First harvest of the summer

unripe blackberries
Unripe blackberries… these have got 2 or 3 days to go before they’ll be ripe.
ripe blackberries
Ripe blackberries… totally different to blackcurrants (but everyone thinks they’re the same thing), blackberries grow wild on brambles; I love having them in my garden.

I just had a stressful 4-day visit from the housework police in-laws (mother-in-law’s line of questioning included such gems as “why don’t you knock a wall down between your toilet and your kitchen?” and “why did you do an archaeology degree?” and “can I rip out all the brambles, you don’t want those brambles!” oh, and my favorite, “you might die before [my husband/her son]; I know plenty of people who got cancer and died in their 30s”), despite that, I am feeling like a goddamn domestic goddess…Perhaps a lesser known one, such as the goddess of drinking tea, or the goddess of sitting in the house on sunny days watching re-runs of I Love Lucy instead of hitting my daily word count.

I don’t know, anyway, I went out to collect some of this year’s harvest from all those plants I keep trying to grow, and this was the results:

blackberries
Blackberries, potatoes and baby carrots.

 

As you can see, the blackberry crop is doing extremely well. The carrots are very small because I basically emptied an entire packet of carrot seeds into a container and sprinkled soil over the top. Yesterday I plucked out about 1 in 2 of them and, of the ones I pulled out, I moved most of them to two new containers of soil (the ones the dead peas were in) and the ones that wouldn’t fit anywhere were in this picture, I topped and tailed them, then cooked and ate them. The potatoes were originally Red Roosters and Charlottes, but some of them cross-bred so now I have brown potatoes with red spots. I only lifted as many potatoes as I wanted for one meal, so there’s tons more tatties in the garden.

I’m getting another planter this week in the hope of planting mizuna (leafy greens) this week and I’m considering starting some cabbages or Brussels sprouts maybe for over winter; these are the last two weeks to plant them until next year.

Things which were unsuccessful: Peas – I totally overestimated how much sunshine they needed and they shriveled and died even in the non-stop cloud we’ve had, I didn’t know to water them extra. Coriander (cilantro) – I keep buying packs of cori seeds and they keep turning out to be parsley. Weird. Leafy plants – Any leafy plants (including zucchini/marrows) seem to get ravaged by creepy crawlies, even though I keep doing everything I can about them. The only thing with leaves that survived was 3 of the 4 sunflowers I planted, but it’s not time to pick the seeds yet, so I will show you next month. Sweetcorn didn’t even try to grow, it never even sprouted.  I’m considering cloches for next year’s leafy plants.

Next year, I want a blueberry bush and a cherry tree to move us closer to being self-sufficient, especially since fruit is so expensive.

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Raindrops on Roses: Weekly Photo Challenge

I looked out at the ethereal water droplets bathing the garden and I couldn’t help myself.  I had to go out and get soaked taking these pictures. This is my entry for the Weekly Photo Challenge since the theme is Spare and the sky had all this spare water in it (so it rained a lot):

Raindrops on Roses invoke delight and inspire
Raindrops on Roses
Raindrops on Roses invoke delight and inspire
Raindrops on Roses – tiny snail nestled amidst the petals.
Raindrops on Roses invoke delight and inspire
Raindrops on Roses
Raindrops on Roses invoke delight and inspire
Raindrops on Roses – an adamant ant.
Raindrops on Roses invoke delight and inspire
Raindrops on Roses
Raindrops on Roses invoke delight and inspire
Raindrops on Roses
Raindrops on Roses invoke delight and inspire
Raindrops on Roses – and leaves too!
Raindrops on Roses invoke delight and inspire
Raindrops on Roses – the drip is about to fall
Raindrops on Roses invoke delight and inspire
Raindrops on Roses
Raindrops on Roses invoke delight and inspire
Raindrops on Roses – screw the roses, give me the thorns (!)
Raindrops on Roses invoke delight and inspire
Raindrops on Roses – the water has turned this rosebud into a glimmering jewel.

Seen anything wonderful today?

BUNNY SANDWICH SHOCK AS GARDENERS MOW LAWN

Katie, left and Fifer, right, made a bunny sandwich with another rabbit.
Katie, 3, left and Fifer, 1, right, made a bunny sandwich with another rabbit.

Gardeners in York today were left shocked after three rabbits piled on top of each other to make a bunny sandwich, on what is set to be the most overshadowed Rabbit Awareness Week of the Year, since it has clashed with Mental Health Awareness Week.

The three rabbits, known locally as Fifer, Katie and Sebastian, all of Heworth, York, were said to have suddenly snuggled up at the same time. One local lawn mower, who asked not to be named, said: “I was just getting ready to cut my grass, when I heard a noise from over the fence. I looked over, and there were three rabbits just piled on top of each other, fast asleep. I couldn’t believe nobody had put them on Youtube.”

Sebastian, 10, photo from file.
Sebastian, 10, photo from file.

Jim, 37, was making a cup of tea when he heard the commotion. “I dropped my spoon and ran outside, but I was too late. They had already piled on top of each other. When I tried to take a photo, someone started a lawnmower, and the rabbits startled and fled.”

Pet rabbits have a history of cute behaviour, showing up regularly on the front of birthday cards and being the mascot for Easter. Set to outperform cats and dogs this year, they are the fastest-growing pet in the UK, according to Pets At Home. The overlap of Mental Health Awareness Week and Rabbit Awareness Week is particularly unfortunate, since many people experiencing mental health problems find a houserabbit to be a therapeutic and soothing pet.

The Houserabbit Society warns caution to people newly aware of rabbits, however: “Rabbits need more than just a hutch.” A spokesperson said. “They need mental stimulation.” Clearly, the free range play area offered to these three York rabbits is working wonders for their natural curiosity and social skills.

“Two months ago, they were biting each other’s noses. We had to keep them separated. Now they’re virtually inseparable.” Says Jim.

Clearly there are advantages to living near such friendly bunnies. The anonymous local gardener said: “My kids love watching those rabbits. They keep asking if we can get one.”

Happy Rabbit Awareness Week. And Mental Health Awareness Week. I think we could all be more aware of the mental health of rabbits; and the benefits to our own mental health of having rabbits.