I am of course referring to last night’s spectacular storm, which was not exactly frightening, but it certainly was spectacular. I can’t remember ever seeing the sky lit up like that, well not in this country; it was more like some of those tropical storms, or the type that you sometimes experience in the Mediterranean, with an almost continual background noise of sheet lightning interspersed with dramatic fork strikes. The thunder itself was very much a support act, angrily growling away in the wings as the show-off star of the show overacted centre stage. It did rain for a while, but it obviously didn’t amount to much, because the road outside was dry by the time I got up this morning. I am writing this early Sunday morning, because we are having a family barbeque later on when I would normally be sat at my laptop, and the weather forecast is suggesting that there might be more to come. Guess who will be stood outside in the middle of the storm, slaving over hot charcoal, turning the sausages with a nice shiny lightning conductor in my hand?!
Actually, our Met Office chums didn’t quite read the seaweed correctly last week. Last Sunday I told you that they were predicting almost continuous sunshine, with not a hint of rain right through to the end of the month. I wasn’t unhappy that they failed to see that lovely downpour coming that freshened things up on Thursday night; it eased the soil to the point where I was able to earth up the potatoes on Friday, and it gave the young plants that I have recently been transplanting a nice natural drink.
Generally the growing season seems to be catching up after its late start, with most things now coming into season just a little later than normal. Gardens are looking lovely at the moment, festooned with wisteria, clematis, ceanothus and honeysuckle. The ‘Chelsea chop’, that time when you go into the borders and give them a good tidy up around the time of the Chelsea Flower Show, can be delayed for a while this year while everything is still in its pomp. The Elder flowers are just starting to bloom, just a week or so later than they usually do, so it will soon be time to gather them for cordial or champagne making.
In the market garden the broad beans are tantalising close to being ready to pick; I will inspect them later this morning, but I think that it will be next week before I can pick an appreciable quantity of them. There are now plenty of lettuces of various types – little gem, round red ones, and oakleaf. Like the beans, the Swiss chard could really do with one more week of growing before I start cutting it. Leeks have now finished until the autumn, so apart from them the availability list remains pretty much as it was last week. Asparagus, broccoli, beetroot, mushrooms, lettuce, courgettes, aubergine, new potatoes, carrots, onions, and ‘Sorrento’ old potatoes. There are oranges, lemons and kiwi fruit. Stop press! I’ve been to work, had the barbeque, and I am pleased to announce that I think that there will be enough chard to cut this week after all.
I heard a cuckoo! Only once, early last week, quite close to the garden, phew. I know that they are villains, but I would miss them if they didn’t pat their annual visit to us.
To be honest I’m a bit full up now, and I can’t concentrate on writing this, so I think I will finish now. You will possibly have noticed that you haven’t received an email from me about protecting your privacy; even little old me has to comply with the new regulation, so I am going to have to do something; it will be totally boring, but just one of those things that has to be done.
Enjoy your week. It’s the Suffolk Show on Wednesday and Thursday, I used to go every year, mostly because I used to do a stint in the beekeepers tent, but haven’t attended for a few years. I must get back there sometime.
Oh. by the way, it didn’t rain, or thunder, it was a lovely day, and it’s a super evening; the blackbirds are serenading me as I send this.