Yesterday was one of those gorgeous sunny days. The morning sky was clear blue with not a cloud in sight. Full sun, hot but not too hot as there was a lovely gentle summer breeze. By the afternoon there was a light cloud cover to stop the sun from being too incinerating.
The day started gently – I went down to the back back to carry on with weeding and watering the perennial flower beds.
The beautiful blue bearded iris are almost done flowering, but I removed spent flowerheads to extend what flowers remain. Roses were deadheaded, and I gave the corner by the railway path a thorough watering and weeding. The two daisies in the shady bed under the cherry were well watered – I will have to dig these out and plant them in a sunnier position, as they are not doing as well as they did last year and probably do need a sunnier, hotter site.
Other plants were doing better in the dappled shad, including some self-seeded poppies have come into flower – delightful additions that arrived without any work from us.
Not sure how they arrived to our patch – possibly in bird droppings? But never mind their provenance – they are welcome newcomers to our flower beds.
Poppy flowers are papery thin and very delicate. They don’t last long, but are lovely and wonderful and, like California poppy, will freely self-seed, so in time there will be more and more poppies. Yippee!
In fact, at the allotment the friendly chap in the plot below us has a patch of large papery poppies, and he’s given us free reign to collect seed heads from once they’ve matured.
So more poppies to come…. These ones are like the poppies we had in my childhood gardens, so powerfully stoked with fond memories and nostalgia. Can’t wait to get some of these beauties going in our back patch flower beds!
While I puttered, watering, weeding, pruning, trimming, tending… the big dude went to the woods area and took care of the new flower bed under the “new” oak tree. Our neighbourhood pal and his little dog Millicent dropped by for a visit – keeping 2 metre distances – and provided some seedlings he’d started on his balcony: some hot chili seedlings and parsley. I have to repot the seedlings and return to him some of the plants. In return we gifted him with a jar of our homemade rhubarb & strawberry jam; he’s not normally a jam guy, but said he’d enjoy using the jam to top up his morning yoghurt.
After our morning back patch/woods session we broke for a quick lunch break, then went back out to the allotment after visiting Michelob & D to hand over gifts and collect the bagged soil that they had kindly added to a larger order he made at a garden centre. Yesterday was D’s birthday, so she and Michelob received a bigger jar of the jam, and also two garden-grown globe artichokes.
And so, with two large bags of soil on the big guy’s bike rack, and with my back rack full of bricks, we headed up to our plots for a second work session.
After watering and fussing on our patch I decided to head down the path and look in on M’s patch, which we’d made a start on weeding and tending in her absence, but where much more work remains to be done. So three plots tended in one day. Epic.
Ms M’s been in touch to say her squash are ready to be collected, and we will probably go over to pick up her starter plants at the beginning of next week. She also has some sweet potato started, and we’ll experiment with those as well. I’ve never grown sweet potato so it will be a learning experience that I look forward to.
Much as I love it, I have to admit it’s hard work – with the clay beds baked solid in the sun and the weeds well and truly established in strength – but we’re making slow, steady progress. The urgency for getting more done is reinforced by the fact that we’ve almost completely run out of growing space on our own patch. The only open space is the middle patch which presently is planted with garlic. We stopped watering the garlic plants last week, and will be able to harvest this crop (along with the two giant garlic plants) by the end of next week.
On it goes!