It won’t have escaped the notice of regular readers that there’s been a gap. again. One of the sure fire ways of knowing that i’m on the way down / staying down is a lack of proper posts, and one of the ways i know i’m coming back out of it is from wanting to post again. I know i *should* write it out of my system, the problem is, by the time i’ve geared myself up enough to actually put fingers to keyboard and write it out.. i’m heading out anyway. so i’m stopping apologising for these gaps in blogging, and just getting on with it 🙂 best thing, i think. The reason for this one? well.. i can’t really say here. those that need to know, know what its about – all i will say, so i don’t worry anyone, is that Michiel and i aren’t breaking up or anything silly like that, its a combination of external pressure/stress and other stuff going on around us that is causing this – and the only way i can cope with it, initially, is to put my head down and.. metaphorically pull the covers over my head, i guess. for a while. At the moment i’m coping with the pressure a little better, plus at least one of them is heading for.. well.. not a resolution. but an end to the not knowing, and once we know.. we’ll be able to handle things better, or at least, to get used to the idea. I’m sorry i’m being so mysterious about it, but it can’t be helped.

Taken from eye level, looking up past the kale plant (which has fallen over due to high winds) towards the trees by the fence.. in places the grass is as high as my knee!

Unfortunately one of the things that also suffers in this is the garden. When i’m like this, i struggle to even get essential stuff done like dinner and shopping. The garden.. well.. looks like a jungle. (or it did, before i grabbed the strimmer and headed out there yesterday). I also, in dealing with the photos i took yesterday/today, found some old photos from 15th May that i took and hadn’t put onto flickr – they do, usefully, show just how much things have grown in just under 4 weeks.. Photos behind the cut, as usual. This is a photo intensive post by the way..

Beds 1 and 2. You can’t even *see* bed 2!!! (it should be to the right of bed 1 with the canes at the back of it). Bed 1 has garlic, a keeled over kale plant from last year (I want the seeds, so waiting for the seed pods to develop properly) and peas in it. Bed 2 will have tomatoes and cukes in once i’ve dug it over. Need to get to it first! This was yesterday.. and today..

Hey, there’s bed 2 again!! I strimmed around the edges. The problem is, its a small battery operated strimmer, and only good for so much work before the battery runs out and i have to put it on recharge. So doing the whole garden takes a while, especially when the grass is this tall! Iittle and often is the way. still. you can at least see the edges, and see the garlic now. tomorrow i’ll do up the middle of the two beds.

you can see the line where i went up to….

The side garden – see how overgrown it is?

The salad box – the first one anyway. I’ve bought another box, but i haven’t filled it with compost/planted seeds yet. L to R – radish, spring onion, radish, spring onion (different varieties), corn salad, peas (for pea tips in salad), lettuces. that was on 15th May.. now..

taken today. I think they need thinning out a lil.. lol

Right end of Bed 5. You can see the bulbs growing well, the nigella and honeysuckle towards the back. This was on 15th May. Now..

You can see how much the bulbs have grown in the time span

Kale flowers in bed 1, and tomatoes in their pots. taken 15th May.

Left end of Bed 5 – bulbs, geraniums, sedums.. growing well. Taken on 15th May. now..

still not exactly full, but everything is bigger than it was!

Broad bean seedlings on 15th May.

Broad Bean seedling today. and this isn’t even the full height. its close to knee high now.

Potato plants on 15th May. now..

Potato plants now. And, remember, i haven’t mown the grass around these beds, so once i do, the contrast between the photo from 15th May and now will be even more apparent. can’t wait to see if i’ve got some spuds out of it!

Potato plant – close up – on 15th May

Garlic, on 15th May

Strawberry flowers on 15th May

toilet roll tubes with seeds in, in the cold frame.. taken on 15th May

Wild Aquilegia** that’s grown in the front garden, ostenably belonging to upstairs flat but he isn’t interested and its something of a dumping ground for the area. I may well dig these up and transfer them to my garden, they’re so pretty. there’s three of them, two light pink ones and one deep purple one.

they’re rather more unusual flower head shapes though.

you can see i’ve mowed the area around Bed 3 and where the greenhouse will go – that’ll be going up in the next couple of days. the big pot next to the bags of compost in the middle is my strawberry tower..

Here is a close up. not bad from what was originally just three plants..

and look! strawberries! SQUEEEE! Actually.. got lots of strawberries developing this year, so I’m really pleased.. next year should (I hope) be even better!

And they’re still coming, i’ve got lots of strawberry flowers too!

Not to mention either redcurrants or black currants – not sure which one this is, as i (foolishly) didn’t keep the labels.. be fun to find out!!! – and raspberries and tayberries. both have set flowers and are fruiting, although i don’t expect a huge harvest off them, as its the first year for both. I tried to get photos but they were rubbish ones, so maybe when the fruit has grown a lil bigger.

This is an annual i got given for free by Lidl one shopping trip, and i can’t remember what its called! I got 10 plants, gave 4 to a friend, and kept 6 for me. The flowers are the most gorgeous deep velvety purply colour.. unfortunately it doesn’t show up at all well on my camera which handles reds very strangely. oh well.

My peas have started to flower/pod.. this is a sugar snap pea i think

and a pod!! can’t wait to eat the pods. they’re so crunchy and sweet and … nomnomnomnom

Finally, a job i did yesterday was to put straw around the strawberries/redcurrants/blackcurrant bushes in Bed 3. it not only gives the strawberries some measure of protection from slugs, its kinda traditional, and i like traditional. strawberries requires straw. so, understanding the reason for said straw, i put the straw down. And it looks great!

tomorrow: more work with the strimmer. Dig over bed 2? it won’t take a lot, then i can build the tomato frame/cage and plant the tomatoes. Or put the greenhouse up. Maybe the greenhouse, as Michiel is flying out to the Netherlands on Tuesday for a few days, and i can’t do the greenhouse alone, whereas i can do the tomato cage on my own.. watch this space!

* with thanks to the theme tune from “Monk” – “Its a Jungle out there. / Disorder and Confusion Everywhere! / No one seems to care / Well i do! / Hey who’s in charge here? / It’s a jungle out there / Poison in the very air we breathe. / Do you know what’s in the water that you drink? / Well I do, and it’s amazing. / People think I’m crazy, ’cause I worry all the time / If you paid attention, you’d be worried too. / You better pay attentionOr this world we love so much might just kill you / I could be wrong now, but I don’t think so / It’s a jungle out there. / It’s a jungle out there.”