Slow allotment gardening in the life of a busy family
Sunday, 19 June 2011
Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - June
Glimpses of blue sky are precious this year. We've had rain and low grey clouds for weeks, it seems. The weather forecast in my sidebar is reasonably upbeat for the next couple of days, tho it's drizzling at the moment rather than the perky mix of sun and fluffy cloud that it's meant to be. Then we take a mid-week dive into rain and cool(er) temperatures, and then just cool temperatures. I have started a regime of Vitamin D tablets for myself and my daughter, to compensate for this summer's lack of sunshine. The male members of the family either don't believe in this nonsense, or are currently lying in the sun in the Canary Islands.
So even if it's a weed, if there's blue sky behind it - it merits a photo. This is our charming garden weed - red valerian. It's entirely self-seeded. My Reader's Digest 'Guide to Creative Gardening' describes it as being easy to grow, and that 'the fierce red flowers of this valerian brighten ancient walls and cliff faces all over the south of England.' I'm gratified that the wall at the back of our garden, which is all that remains of a old railway siding wall (late 19th century/early 20th?), could be classified as ancient. The Reader's Digest goes on to say 'its seedlings shoot up all over the place, though usually not in sufficient numbers to be a nuisance'. Well, it seems to love our cool, damp climate. From its lofty perch it rains down seeds which sprout merrily all over our garden. I would classify it as a lovable nuisance. And here it's got blue sky behind it.
My fragrant Alba rose is blooming, although not in such profusion as past years. The hard winter gave it quite a knock, and it's been slow to pull away in this grudging weather of the past 6 weeks.
The honeysuckle by contrast is rampant. The frosts seem to have killed off the aphids which normally plague it, clustering blackly round the emerging flower spurs and sucking the life out of them. It's busy with bees from early morning until late into the evenings.
I do have a few more blooms - just a few, however. This year I've decided to take stock and think about what will really thrive in our difficult back garden, and to dig wider beds and enrich the soil with green manure. So I'm off to Garden Bloggers Bloom Day for inspiration from around the gardening world.