|Looking for the queen|
The geese have a new pool. Our neighbour gave us half a roof box and it makes a great place for a play and wash. We had looked at children's sand pits which would make a nice pool, but they are very expensive here so we waited to see what would come up. Just as they outgrew the cat litter tray this was donated. So for now they are very happy, going for a dip regularly as the temperature rises, then retiring for a rest under the tree. They are so big now, they sound like a herd of horses charging down the path with their feet slapping on the path.
|And because we can't leave the chickens out, her they are destroying a branch from the apricot tree, complete with masses of green apricots and bugs.|
The garden is looking very floral now. The roses are coming out all over the place, our surviving stock is out and the tobacco plants have started to break. There are loads of buds on the poppies and the Californian poppies are coming on. The geese are inclined to take a swipe at any poppy as they pass so they are looking a trifle ragged.
The warmer weather we are having now has brought the cucumber out of sulk. The last of the peppers and chillis are planted and the greenhouse can come down now. The runner beans are three feet up the poles so I am hoping they have now made enough growth to cope with the hotter weather. I have started to use the onions in earnest now and am planning on freezing some of the over wintered ones when they are ready as they do not keep a long time. The rest we will use as and when we need them and for chutneys. The garlic will be ready to lift soon leaving some space to put more beetroot and carrots in. We are continuing to pick and freeze peas and the sugar snaps have now started so they are being grabbed and eaten as we pass. I even caught Dave eating peas straight off the plant yesterday. I worry about the broad beans though. The plants are great with masses of flowers, the bees are very busy, but the beans are just not growing despite the warm, damp weather we have been having.
Unfortunately the warmer weather has brought out a pest we have been dreading, the Colorado beetle. Luckily the potatoes are flowering so even if they take hold we should still have potatoes to keep us going a while. We may put some more in later once the Colorado breeding season abates. Dave found a good home for these in the septic tank which is nearby.
We have had a few strawberries and Venka has sent some over, so I have neen freezing what we don't eat ready for jam. We also bought kilo of fresh cherries from the market (cost about 80p) That same day our rear neighbour brought us three branches from his cherry tree. Not sure which one as he has several, including one by the bee hive which I have been coveting as it is heavy with fruit and I can't touch it! So I have started making jam. I had some raspberries I bought for trifle for Christmas in the freezer, so with the strawberries and a few sticks of rhubarb and some stewed apple from last autumn, made a delicious mixed fruit jam. It only made three jars and a bowl for tasting. I'm not a jam eater but this is great and I now have to decide if I am going to take it to the car boot sale with three jars of cherry jam or keep it for us. I have started to make some glace cherries too, that takes two weeks!
|From the market|
|From the neighbour|
|Six jars of jam. Do I keep or sell?|