Little Surprises

I was beginning to feel in despair of anything really coming together in the garden and greenhouse this year. Rain we have an abundance of, but far from the hot humidity of the Amazon, it’s been surprisingly cold and nothing much was happy about taking their first tentative steps out into the world. The only relationship there was to a jungle was thanks to the tomatoes. Their leaves were beginning to dominate the greenhouse. 

I have always been inclined to strip away the bottom leaves of the tomato plants once the fruit has set, this has allowed the trough below the tomatoes to be filled with plant pots of newly sown seeds and it shows nothing is wasted when it comes to available daylight. Removing the leaves allows more underplanting. I was amazed at the nearby tomato nursery and the almost naked, very tall vines they have but allowing the leaves to remain would almost certainly slow down the development and ripening of their tomatoes. 

I had the first taste of the garden peas and cut the first cucumber and at long last I have had a few strawberries, at least what the birds and gastropods have left me. On checking the plants in the morning, I must have taken a starling by surprise as it was tucking into one of the ripe strawberries. When it flew out, I don’t know who got the biggest fright but it was not daunted at me being there. At times it was no more than a metre away from me and it made every effort to get back to the strawberries. I threw some netting over them and it eventually left. I’d seen it before and just thought it was being friendly, how naive can you get? 

My little Chilean Guava, which had it’s one and only fruiting branch broken off last year by my neighbour’s rampaging dog, has surprised me this year by having some developing fruit, they are so tiny yet, I almost missed them.

The courgette Tondo Chiaro di Nizza is coming along nicely and the tromba de albenga is still only in bud but climbing rapidly. A nice little developing Ambercup squash was attacked by a snail. The other mini pumpkins are starting to bud but I need to find a new home for some of them. 

Inside the greenhouse, I really need to get some plants repotted, too many have outgrown the present pots. I have some houseplants boarded out in order for them to get the benefit of the sunlight and more natural surroundings. With the cucumbers hogging the climbing strings, there was nothing else to do than let the cucamelon become a trailer as opposed to a climber. The Indian mint is beginning to cascade down as well and between that, coriander and basil, there is such a delightfully sweet smell. To encourage pollinators, I am growing nasturtiums beside the tomatoes, it has certainly increased the visits by bees.


Sharing the top shelf with the Aloe and Clivia, is the cucamelon. The Indian mint is relegated to a lower shelf and is next to some spring onions. The little yellow flowers are that of the electric daisy, one small bite of the flower or leaf will numb your mouth for several minutes, the reason it’s also known as the toothache plant.


Why not visit my other blog Grannysattic


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