Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Line drying and a day of SUNSHINE in the garden

We have had some sunshine.Yesterday and again today. Last night the lowest it went to was 8, a significant improvement on the 4 and 5 of last week. I know the rain will be back tomorrow so everything that doesn't move is being washed and hung on the line today. Something deeply satisfying about line drying washing. The first day it is warm and windy enough in Spring to properly dry things- rather than half dry them- is a real thrill. We have Red Kites here- big birds with a wing span as wide as your outstretched arms and they are supreme scavengers. Every time I  hang out some washing they come and have a look- just in case I leave behind some morsel worth having or fail to peg a sock properly, socks make excellent nest linings. A bonus having these huge birds ducking and weaving around above me as I peg out the washing with my  coloured pegs. I love my coloured pegs, they cheer me up on gloomy drying days and  make all the boring black socks look so much more interesting. I'm hoping the swifts will be around today- not seen or heard them for over a week now. The weather has been so very horrible, cold, wet and very windy, I'm worried they have gone elsewhere and failed to breed. I love the swifts, their racing flight and wild calls: they arrive the first week in May and usually stay until late July. This year we have five birds, which is a return to previous form, we had gone down to three, but not a sign or sound of them for ages...Summer without a swift call just isn't right. Proof of how very cold and damp it has been is my garlic bed- absolutely devastated by rust. I shall lift some of the bulbs today and see how big they are, they should be fine, but very annoying to have to lift them so early in the season. You can take the rust infected leaves off and leave the bulbs to grow with just the stems, but as every single leaf is affected I think early lifting is the only way forward- the rust grew really fast and suddenly during the downpours of the past few days. I shall try moving the garlic bed to a 'sunnier' spot next year, to prevent a repeat, but with weather as cold and wet as we have experienced thus far this Summer, rust is inevitable. Time to get out into the garden!

UPDATE: this afternoon 3 swifts flying, very high, over the garden calling occasionally to eachother, also a Buzzard, very,very high up indeed.
WARNING: Never, ever leave creeping Buttercup in your flower beds because you 
" love Buttercups".
 Four sacks of it, FOUR SACKS.
The garlic bulbs were tiny, I read that if you leave just the stems they will continue to grow, so, that is what I have done- they look really sad though.

Photos of some of my favourite June plants and colours  

and of progress with the raised beds...plenty to do still, but the first section of garden is almost sorted, despite the best efforts of the weather.

But look, a poppy...a poppy with big fat flower buds...

 All my annual poppies are tiny,weedy things starved of sunshine and not worth keeping, unlike last year, except for this one, growing in stones, on top of an ants' nest, right in the middle of the step up to the terrace. I nearly pulled it up a week or so ago as it is right in the way, but glad I didn't as it is the Best ( and only) Poppy In The Garden.


  1. I love hanging the washing out on the line! How wonderful to have the red kites flying above. I recently visited my son who is coming back home to live for a while and I returned with sacks full of washing so I've been making the most of this lovely weather and getting it all washed and line dried! Lovely to see the photos of your garden flowers. I have the purple geranium - it's just started to bloom this week :) Maggie xx

    1. Hello Maggie-the clouds are massing ready to rain again today- but the early morning was beautiful.That geranium is one of my all time favourite- so intensely coloured and the leaves are pretty too. Kate

  2. Hi I have just found you I dont know how but I did, I have joined your blog hope you have a look at mine.Your flowers look beautiful,very much like mine.Look forward to reading more Love Jill xx

    1. Hello Jill and welcome-flowers coming at odd times this year- the weather has jumbled them all up!Kate