Thursday, 28 June 2018
It's too darn hot!
A nice "cool" view from Hay-on-Wye to accompany this. Mainly because my camera is downstairs and I am too lazy to go and fetch it and load up the few photos on it which show some progress in the garden. I'll add those later.
We have had some very hot days this week - I think it was 26 yesterday? Porthmadog in N. Wales was hotter though - 30.6 degrees. Whilst this endless sunshine is wonderful, it is just too hot for me. If I want to garden, I have to get out there around 5.30 or so as by 8 a.m. I am melting. There is still pollen around and my breathing is not good this morning but I hope it will improve as my medications kick in. I had one day with a peak flow of 500 as I came off the steroids, and now it has dropped again.
Still, yesterday K and I planted two of the David Austin roses which had been languishing in pots - I had been intending to take them with us when we move. Now they are to be planted - they are taking so much watering - a watering can a day is what David Austin recommends (recent email . . .) Plus my new rose garden is starting to take shape. I am being ruthless and yesterday hoiked out the Golden Rod by the pond as they are too tall and overwhelming and spread horribly, so I will try and get out later (that side of the garden still in shade) and grub out ALL the roots. We have membrane down but the invasive things just put out roots under it, as I discovered yesterday when planting Litchfield Angel. This morning I was ruthless with the Alchemilla Mollis - all the leaves and flowers off the ones near the path, and roots will join them later.
I picked the first of the Blackcurrants yesterday, so will freeze those today, along with the very small picking of Gooseberries (not even a pound of them I don't think, as I pruned hard last year and the late frosts did for them). More Blackcurrant picking later - I cheat and prune them at the same time so cut the fruited branches, bring them to the shade to strig them, and then compost the remains. The bush I picked yesterday is probably going to come out though, as I have plenty of others and it is encroaching on the area I have a rose going in.
I even managed to dig some more of the overgrown veg plot and now have two rows of peas in - I have to keep watering them to make sure that they grow, although I did soak the peas well first to make it easier for them. Various other bits have been cut back too, so there IS progress, albeit slow because of the weather.
I am still tired from going to auction in Gloucester-shire on Wednesday. It was a loooooooong drive home as we were late leaving (stayed till 4 p.m. only to discover the one item we had stayed to bid on had been withdrawn . . .) It was 4.30 before we got away and then we got snarled up in traffic approaching Gloucester and crawled for miles, before finding out there had been an accident and the Ross road had been closed, so we were shunted off in the direction of Chepstow (NOT where we wanted to go!) We saw traffic coming out of the Oakle Street turning, so went up there and managed to get through onto the Forest of Dean road we use. It was 9 p.m. before we got home though, and all that driving was very tiring. (We normally share it but K's frozen shoulder was playing up.) We had to have the windows open on the car too, and so I got lungfuls of pollen - apparently grass pollen IS still about, which is why I am struggling again.
We have plenty of wild birds about this summer - a pair of Blackcaps nesting, Goldfinches (have seen the newly-fledged youngsters), Goldcrests, Swallows - their first brood flew last week), and Spotted Flycatchers - the latter nesting in Itsy's stable.
I was just putting my watch on this morning and looking out of the bathroom window, which overlooks the yard and stables. There was a Magpie trying to break twigs off the Ash tree (for nest building I assume). Anyway, the Flycatcher family were out there and getting more and more agitated as the Magpie was far too close to their nest for comfort and they were very brave - flying right up to him and swooping away at the last moment. Eventually he pushed off towards the farm. I was getting ready to hurtle out there and chase him off if he looked like getting too close to their nest.
Anyway, I will go and take a few more photos and upload them later. Update: well, I took the photos but the battery has gone flat and won't charge so I will have to get one when I go into town tomorrow.