree following post.

Take care, and have a good weekend!

During the week…

I spotted these tiny flowers on one of the untended plots and wondered what they were so I put this photo on Twitter and asked if anyone knew.  Almost immediately I started getting responses and learnt that they’re the wild flower Scarlet Pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis), which I see is listed in the Chiltern Seeds catalogue.

One tweeter, Alison, also mentioned that there is a much rarer blue form (ssp. arvensis azurea) and she has kindly sent me some seeds of this one.

If you’re interested in discovering and buying perennial vegetable plants then do take a look at Alison’s website The Backyard Larder.

It’s been very unsettled weather the past couple of days with plenty of rain so I’ve not been to the plot.  If I had the pot marigolds would certainly have cheered me up.

Take care, and have a good week!

It wasn’t surprising…

to see that the tomatoes had succumbed to blight by yesterday given that it’s been ideal weather for it and had already affected plants elsewhere on the site over the past week.  It’s the first time that I’ve not had any ripe fruit as previous years it hadn’t struck until late August /early September.  Thankfully the potatoes aren’t affected as the foliage had already died back or been removed.  Yesterday I started lifting the second early Charlottes and was pleased to see that there are plenty of good sized ones, with two of ones shown here enough for one of my dinners.

Whereas cosmos corner is mostly knee-high white flowering plants the self-seeded ones round the other side of the dog rose are much taller and mostly pink or red.

I suppose that I should call that area cosmos central.

Take care, and have a good weekend!

This has been…

a really bad year for slugs and snails, which still remain numerous and voracious.

On a brighter note I’ve started lifting the onions Sturion, which thankfully are looking good,  and the first second early potatoes Charlotte.  I’m also picking plenty of good sized blackberries, along with a few raspberries and the last of the rhubarb.

I’m glad that I grew the sunflowers in two areas as the ones by the shed have mostly been eaten by the slugs and snails but thankfully the others, between the self-seeded cosmos and the rhubarb, remain untouched.

The highlight of the week was  watching two Gatekeeper butterflies fluttering around the candytuft Fairy Mixed Colours. I think that these are delightful flowers which I’ll certainly be growing again next year in the same corner.

Take care, and have a good week!

Carrots and cucumbers

My efforts to grow carrots have always been a bit half-hearted so it’s not surprising that I’ve never done well with them.  This year I remembered to sow some in late June to avoid carrot fly and I’m pleased that so far they’re doing really well.  These are two short rows of Chantenay Red Cored, which hopefully I’ll be able to start pulling late September into October.

I usually grow two cucumbers, which I start off in pots at home before planting out.  This year I gave one of the cucumbers Crystal Lemon to a plot neighbour and have been keeping my fingers crossed that the voracious slugs and snails didn’t eat the other one.  Thankfully they haven’t and it’s possibly the biggest cucumber plant I’ve grown as it now covers several square feet of ground.  Under the leaves are lots of flowers and a closer look shows that the round, lemon coloured fruit, are beginning to form.

   

Take care, and have a good weekend!

It was cooler…

and more comfortable on Friday morning than it had been all week so I decided to carefully hand-weed through the flowers growing in front of one the sunflowers Holiday before they started flowering.  I thought that I’d sowed a packet of dwarf snapdragons there but they’re the dwarf candytuft Fairy Mixed Colours.  If I did sow the snapdragons elsewhere then they didn’t germinate, or it’s possible that the packet of seeds is still at home somewhere, although I haven’t looked.

Earlier in the year I sowed a few pot marigolds Flighty’s favourites in a very small area next to the shed.  They’ve done surprisingly well and  made this area rather colourful.

Over by the dog-rose, between the taller self-seeded cosmos and the path, are these good looking pot marigolds Snow Princess.

 

Take care, and have a good week!

It’s been too hot…

to do any plotting this week, so all I’ve done is to take make a brief visit each morning after breakfast to water where and when needed.

The onions Sturon are doing well and it won’t be long before the leaves start to yellow then topple.  When that happens I’ll start lifting them to sort, store and use.

 

The sweet corn Incredible is also doing well,  and with over twenty plants it may well be one of my best years yet.  If so it’ll be particularly pleasing as I sowed these direct rather than plant out seedlings as I usually do.

 

 

Among the various flowers around the plot these two pinky ones are of note.  The pink-edged white cosmos is one that’s self-seeded from last year and the salmon-pink nasturtium  from seed I collected and sowed.  I’m not sure of the variety of either of them.

Thankfully it looks like being cooler from tomorrow onwards, around the low 20’s C/ 75 F, but a showery weekend is forecast.

Take care, and have a good weekend!

Pleasant surprises

I got home from the plot one morning during the week to find an official looking envelope on the doormat. On opening it I was pleasantly surprised to find that I’d won £25 on the Premium Bonds.  I’ve had them for years and it’s only the second win I’ve had,  the other one also being £25.

Yesterday morning there was another envelope which was hand written and posted from Cornwall.  I opened it to find this lovely card along with a nice message and some seeds from Debbie, who lives in Plymouth.

She’d sent me some blue flowering Aquilegia and dwarf Sweet William, which has white flowers with a red centre, she’d recently collected in her garden.

 

With the temperature in the high 20’s C/ over 80F it’s been too hot to plot and my visits have been just  to water where needed, lift some more potatoes and have a look round before heading for home.  One morning I was pleased to see and photograph this Painted Lady butterfly on the self-seeded sunflower Ring of Fire.

Take care, and have a good week!

One of the few

The mystery plant in the large black container has grown really well and is now starting to flower.

I’m told that it’s White Meadowsweet (Spiraea alba var. latiflolia), and later in the year I will replant it out on the plot.

 

 

 

One of the few jobs that I did do doing the week was to cut the comfrey plants right back and add the chopped up foliage to the compost heap. It will soon start growing again.

 

In the right-hand photo you can see the raspberry bushes. Sadly some of the plants died during the past couple of months, and I’m not sure what caused this. At least two other plot-holders had the same problem, which we think that it was probably due to the spring weather.  Once they’ve finished fruiting I’m going to cut the plants right back, hoe round, add plenty of compost then mulch and hope that they are okay next year.

Among the various nasturtiums I particularly like this red one and the yellow ones behind.

Take care, and have a good week!

Tree following, July 2021

 

Liz –  The Seven-son tree in my garden here in Lexington, Kentucky is now beginning to form flower buds at the ends of the limbs as shown in this photo, and they’ll bloom next month.

The other picture shows the now elongated leaves.

An interesting webpage about this tree is the Chicago Botanic Garden one.

 

Mike –  Walking through the park where the hornbeam is I was pleased to see that although the council had recently mowed most of the open grass areas they had left an area around the base of each tree unmown.

Close-up I was surprised to see some of the recently pristine leaves were already going brown and crisping around the edges, as seen in the photo below.  At this time of year I presume that’s due to either a lack of water or wind burn, or a combination of both.

 

Our thanks to Pat, The Squirrelbasket, for hosting tree following, and if you want to see what it’s all about, and perhaps join in, have a look at this tree following post.

 

Take care, and have a good weekend!