water woes

The water stopped working at the plots.  Major problem.  Mains leak and issues with connections, which go back way outside the gates to the bottom of a main Hampstead road.  Oh my!

Major problems – ‘specially since I used up some of our ’emergency’ supplies, thinking it was good to circulate the water and in any case it was room temperature so better for the seedlings.

The big guy was not pleased and threatens never to forgive me. Imagine that! Novice gardener now threatening lifetime grudges over a little spilt water for the plot. I begged forgiveness and promised that all the water had not been squandered on anything except the plants themselves.

(In these days of water wars and woes, it is not seemly for me to commence with my plans for a summer shower… which super-dude’s practically all set up as he built the brick platform earlier this week.  The shower scene only requires a string or wire to hold a watering can over the brick standing area… I dream of the day!)

So we had to bring home some of our spare water bottles (formerly thought of as smaller cloches) to fill up with tap water to bring up with us tomorrow – just in case!  Gardening can sometimes be hard work, and take it from us – there’s nothing heavier but more precious to have to carry than water.  Pure, fresh, clean perfect water – so absolutely necessary for life in all its forms. Needless to say we’ve got no rain forecast for a while and the London drought continues.

For what it’s worth, despite news stories of flooding and excess ground water in other parts of the country, London and the South East has been going through dry spells and near to drought conditions for over a decade. Some years are worse than others, and when that happens there are hosepipe bans.

This April was the driest in years. According to the Met Weather office, “Rain in the last week of the month increased the rainfall totals in many places, but the UK overall still only received 40% of average April rainfall.”

Corresponding with the dryness, April 2020 was also “the sunniest April on record for the UK, according to a provisional analysis of the month’s climate statistics by the Met Office. All UK countries made it in the top five sunniest since records in a series from 1929.” See Press Release by Met Office, 1 May 2020)

Despite the water shortages, we had a couple of watering cans full from the day before, so there was no shortage for the seedlings and more tender plants on our plot – the seeded corn, the tiny sunflower, the broad beans, purple beans, courgette, tomatoes, peas in the pea bed….

They all got a light sprinkling of water, and in addition I was able to get some good work done in the shed.  There were seedlings to plant out – so we have a second later growing plot of broad beans – set in behind the purple bean patch.  I also planted in another four later seeded purple king plants, with some seeded on 11 April, and the later crop seeded on 23 April.  This is another controlled experiment of sorts, so I’ll keep an eye on both sets of french bean plants to see if the ones started sooner do better, or worse.

In any case, we’ll have a staggered harvest of both broad beans and purple french beans, as is so recommended by gardening guides.  I’ve also been trying to do the same thing with radish.  (We shared between us one tiny little perfectly-formed radish about the size of the tip of my pinky finger.  Though tiny it was tasty and crunchy.  There are more like those to come.  Yum!)


Nasturtium leaves and flowers can be eaten – make a flower wrap for an on-the-plot snack. Spicy and tasty!

We’re running out of growing space, and I was tempted not to plant them in, but then I had to remind myself that in June we’ll harvest the bottom patch presently full of garlic, and will therefore gain a big growing patch later in the season.

The six more mature broad bean seem to have some black fly started on them.  Boo! I’ll have to remember to bring a spray unit that has a bit of soap in it to spray them tomorrow.

Might also spray on the loganberry, which is showing signs of shield bug in the vicinity.  Bug life is great and biodiversity and all that and everything – except when it starts adversely effecting our crops!

Everything else is doing very well indeed – including the damask rose ‘Deep Secret’ which has positively exploded into bloom.  The largest rose in this picture is larger than my outstretched, open hand. Awesome!

Things are also looking good in the back patch.

The flag iris are now in flower and are looking spectacular – even if the flower stalks are not as tall as they grew last summer…


About smallPaws

A tumbleweed from Canada who's been living in London for twenty or so years.
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