Tuesday, 5 June 2012

We were away on Saturday and Sunday. It was lovely to step away from everyday life and disconnect from the world for a bit, so much so that we were oblivious to the fact that it had rained so much. We were staying around Sussex and managed to dodge the rain almost entirely. We came back late Sunday night and I was straight out back to see how the garden had faired so it came as a surprise that both water butts were brimming over with water and the garden was invaded by snails taking advantage of the dampness.

Leah's sunflower had opened last week and was looking lovely. Just to the right of it was Chris's which was along way from opening but was far taller.

Thursday morning I suddenly realised Leah's was missing it's head, it had been cleanly bitten off and the remains of it was sitting on top of the wall. A squirrel had had a good breakfast that morning. The next day, Chris's sunflower fell victim to the squirrel. Some harsh gardening lessons for the kids, you win some and you lose some. We have currently have 3 really robust looking sunflowers left, (touch wood) hoping they survive and we get to enjoy them.

Most people won't deny they love a freebie and I don't deny it either. So, when I saw an article in Gardeners World magazine about growing tomato plants from the sideshoots I had to give it a go. In my ignorance, I tried this last year, just sticking a sideshoot in a pot of soil and of course nothing happened. If you're a newbie to gardening or like me (quite often) a person who wings it and hopes for the best then you might find this helpful and informative.
Take a sideshoot, remove most of the leaves and place in a glass of water in a sunny window or growhouse. After about a week or so, the small hairs on the stem form into roots.

 I've planted it up and hope that it will take. I've popped it in the tomato growhouse and hopefully it may provide a late batch of toms. I'll let you know how it progresses.

We have a some blackberry canes that having been going for about 6/7 years. The past two years they haven't cropped so well so I'm trying this that I read about. Take some good new growth and just plant it in some soil and leave it for a good few weeks and roots will have formed and I'll have a new cane to add in.

I've also been giving it a six weekly feed of potash and that really seems to have kick started it.

I'm slightly concerned about my chillis and the fact that nothing much is happening! No flowers at all yet so when I was in the supermarket and they were selling peppers reduced to £1.05 I got tempted and bought one as a backup. He was just a bit floppy and needed repotting and pinching out. I also realised he was quite a bit further on than my peppers, sweet or chilli. Just hoping that at least one of them will come through for me.

Elsewhere, fruits are forming and getting plump....

Apple tree with 3 varieties grafted on, its first year and we have 6 apples
Moneymaker tom

Blueberry, first year cropping.

So, the kids are off school and there is much more rain forecast so it may just be a case of dodging the rain to pick snails off my plants and sending them to a better place (the compost bin).



  1. That's a shame about the sunflower, mine get chomped by parakeets!
    Your chillis need sun and warmth which we haven't had much of so it's not surprising that they're doing nothing much.
    Happy gardening! Flighty xx

  2. Great tip on the tomatoes - Might try it myself. Thanks again for such a great blog! Niamh.

  3. "wings it and hopes for the best" lol - yep that's me too! Alison x

  4. Thanks Flighty, I was just worried I was doing something wrong. Let's hope we all get some some soon. X