So that was July is done and dusted. Here the month did not get off to the best of starts, when we arrived home from holiday to find that our shed had been broken into and the lawnmower stolen. Fortunately himself had mowed just before we left and the wet stuff came down again in torrents on our return, making lawn mowing a low priority for some time. I'm glad to say that my composting worms housed in same shed had not been tampered with although I did make myself feel happier by imagining the thief/thieves being covered in composting worms.
This post is going to be fairly brief as I do not have photos to illustrate. My computer continues to be in a state of sad decline. Whilst emergency surgery is under way I'm not downloading photos on to it . I can download them on to himself's laptop but the procedure seems all rather complicated, so I have not taken many.
A quick round up of the allotment which has been a real challenge this year and all that seems to have really flourished is the weeds. This year they are giants. The strawberries mainly came and went mouldy with wetness whist we were away, so there were few bowlfuls of red goodness. Lots of raspberries but they did not taste much - lack of sunshine apparently. The apples are now noticeably swelling. White currants and black currants have done well but no red currants. I plan to transplant all these currants as soon as possible along with the gooseberries. They are in a raised bed, along with some rather rampageous raspberries, so there is simply too much competition going on in a relatively small space.
I'm now enjoying cucumbers, tomatoes, salad leaves, beetroot, courgettes (at long last), spring onions and broad beans. The shallots have been harvested and garlic is not far behind. Disappointments include my French beans - both dwarf and climbing varieties - both have been decimated by molluscs. I put in a second planting of climbing French beans last weekend but within a couple of days the leaves were already christened with bite marks. I have a few left over which I will plant up in a container at home where I can do a nightly snail/slug patrol. Maybe they might fare better. So far it's thumbs down the newly introduced 'Shiraz' purple mange tout pea which has been developed specifically for the British climate. They have grown well and are producing a good crop but I'm finding that the pods are not only tough but also tasteless. Back to my normal purple podded pea next year methinks unless I hear or read some favourable comments. Surprise at the allotment - a duck nested in the corner of my strawberry bed. I have not seen the duck for sometime but there are three eggs in the nest. Where she has come from is a mystery as there is no serious water in the vicinity.
In the garden himself is continuing to work on his major project, which is going to give me some serious new planting space. Hopefully by the end of this month I will be able to report on this in more detail. As usual at this time of year I think that there is too little colour in the garden. Must do more to remedy this state of affairs.
New plant purchases - yet again admirable self restraint. I can count them on one hand - no on one finger. A visit to a local garden centre yielded a potful of lilium formosum pricei in the sales corner. Now I could not just leave it behind could I?
Thanks as usual to Helen over at 'The Patient Gardener's Weblog' who kindly invites us to share our end of month views.