June and July 2013

Posted by on Jul 30, 2013 in Garden Diary | Comments Off on June and July 2013

afternoontea460June and July have been incredible for us. Firstly we had our second open day where we raised another £256 for the NGS. It was a wet old day but we still had 44 visitors. It doesn’t sound a lot but imagine saying to someone that you had 44 people for tea and cake; different story eh?
Then providence awards us with a swarm of bees for a second hive. July has been a month of watching what bees do. How they fill up so full of nectar that they almost crash land into the hive, or they do crash land in front of the hive, take a minutes breather and then make it to the hive after a second attempt. We’ve learnt how much they love borage. And we have had a taste of their honey already. An unintentional taste you could say when we were moving them from their original swarm box to their new hive. Honey you buy in the shops is mostly heat treated. This honey was like acacia honey, clear, delicate and almost vibrating with goodness. Of course we want the bees to have all they need for this winter, so that will be all we’ll have in all probability. Our bees have plentiful nectar sources very close by, access to fresh water, shelter from winds. with a little luck they will prosper.
July has seen such high temperatures. and we have spent so much time watering. We had planted so much in the autumn that all these plants needed water. Even two year old trees need plenty of extra water. It’s always important to water where the roots are to move to, then they can continue to establish a good root system.
P1090701_3July sees the beginning of reaping the rewards in the vegetable garden and fruit cage. Eating becomes a simpler affair now for a while. What could be nicer than a plate of Aran Pilot new potatoes cooked with lots of mint, and served with butter alongside broad beans a la River Barn? ( young broad beans still in their pods cooked with onion, garlic and bacon ) Pudding being a fruit fool or just a bowl full of raspberries, gooseberries and black currents with a very generous bowl of chantilly cream.
Wine making now starts in earnest. I’ll talk about that next time. Bye for now.
ps Our hedgehog is still coming every week or so for a top up of chopped almonds.