A perfect summer for the distracted gardener

DSC03185Pity the poor tourists all over the south of France. They just aren’t getting the summer they deserve. We have cool(ish) temperatures, lots of storms and rain.

Amazing. I nipped out to the rain gauge early this morning and saw a quivering 15mm in the jar.

And believe me when I say this is exceptional. We are a winter wet, summer dry sort of climate.

And this time last year I was getting up early to do some watering or gardening and then hiding indoors from about 11am as the thermometer reached it’s normal 30C. I seem to recall there was some serious languishing going on. courgette runner bean thicket

But this season it is unsettled, stormy around 5pm and we haven’t had more than 26C all week.

Today it is overcast and, while not threatening rain, the perfect weather for landscaping.

daily strawberriesAlas. alack. I’m confined to barracks for a bit longer. I seem to only go out into the garden to pick my daily handful of runner beans, strawberries and courgette.

And then try and avert my gaze from rather pressing Dramas In The Orchard.

We inherited lots of thornless blackberry bushes in the soft fruit orchard. And for the first few years I put up with the frankly gargantuan thicket as the berries did quite well in tarts.

But I do like  a fruit which you can pick and eat as you wander past. And these big bruisers were frankly uninspiring.  It definitely seems they bred out a lot of flavour in search of the thornless plant. bramble ground cover

So last year I dug them out (heaving on the garden fork and praying it wouldn’t snap in two) and transplanted some down the bank where the flood took away a lot of soil.

The flood is another story.

We are in full production mode in June when the jostaberries and blackcurrants need picking. And every year I watch the white currants go a pleasing shade of pink as I keep forgetting to harvest them.

Oh, and I have my first gooseberries this year.

But where did this ground cover of blackberries come from? I swear they weren’t here last week.  They are utterly useless just running along the ground and trying to throttle the new blackcurrant shrubs.

I just get the feeling they had a meeting and said, ‘she won’t notice us if we look like innocent ground cover plants.’

Hah. In my break today I intend to go down there with secateurs and a look of murderous intent.