Wednesday and Thursday were reasonable days with sunny spells as the weatherman says but I didn’t have any gardening time. A good friend came to stay on Tuesday evening for a few days. We’ve not met up since we were house hunting further south in Wales last year and stayed with him for a few days.
We’d a lot of catching up to do and some bottles to empty together of an evening. On Wednesday we took him for a drive around Snowdonia and on Thursday it was a trip to The Village as Prisoner fans call Portmerion. It really is an amazing place even if I couldn’t shake off the feeling we were being watched. We didn’t go onto the beach in case large white bouncing ball things attacked us. (Don’t worry if that doesn’t make sense, you need to have seen the Prisoner)
Knowing the rain was coming in overnight, I was pleased to find a length of 1” hosepipe I’d bought via Ebay had arrived. I’d set up an overflow from my water butts by fixing a tap high up to one barrel with an ordinary garden hose attached but it wasn’t coping. Once full the water was coming over the side of the butts and running down by the wall of the cowshed. This won’t help stop damp getting in!
So off with the tap and fitted the outlet from a linking kit to which I attached the hosepipe. The pipe runs down to the house drains and thence to a soakaway. Unlike most of the DIY jobs I tackle, this only took a little longer than I would have guessed.
That being done, it was back inside where our guest was cooking dinner for us. Normally we don’t expect guests to cook for us but he insisted. Being as he was, before illness struck, a top chef and has awards for his cooking, we didn’t argue that he needn’t too hard! There are some recipes he sent to us in the recipes section under Granny Dumplins, all developed so mere mortals and cook them.
It was a simple meal, by his standards, and absolutely delicious. Fish on a pepper, tomato and onion sweet sauce followed by home-made ice cream with a cassis and redcurrant sauce. The mouth wanted more long after the tum was full!
Friday’s weather was quite simply rotten. Wind, rain and cloud coming down at times. Hard to credit it’s the middle of June so, after our friend departed us, back to work. Being self-employed and working from home I’m lucky that I can choose when to work and when to play. Sadly though, I do have to do the work. How’s the song go? “Hi ho, I owe, so off to work I go”
One benefit of starting crops off in pots is that you can carry on whatever the weather from the shed. Another is that you can start them off before the land is ready for them. I covered this aspect in some depth in my book about growing in small spaces and containers: Vegetable Fruit & Herb Growing in Small Spaces.
By starting in small pots, moving up to larger and finally planting out; combined with successional sowings and vertical growing you can grow far more than you would think possible from a small area. Here we’re not short of space as such, it’s getting the soil good enough to grow vegetables in that is the problem.
Planting Blueberries in a Bath
This should provide perfect conditions for them. You don’t need a bath, an alternative would be to build a high raised bed and line it with thick plastic. Just so long as you can maintain a wet acid soil (not with standing water though). I may well underplant the blueberries with cranberries, which are low growing but require similar conditions.