A blog on gardening, life by the sea, photography and wildlife

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Haddock Chips Strawberries and Hollyhocks

We visited our friends Jean and John`s large Victorian house tonight along with Brenda and Nicholas for a fish and chip supper or what might be called a balmy evening owing to another lovely day in Eastbourne.

They have a very large garden given over to a largely old fashioned variety of plants, probably in original rockery and boundary brick walls, I was immediately struck by the large selection of hollyhocks of differing shades in a large corner of the garden which seem to have flowered better than normal this year.

The Victorians certainly built with style, I loved the conservatory with the original tiled floor, they also have the most magnificent Virginia creeper which I must photograph in the autumn .

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Victorian conservatory with original features

Saturday, 21 July 2012

First Broad Bean Harvest

A gorgeous sunny day today on the beach, after a nice lunch, a swim and a snooze, thought  we ought to make a quick trip to the plot this evening to pick  some goodies.

Carrots are doing poorly but then so are Monty Don`s so I am going to re-sow next week.
Shallots are starting to rot due to water-logging so will pick the rest of those tomorrow
My re-sown peas are going up like a rocket amazing what a bit of sun and warmth will do.
Beetroot`s can now be picked on a regular basis, so can radish
Broad beans first pick today, lovely and lots more to follow
First cauliflower pulled, just showing a little water damage
Did a blind potato tasting today Anya or PFA no question PFA

Tomorrow is due to be a lovely day here in  Eastbourne so we plan to Barbecue some lamb chops  for our evening meal at the chalet. Will serve together with cauliflower, broad beans, and Charlotte potatoes. 

                                            A small but tasty harvest

We also picked shallots and the last of the rhubarb. The cauliflower is showing some water damage but should still be tasty

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Young Sparrowhawk no practice needed now

Incredibly I was just posting pictures of birds including an item about a young sparrowhawk who hasn`t yet caught a bird in our garden at least, when he turned up swiftly and silently and in a blink of an eye bagged what we think is a blackbird.

Nature can be cruel, but you cannot help but admire what  magnificent killing machines birds of prey are especially this one who is clearly in his prime

success at last keep away

Success at last in our garden 

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Young male sparrowhawk in my garden

I have been requested to post these on the blog by a friend who is not signed into Facebook where they were originally published

Lands on the fence after no success in catching a blackbird in flight

Has a good look round

spots a juvenile blackbird hiding in a shrub

No luck the bird has flown

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Mid summer

Visited the plot today first time for nearly a week due to the rain and wet underfoot conditions. I cannot believe its nearly mid July hardly any sunshine to speak of but plenty of rain.
The bad news first I noticed the first signs of blight on my first and second early potatoes. I am a little surprised by this as I didn`t think we have had any humid days yet, lots of rain yes, maybe that is the problem, our site is prone to blight and it seems to be always about the middle of July.
I hope to have dealt with it by cutting down all the haulm at soil level at the top of the ridge to prevent it spreading down to the potatoes themselves. I will burn the diseased haulm when I am next down on Monday.
The good news, I have a bumper crop of raspberries from just a few canes, the wildlife don`t seem to have bothered with them this year, perhaps to much natural food about with all the rain.
I am very sad not to have seen any butterflies at all yet this summer our site is overgrown with nettles  and other wild plants they love, it must be too wet, they cannot fly with wet wings perhaps there is time yet I really hope so.

There is a allotment here somewhere, time for Eastbourne council to come in with strimmers

Wisley Magic runner bean flowers not setting yet

Just need the sunshine now

I can`t see the point of standing when you can sit to pick Raspberries. Yes I know shorts are a bad idea with nettles about.

About ten minutes to pick this punnet full and about the same to follow

Have replanted Telefone peas this is a few more waiting to go in, the slugs had the first lot