It is still extremely hot and I think we are in one of the hottest parts of the country. This is probably the longest break from actual gardening that I have had in years, although this doesn’t include watering (I can be watering for between 3 and 4 hours a day), but for the last two days I’ve only had to water the polytunnel. Apparently, this is the longest heat wave since c.1961. We have fans everywhere in the house and we are still struggling. However, there is always an upside to these things…I would never have tidied up my music room properly if I hadn’t been forced by the weather to stay inside! I think my pupils will be quite shocked at the transformation when they (hopefully) return in September. One of them phoned today and we had a lovely chat and she is feeling very optimistic about returning.
It is wonderful how things work out in life, and I am always so thankful to be living at Church Gardens because it looks after us all so well. For example, Meave has now started a new job this week (thank goodness) and she is working from home. Very fortuitously, because Patrick is reconfiguring his office, he has created a little meeting room downstairs. Although it is not finished, or decorated yet, this has given Meave a space to work peacefully away from the family, which has worked out brilliantly. I have often noticed this about Church Gardens, although it requires a lot of hard work to keep the place going, the place seems to have an uncanny knack of providing exactly what we need at the right time.
The tomato season is really getting into full swing now, which is fantastic although sadly, James doesn’t like tomatoes! Even the huge ‘Country Taste’ tomatoes are starting to ripen which are probably my favourite…although did I say Costoluto Fiorentina were my favourites…it is hard to decide! When I was digging up potatoes this evening for dinner I did muse upon the mystery of potato production. The last lot I dug up included some ‘Red Duke of York’ potatoes that are not particularly prolific, maybe three good size tubers and some little ones per plant but the Maris Pipers I dug up today produce about 10/12 good sized potatoes per plant which is much better. Potato production will be affected by lack of rain which is understandable. We have now eaten all the potatoes from one bed, we have five more beds left and any not eaten straight from the ground will then be stored. It is amazing what you can do with potatoes and although I love rice and pasta it is good to eat what you can produce yourself…I do not have a rice paddy yet! Tonight, it is a family favourite, Lyonnaise potatoes with onions and garlic from the garden with ‘Toad-in-the-Hole’, courgettes fried in butter and whole grain Dijon mustard, and baked beans.