Archive for July, 2012

More Finches and friends.

Had the camera nearby this time around.

That’s how we get into those tiny holes!

Who said that

Yay, the Greenfinches are back.

I did see the less colourful female around the ferns at the very bottom of the garden but struggled to get a blur free shot at that distance. Maybe next time?

Someone is quite happy to pose though.

The sparrow chick, following it’s cue from it’s older companion nearly fell into the pond whilst trying to get a drink. Sadly blurred as i prepared to race outside should it fall in 🙂

Thankfully he gave up and after he’d hopped off I topped up the water dishes nearby.

I still not sure about this one. I thought it was just a House Sparrow but I’m think it might be a juvenile Robin. Any ideas?

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Beautifully weird cucumbers

SUN…and not just a bit of yellow peeking around the the clouds when no one is looking either, but proper glorious sunshine. Instantly the tomatoes are out with shades, shorts and deck chairs to soak it all up and the odd cucumber plant I’d almost given up on does a few sit ups to the tune of ‘eye of the tiger’ – Yup, I’ve probably been out in the sunshine too long myself 🙂

Well let’s just hope it’s here to stay around for a bit longer. just in the nick of time too…summer, this year was almost cancelled.

So these cucumbers I’d almost given up? – well they’re the two funky varieties I was hoping to see the results of the most but until now they’ve pretty much sat there, slightly embarrassed whilst their regular cucumber producing brothers and sisters did so with wanton gust and quite frankly, the odd bit of unsportsmanlike showboating. Good eating though!

Apple Cucumbers

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Looking like things from 50’s B-Movies – White ‘cumber’s from Mars.

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Up

Great skies up above yesterday evening whilst I giving the lawn a trim. Nice and cool after a hot hot day.

Altocumulus?

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Goldfinch returns with a friend.

Woohoo, our visiting Goldfinch has brought a friend along too.

 

 

 

 

 

The very young Blue Tit enjoying the sunflower seed hearts at the top right of the picture. It won’t be long before his crown turns Blue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Water reserve

We’re back from an amazing week away and despite all this rain these past few months, we managed to avoid pretty much all of it and had a dry week (excluding the jaunt around the lake district fells where the heavens opened).

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Arriving back home I had no idea how things would be like in the greenhouse without being there to water but suffice to say it was quite the surprise to find inside looking like a scene from the Jungle Book…oh wait, it was Bananas not Cucumbers 🙂

Save your empty drinks bottles and plastic milk cartons, fill with water, make one small hole at the base with a pin and site the bottle (or bottles as I have done) on top of the pots and tubs. As the soil dries, the water should be sucked out in a slow drip. That’s the theory anyway and seems to have worked o.k for me this time.

…and if you’ve got room, a child’s paddling pool filled with a few inches of water makes a great reserve for tubs and pots.

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Goldfinch in my garden.

Woohoo, after many months of waiting & waiting, and baiting with my new feeder filled with nigra seeds we’ve finally had a visit by a Goldfinch. I do hope this  colourful fella returns again and maybe will have better luck with my camera next time.

Gold Finch

Coal Tit visit from a few days ago

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Desperately seeking…sun

May = rain

June = lots of rain

July = lots of rain, a hint of sunshine and a downpour to catch you out.

Pretty much sums up summer here and sadly has effected the veggie plot somewhat.

My French beans are a no show after a brief cold spell followed by all this damp.

My peas are looking a little mournful and only a few flowers dotted here and there so I’m not expecting much there.

Although runner beans are in flower, each plant is only 2/3rds the size that they normally are.

Carrots, beetroot crop are minimal.

So what’s good?

Potatoes. All growing very well and looking healthy in the potato sacks and beds. Even the one taking refuge in the flower beds looks pretty good. Will be digging up for a looksee soon.

Salad leaves aplenty in the greenhouse and am on my third consecutive batch of chard, lettuce, pakchoi, rocket, lambs lettuce, cress, oriental and spicy cut and come mixes. Basil, red Basil and oregano seem to like it in there too.

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We were away for a few days the other week and fearing lack of water in the greenhouse I installed a 4ft child’s paddling pool in there and filled it with a few inches of water for my tubs. I wasn’t too sure what to expect and hoped that the excess water sitting at the bottom for so long wouldn’t rot the roots. When we arrived home and went to check, we were greeted by a wonderful display of tubs chock full of health salad leaves.

Cucumbers are coming along nicely and the first to crop are the mini’s.

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The apple cucumbers are still very small and a couple have aborted, but the overall plant looks healthy and reaching the greenhouse roof.

White cucumbers are aplenty but still got a long way to go.

Tomato plants have flowered but no fruit yet. Unlike previous years, I’m quite proud that they’re coming along quite nicely thanks to mums tips for pot based plants – cut the bottom of a 10″ pot and sit into a grow bag (three pots per grow bag). Water the grow bag rather than from the top of the tub.

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The mini greenhouse is also producing plenty of salad crop two and its been great off setting planting with those in the main greenhouse so as not to cause a glut.

So basically, anything under cover = thumbs up. Maybe I should do away with the veggie beds altogether and site a giant greenhouse instead?

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