Rapid growth in the vegetable department!

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The veg in the poly tunnel is doing really well this year. Lots of heat and lots of watering. This is the first time we have grown mange tout in there and it is a huge success as we have been eating them for a few weeks. We have a second sowing of them in there starting to crop now as well. Also growing in the poly tunnel are a third sowing of salad leaves – the first two crops have  already been eaten by us and i am about to sow a fourth. The climbing beans have masses of flowers on them, so we should be harvesting the results soon, and we have broad beans in there that have been smothered with flowers. The scent from them is very pleasant and the bumble bees love them, so we should have a good crop of beans. We are also growing cherry tomatoes, beetroot, carrots and parsnips in the tunnel. Four big pots of strawberry plants have given us a tasty crop of early fruit but they are almost ready to be moved outside.

 

Around the tunnel we have three raised beds filled with potatoes, two more sowings of mange tout, onions, beetroot, carrots, parsnips, leeks, some borage plants (for the bees), brassicas (under the green net to keep the dreaded white butterflies off the plants) and a small area of one bed that I have sown with  seeds to provide me with cut flowers later in the season. We also grow sweet peas along the edges of one of the raised beds, strawberry plants in pots along one side of the tunnel, three huge pots of early potatoes and an old barrel with carrots growing in it.

There is also a large fruit cage enclosing strawberries, raspberries, black currants, red currants, gooseberries, blue berries, a Morello cherry tree and two plum trees. Outside of that we have four apple trees and a pear tree. 

We enjoy propagating other things by seed and/or cuttings. Currently we have a tray full of pots of young Delphinium plants, another tray of Iris Sibirica plants that have been grown from seed, lots of pots of young candelabra primulas all grown from seed, a pot full of Arisaema seedlings, another pot full of Trillium seedlings and another full of Aquilegias, two trays full of young oak trees (nearly 50!) all grown from acorns gathered in a particular location The latter are destined for a new woodland trail being created a few miles from us.

Blues and bees!

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The Eryngiums are wonderful this year and are favourites of the Bumble bees. All the bees are busy today and it is very warm. I love the way that Eryngiums create an almost blue and silvery green haze in the borders, allowing for various degrees of focus – or non focus – when photographing them.

Grasses

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Usually I never take much notice of grasses but this year, probably because the walking routes have not been cut, they are quite wonderful. Varying in colour, shape and size. There is one type that is growing very tall, more like a Pampas grass! Another has very pink seed heads and they all contrast beautifully with the blue-green of the corn growing in the field. The recent showers have flattened some of them or made them lean over with the extra weight of the water droplets on the seed heads.

It’s Bee-n an interesting week

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It has been an interesting week! Bees of all kinds very busy in the garden and in the wild. Honey bees and Bumble bees love the hardy geraniums in the garden. They also seem to like the wild roses along the hedgerows.

There have been day-flying moths out in large numbers over the past couple of weeks but this week there has been an abundance of Ringlet butterflies fluttering about amongst the wild grasses and other plants along the river banks. 

 

Another day, another walk -2

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Always something new to spot. The grasses caught my eye today. They are really quite beautiful and we tend to ignore them. The river was almost mirror still and we could actually see lots of tiny fish swimming near the bank. Very warm, very peaceful and we went home with very wet dogs!

Heard a woodpecker drumming, very briefly, and saw a Goosander with tiny chicks swimming along behind her. I wasn’t quick enough to photograph a couple of blue damselflies and a very orange butterfly that flew past very quickly. Several day flying moths about as well.

 

Another day, another walk – 1

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Our other favourite walking route through woods and fields – part 1. The field of daisies is just amazing right now and there are so many foxgloves in flower this year. A bumble bee was exploring one of the flowers on this one, in search of pollen.

Down the hill

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Coming down the hill I spotted the orchid. The first one I have ever seen when on this path. Then I saw this very pale foxglove. Such a delicate colour in contrast to the much deeper pink.

Up the hill

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A breezy but warm day. Still on my wild flower recording mission. Photos not brilliant but some of the subjects kept moving in the breeze! I know the new fir cone isn’t a flower but I have never seen such a brilliant ‘lime’ green one before, so felt obliged to record it. Rather early for the bell heather to be coming into flower.

So colourful

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There seems to be more colour in our garden every day. The peonies are really looking good right now, as are the big poppies. This deep pink one is a particular favourite. The spiky green of the Eryngiums adds a great contrast to the bright colours of the poppies

Foxgloves starting to flower all around the garden – they are such great self seeders! Liking them so much that I am gathering ideas for another foxglove 3D embroidery project, as it is a few years since I produced the last one.

Little orchids coming into flower as well and they seem to love pots and sinks and also self seed prolifically.

Another beautiful rose that shows the palest differences in colour from flower to flower and has a beautiful, delicate scent. Two years ago we thought it was on its last legs but we pruned it back really hard and it had a couple of blooms on it last year and is looking really good this year, with lots more flowers. No idea what it is called, as it is another one that was well established when we moved into the house. 

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