Saturday, August 1, 2015

August is upon us.

New berberis and goat's beard

      After a gloomy almost couple of weeks we are getting a good long stretch of sunshine. The gloom didn't actually result in a lot of rain, so I expect that there will be a need to water very shortly.
       I confess that, after potting up 8 tomato plants in the greenhouse (and one on the veranda) I ran out of room and steam, so some are out in the open garden. I can only hope that they don't succumb to the dreaded blight. They are all grown from supposed "blight-free" seed, so I may hope for a tasty outdoor crop. The quinoa plants, large and mainly healthy when they were planted out, are doing what they did last year - just shrivelling up on the stem. I don't know what to do to make them produce. We have had home-grown potatoes - one pot has been sacrificed, and they were very tiny - but now the commercial ones are starting to be a good price, so I may just leave the rest to swell a bit more.
      The Cornus Kousa is losing its bracts at last, though I have hopes of a few fertilized fruits as a result of them being available to the pollinators for such a long season.  I'll be trying to germinate them for sure. It feels like I've been away from the flower garden for a while; I have been working on weed suppressing and laying more wood pellets on the west side - and now I'm having to buy them so that is painful. But, I've put weed barrier and wood pellets on the big circular area for seating, and will attempt to get it all packed down like the original pathways are. It will not be easy - the pathways have been there for 3 years or more! I suppose when the wood goes in we'll be tramping it down quite a bit. I would like to put the patio table and chairs out there, though it doesn't make a lot of sense as it would be so very far from the kitchen.
     While the rains were upon us I started to make valances for the five big schoolhouse windows, using the rest of the vintage linen we found at Value Village. I had used a part of it to cover the Mission bench we got last winter, and I have enough left to make five valances exactly 16.5 inches long. I am lining them (of course) and allowing a tiny quarter inch to roll to the inside at the bottom. I know what the sun does to linen.
       I am waiting patiently for the raspberries, as we had the usual terrible crop of strawberries - I think I made a dessert for the two of us - once! Yesterday I found a ripe cherry on one of our three hardy cherry shrubs. It was on the one which had bloomed most profusely in the spring, and there had been small berries, but they all dropped but this one. Oh well, maybe next year! The shrubs look really healthy - but I am wondering if they need some sort of pruning. They have a lot of very low branches, which might come off, if that doesn't just stimulate more growth down there. AS the shrub cherries are a new thing, the pruning books aren't much help. Anyway, it looks like there will be lots of raspberries again - barring acts of god or whatever. Plagues of locusts.

No comments: