Today was very hot, but alarmingly, tomorrow is supposed to be considerably hotter. We had a surprise visit today from James’ mum, Janet, who had brought Aideen an orchid to celebrate her results which was very much appreciated. It was very nice to spend the hottest part of the day having a chat rather than struggling to work outside. After Janet had left, with a bag of rhubarb and courgettes, we had lunch and then I headed off outside. I continued weeding and tidying the onion beds and today I dug out all of the shallots. I then started to attack the borage explosion in the bed that houses the borlotti, soya and edamame beans. This is the site of one of Kay’s miscalculations. About two thirds of the bed has a run of impressive looking, tall wigwams of cobnut poles, erect by James earlier in the year, these were for the Borlotti beans. Borlotti beans are a type of French climbing bean with beautiful patchy red pods when ripe and with delicious plump speckled beans inside, my absolute favourite bean. Borlotti’s need a good summer to ripen which they have done however, they have only grown just over a foot high, particularly noticeable because they are planted at the base of 7 foot wigwams!...I think I might have planted dwarf Borlottis!
Meave’s favourite beans are the edamame which she keeps checking to see if they are ready…so far, we can feel beans in the pod but they are not very big.
Another one of my slight mishaps involves some confusion over courgettes, pumpkins and squash. Earlier in the year, I was slightly worried I may have accidentally planted some courgette plants in the pumpkin patch. I had foolishly sowed pumpkins and courgettes in the same root trainer thus causing a bit of a muddle at planting time. I was very relieved as fruit began to form in the pumpkin patch to see no courgettes (it would be very hard to pick courgettes in the middle of the sea of leaves which is the pumpkin patch). But, today I noticed pumpkin plants in the courgette bed! I have no idea what variety they are and the problem will be restraining them…as soon as my back is turned there will be a long pumpkin stalk speedily disappearing down the path!
Having listened to the weather forecast again with some concern I resolve to have a mammoth watering session which I start soon after 8pm. I begin in the cabbages which is fortuitous because I notice the first hatchings of a batch of cabbage white caterpillars which I briskly remove. The hosepipe is also a useful weapon against caterpillar poo, I used it with great effect a few weeks ago to blast into the centres of my red cabbages to flush out caterpillar poo left by the green caterpillar of the Cabbage Moth. I water most of the vegetable bed, the children’s garden, the dahlias, any new planting in the Manuka beds and fountain beds, the mount and the fruit-cage beds. I finish at 10pm, just in time to put Grandad to bed. Luckily, Meave has offered to cook tonight; a type of sausage casserole with borlotti beans, roast new potatoes, with rosemary, runner and dwarf French beans…yum, I’m starving as usual!