Our lives are very governed by daylight hours. Both Patrick and I are very happy on the weeks/months proceeding 21st June knowing our available daylight is growing, however when this date passes we feel very keenly that from now on daylight is diminishing. Patrick is particularly bad in this respect, it literally seems to depress him and he always points the date out to me.
Basically, Patrick never has enough time, he not only would like extra daylight he would like extra days in the week! Today is a day full of interruptions and my attention is required by daughters as well as plants...and whatever they might think about my priorities, my daughters do come first!
James alarmed me in the morning by reading out the longer term weather forecast, which is building to a high of 33 degrees Celcius (91 degrees Fahrenheit) by Wednesday, with no rain until the following Sunday! This is a worry as we haven't had proper rain for the last few days. There are so many vegetable plants recently planted, I decide to water them all - the squash and pumpkins are already looking thirsty... it is quite frightening! After watering I returned to the lettuce beds and finished weeding them and tied up their Cosmos plants. This is where I plant Cosmos 'Dazzler' a very tall floriferous variety that was stunning last year and I've been looking forward to having it back this year. I also did some cutting back and trying in of the Cardoons who were completely barricading the path beside the lettuces. The difference between tying back a cardoon plant (they are now towering over me) and a sweet pea is that you need a rope for a Cardoon! I then plant a tray of new lettuce, filling in the gaps in the lettuce beds, and the remaining lettuces are planted in the little bed which houses the Ariona bush. The Ariona bush (recommended by James Wong) has reputedly the most vitamin rich berry of the fruit world. However, this does not mean it is the tastiest fruit, I find the taste ok but it is quite 'woody' to chew up - but I do eat some of them!
Having planted these lettuces I am reminded that I will need to resow another tray along with spring onions, broccoli, French beans and Foxgloves when I have time! I notice that my lovely spinach and has started to go to seed. I cut out all of the main stems and take them inside along with another bowl of peas to put in tonight's curry. I also pick a lovely bowl of strawberries from the polytunnel, these have to sit in water for a while to expel any lurking woodlice... woodlice love strawberries! I also retrieve the four 'Pink Dragon' radishes that I didn't plant out on Wednesday because they were growing to seed. The radishes had grown hugely in their trays I eat one for lunch and it was delicious, good taste and quite hot I gave a bite to Aideen while she is practising and she approved and asked me to save her some strawberries.
I finish the day outside the front of the house planting a half tray of Antirrhinums and a half tray of Salvias. I pinch out the main flowering stem of all the plants partly to give the plant less to worry about whilst they settle in the soil but also to encourage them to 'bush out'. For the record everybody enjoys the curry and none of the spinach is wasted!