Thursday, 16 June 2011

Finally! A bit of sunshine and a few flowers

I thought the peonies would never open, but finally they are getting there!
Been busy on the vegetable plot this week, I weeded and then resowed the parsnip bed. Some of earlier sowing had germinated, but only in clumps like those in the photo. This kind of germination is common when we have a monsoon at the wrong time of spring, so this is why I always hold some seed back. We've spent a lot of time weeding this week.
Finally finished clearing the bed for the second sowing of carrots and beetroots; the beetroot germinated patchily, similar to the parsnip, they are affected by cold, wet springs. The carrots are Resistafly and something else whose name I can't recall, again supposed to be resistant to carrot fly. These are maincrop - I won't do another sowing as I find sowing after late June doesn't work too well with our climate.
One of the really strange things about this year is that not only is everything late, but it has slowed down its normal rate of flowering. Take this shrub rose; it started flowering almost two weeks ago and by now should have been covered in flowers, it tends to flower all at once. But this year, it is flowering sequentially, over a much longer period. Normally the flowers would last two weeks, but we're already at that point and there are still flowers to come. I'm seeing the same effect on my New Dawn rose, which is still to peak although it's had a few flowers come out over the last week or so. The slow rise in temperatures and the constant up and down, particularly at night, seems to have elongated the flowering season. So no "wow" mass flowering, but rather more sedate and longer lasting show, which I'll enjoy just as much.
I finally got the pumpkins out this week, though the courgettes and marrows stayed under their cloches until mid week to keep them warm. I've never had to do this before, what an extraordinarily cold spring we've had this year. But now they are getting away, finally.

On the plum tree issue, I failed to find my tree wound paint, so resorted to bandaging the damaged stump in strong packing tape from my office. That should keep the rain off and hopefully nasty bacteria out!
It was a cheering sight to see the dark pink peonies outside the house eventually open their flowers properly!
Have a good gardening weekend!
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