Tuesday, 29 May 2012

23oC temperature drop in 4 days!!!

This is the temperature in my garden right now (11.21pm 29th May):

6oC (43oF)

This was the temperature in my garden (in the shade), same thermometer, around lunchtime on Friday 25th May:

29oC (84oF)
Ok, so it's not the same time of day, but the daytime/nighttime temperature difference where I live, particularly at this time of year, is usually just a few degrees... 10oC tops.

My poor plants...


Sunday, 27 May 2012

Unseasonably hot weather

A week of summer in May does wonders for growth in the kitchen garden.

An entire week of sunny days with temperatures around 28oC (83oF). It's been absolutely magical.

But I wonder what all these optimistic plants, who now think they live in the Mediterranean, will do when the temperature drops back down to a more seasonal 9oC (48oF) tomorrow...


Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Who's digging holes in my raised beds?

I've been so pleased with my kitchen garden this year. Not only is it looking productive, neat & tidy and relatively weed-free (apart from the ones I'm allowing to grow, such as borage and poppies), but I'm also hoping it's going to be really pretty this year!

Pretty fruits & herbs bed

However. Someone has been messing with me. A few days ago, having skipped joyfully down to admire my artwork, I was devastated to find lots of little mouse-sized potholes all over the peas & flowers bed! :'( They'd even dug up several nasturtiums, I think they'd been having a munch on the roots.

Mouse-sized holes
A repaired and watered nasturtium not looking to bright

My newly planted broccoli plants were completely annihilated.


I didn't take any photos of the pothole damage because I just got started repairing it all straight away.

Peas & flowers bed now after repairs

I think I managed to salvage most of it, but it's spoilt the joyful anticipation I feel every time I trot down to the kitchen garden. >(

I have spotted several field mice hopping and skipping about down there among me veg, but we also have a LOT of birds, living in the woods as we do. In particular a noisy, but beautiful, male pheasant that struts around the garden almost every day, as well as lots and lots of pigeons.

So who is it?!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Utter gorgeousness!

Sorry, but I can't help myself, I just have to show off with these utterly gorgeous tulips...

White Parrot

Utter loveliness

Black Hero

Black Hero
White Parrot


Random bargain bulbs

Random bargain bulbs

Queen of Night

Can't find the label for the pinks, but the white one is a Daytona

China Town

Error of judgement...?

Monday, 14 May 2012

Holidays & gardening

...aren't particularly compatible.

I hate leaving my flowerbeds, kitchen garden and greenhouse at this time of year. Not only do I miss out on the wonder of seeing the garden change by the day, but everything's so tiny and fragile, the slightest drought/drench/heatwave/chill can really mess with my plans.

Luckily though everything survived, thanks to a few milder days and a very helpful friend.

The south-facing flowerbed was completely transformed into a vibrant jungle of tulips & perennials.

Lots of colour! Note the lime & calmondin trees out for a much-
needed dose of sunshine after almost two weeks of shady living.
Growth in the kitchen garden wasn't quite as overwhelming, probably due to the warm, dry weather. But it was all in need of a jolly good drink!

My lettuce babies have survived the slugs, but are looking a little parched!
The peas are looking nice and solid.
The yellow onions are doing really well... as are the weeds! Can you spot any
carrots in there??! Carrot fly has been a major problem, so this year I've planted
onions AND marigolds around them.
Potatoes! :D But still no sign of life in the asparagus bed.
I thought they would show first...?
There was a problem with the watering system in the greenhouse, but thanks to our friend Johan's determination (and stupidity - he stuck the v. v. grimy hose in his mouth to get the flow going again... bläääää!) it's all looking fabulous.

Beautiful blue (?) parrot tulips living in harmony with Jalastar capsicum annums.
It's time to plant the toms into the ground, but there's too much
going on, so they'll have to wait just a little longer.
First harvest! :D
Chicken salad (with shop-bought toms, of course).

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Some pretty holiday snaps

1. Rosemary and lavender gone wild.
2. Gorgeous little avenue-style cul-de-sac with fabulous tall pines teetering above the wall and palms across the way.
3. Beautiful rustic doorway a few doors down from our holiday house.