The first honey!
I get up early to continue to plant the new vegetable plants - a risky buisness considering the heat - these include Japanese greens, chicory, winter salads like Mizuna, Giant red mustard and purple and golden frilled mustard. I then had a massive watering session - I have to keep returning to the new plants throughout the day including the lettuces, spinach and pak choi planted the day before - it is like they are in intensive care! Already the new pak choi has been attacked by flea beetle (it fills leaves with holes) and a slug/snail or two! I attempted to get plants from Nik's nursery but got caught in a massive traffic jam, gave up and came home - very annoying. I then weeded and cut back plants ( Ladies mantle) in the fruit tree border. I love Ladies Mantle, but it looks quite bad when it's flowers have finished and it needs cutting back hard. I then weeded the organ bed and the narrow border that runs below the wall. I attempted to dead head the tiny pansies but this job is so fiddly and time consuming you can lose the will to live! Then something very exciting happened, the bee man arrived with our first honey - 12 jars!!! He had managed to decant 20lb (20 jars) mainly produced from one hive and had given us 12 ( the rest go to the bee society to be sold to raise funds). I am stunned, I never expected to receive so much, I was actually quite doubtful about how much the bees would produce and I didn't expect our share to be so great. We thank the bee man profusely and I keep returning to the jars during the day to gaze at them in wonder - I am so proud of our bees! Patrick spent the day making the polytunnel doors and cut the grass - no mean feat! Diane cleared all of the compost yard and did a brilliant job and also chopped up the old Christmas trees and put them into a sand bag to decompose - they can then be added to compost to make it more acidic for plants like blueberries, rhododendrons and azaleas. Aideen and Meave painted a lot of wood green and dead headed, then Aideen started laying the area of block paving in the polytunnel. Diane, James and Meave then organised a bonfire - I was dubious about this considering the hot weather - but we have a crazy amount of branches, rotten wood, dried brambles etc. to dispose of. They burn this later in the evening and get rid of it all which is great and the wood ash will be very good for the fruit. Andy came over and weeded a bed of leeks and offered to come first thing in the morning to do some watering. I am very grateful, I think he has realised how many extra hours of work the watering is giving me. Mary comes over to help as well and makes a very good job of sweeping the paths - an endless job considering the mess we make all of the time!