Loving the rain and channelling my inner Womble…

I surely cannot be the only person who is loving all this rain? I know it’s a bit cold and a bit grey and we were all loving the opportunity to spend not only days but evenings in our gardens but…. most of my water butts were already empty by mid May and the daily watering of pots and precious young veg plants had already started to become a bit of a chore, the lawn was going brown and the verbascums and foxgloves had wonky stems from lack of water. Memories of the long, dry summer of last year when lots of things died or just didn’t do as well as they should came flooding back. The cooking apple tree that only managed to produce about 10 apples, all of the things that didn’t flower. I actually gave up on trying to keep everything alive and decided to prioritise.

So yes, I am loving the rain. With the endless watering of last year coming back to mind, I have been trying to come up with ways of making my life easier this year by relieving the burden of tiresome watering whilst channelling my inner womble. In the first instance I am going to decrease the amount of pots I need to maintain and relocate some current pot inhabitants to the garden. Namely, a couple of hostas, a hydrangea and a dahlia, and a peony. I know peonies don’t like being moved but I am hoping that if I can dig a big enough hole (feasible now the ground is a bit softer) that it won’t notice. The Acers are going to stay in pots – I have had some of them a long time and they are beautiful and if I ever move, they are coming with me.

Courgette with plastic bottle

Secondly I have dug in upended plastic bottles with the bottoms chopped off next my courgette and squash plants to that I can just fill those and know that the water will get to the roots. Should save a bit of time and ensure that the water gets to where it’s needed and doesn’t run off all over the place. For the hanging baskets which I find VERY tedious in dry spells as the compost gets so dry and hard that the water just runs off, I have sunk empty humous containers with a tiny hole in the bottom amongst the plants so they can be filled and will gradually release the water over time and I can move swiftly on to the next job. We will see how this works…

So what else is new? The asparagus bed continues to disappoint. I will wait and see what effect (if any) all this rain has but as things stand at the moment, its days are definitely numbered. I am very annoyed with it. With such poor yields, I can definitely make better use of the space.

‘Surprise’ potatoes doing remarkably well….

Salad beds on the patio –AMAZING!! Lots of lettuce, radishes and rocket daily. I am on fourth or fifth sowings of rocket and radishes and constantly looking for new paces to sow them to keep a constant supply. As ever space is an issue. The callaloo is ready to go out and I have nowhere to put it as yet…. there are a couple of poorly performing spinach beets in the patio beds which may have to go to make space for them. There are tonnes of little courgettes appearing already and the Cavolo Nero is already being harvested. The compost bin ‘surprise potatoes’ seem to be the healthiest of the lot although the compost bin butter squash doesn’t seem to be loving life – it’s not getting much light is probably the issue. But it was either plant it there or nowhere at all. Usual usual lack of space. Come to think of it, our lawn to veg patch ratio is all wrong. May try and address that for next year….

Winchester Cathedral rose

The Winchester Cathedral rose bushes I planted are BEAUTIFUL. I wasn’t expecting them to do too much this year but they are really going for it and have lots more buds coming.

Tiny chiilis

The chilli peppers have finally germinated and I potted them on yesterday. They will stay in the greenhouse. They are so tiny that I fear they may not actually get around to producing anything but we will see….

All in all, everything is doing well and I am really pleased with how the garden is looking – I even seem to have managed to get the nightmare front flower bed under control and looking lovely with  lots of foxgloves and heucheras and giant hollyhocks on the way –  can’t wait for those!

Callaloo is ready to go….
Courgettes and onions looking good.

My work life has been encroaching a bit of my home life recently but that is almost at an end so I am very much looking forward to getting out in the garden more in the next few weeks and addressing some of the space issues. And dealing with the inevitable weeds that will be enjoying the rain. That is assuming the rain lets up anytime soon….

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