Friday, 23 May 2014

Full of Beans

The toilet roll beans are brimming over and ready to be planted out.

They started off like this:

but have moved on to this:

It's going to be a busy weekend!

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Craiglockhart Pond Cygnets

Last Sunday the new pair at Craiglockhart Pond hatched 7 cygnets. 

Last year we lost the pair that had been on the pond for 22 years.  First the male disappeared then the SSPCA removed the rest of the brood,  but the female still died. So the pair on the pond are new.  Happily they have proved successful.

Judging from their behaviour the new parents have got the hang parenthood. Out of the seven offspring six are centre stage here.  

It would be nice if they all survived. We will be keeping an eye on them.

Sunday, 18 May 2014


Rievaulx Abbey Ruins
On Saturday we had a rendezvous in Thirsk and managed a sojourn into the Yorkshire Moors and stopping off at this  pastoral spot.

Back home today I used the weed suppressant fabric offcut from the brassica patch to carpet our "Exotics".  Sounds better than curcubits and besides we can't move the blueberries as they sit atop a buried liner that helps create that acidic bog effect. This is where the courgettes gherkins and Sharks Fin Soup Melon  (also called Fig Leaf Gourd) are going to go this year.

At home the beanage is coming on nicely:

Next weekend looks like a frantic planting weekend.

Back to Rievaulx Village for a final picture which would be any estate agents dream:

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Propagator Progress and a Challenge

 Here's the current state of play with the propagator:

There's Sungold, San Marzano, and Currant Tomatoes, Cucumber, Sweetcorn and the dreaded Celeriac. The Jalapeno Pepper and Kobocha Squash both failed. Not too impressed with the supplier. Their sweetcorn is looking good though.

Can you guess what this is?  

As a clue, there's a Jaws connection.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Alliums to Attention

Woopee: I've weeded the alliums and they're looking pretty good at this stage: 

From another angle you can see garlic in the foreground and onions at the back.  All planted last October.
Also along the right I've weeded out a row of parsnip.  Direct sown in February. (I've sworn never to transplant parsnip ever again after last year's debacle)

One reason for growing a lot of garlic (aside from eating a lot) is to have enough over to make a garlic spray to deter slugs.  Martyn is already running tests: here

Footnote: Blogger doesn't like the word alliums which comes up as a spelling error every time.  Urghk!

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Bed Making for Brassicas

A week ago we made up the brassica bed - but I forgot to bring the camera. Today I was pleased to see that it wasn't a figment of my imagination:

Brassica Patch
 Beneath the membrane the soil has been enriched with manure and fertilized.

Here's how it looked two weeks ago:

I call that a result  - and that's without having planted anything yet!

I celebrated by weeding the alliums. The next patch requiring attention is the soft fruit.  The strawberries are flowering and there are gooseberries and currants on the way.  As yet no net.

Strawberries today

Redcurrant two weeks ago