You’d think a good heavy rain shower would be welcome in summer…

Not if you’ve just spent ages watering the garden with a good deep soak after days of no rain!

My weekly photo - which was actually taken on a Wednesday!

My weekly photo – which was actually taken on a Wednesday!

I haven’t done much in the garden lately.  One of the consequences of finding the festive spirit.  So today I was determined to make the day about the garden and I was a little bit worried about what I would find.  But thanks to my handy dandy weeding and watering rotation system – although I have only managed one cycle, it was enough to hold the garden in a state of respectability.

As I never manage to load it on a Wednesday - I could make it a Thursday photo...  but that would just turn in to a Friday photo....

As I never manage to load it on a Wednesday – I could make it a Thursday photo… but that would just turn in to a Friday photo….

Today was one of those hot muggy days with high cloud. One of those days when it is hot from the moment you get out of bed, and it was sticky.  It is still very much a novelty to feel the summer heat.  No one is complaining about it yet, they are all saying how lovely it is.  But instinct told me that I should disregard my wee system and focus on watering.  Things were starting to look a little peaky.

I am so grateful for my irrigation system, although I wish I had more than one tap!  I spent the entire day setting the timer on my phone and turning the hose on.  My day was broken up into 22 fifteen minute intervals.  I think I need to change my ringtone because I am so sick of that tune.  But each bed got a good descent drink and in some cases I even feed them – lucky tomatoes and peppers!

Meanwhile, I got on with all sorts of other tasks – some dreadfully overdue, like removing the spring planter buckets from the front door as Hubby the Un-Gardener was always moaning that all the dead foliage looked really ugly, and I guess he had a point – I just never really got round to moving them.  Others were just necessary – like cleaning out the chicken coop.

This is MY box!  All a girl really wants is to lay an egg in peace the quite without someone trying to lay an egg on my head!

This is MY box! All a girl really wants is to lay an egg in peace the quite without someone trying to lay an egg on my head!

Those girls are so funny.  I chose to do this job first and it must have been egg laying time. I must have messed with their routine, because I took the nesting boxes away to scrub them clean and they squawked about the coop with their legs crossed, complaining bitterly.  I put the first box back in and then came back with the next one to find three chickens in the one box, sitting on top of each other!

If I had a tractor this big - I could have an even bigger garden!

If I had a tractor this big – I could have an even bigger garden!

Later in the day a large tractor showed up to bale the grass we had cut a few days earlier.  We decided to make silage, rather than bales of hay as the silage is all wrapped up and can be stored outside, but hay would require us to tidy out the shed to make room for it, and at this time of year, there is too much other stuff to do.  This is where you can tell we aren’t real farmers, because real farmers wouldn’t decide what to do with their grass based on a reluctance to tidy a shed.

The grass always looks so amazing when it is put into rows - but then I like nice tidy rows in my garden!

The grass always looks so amazing when it is put into rows – but then I like nice tidy rows in my garden!

Then it happened… a lovely hot sticky day spent watering my entire garden for over FIVE hours and then – the heavens open and rain pours out.  Not a dribbly insignificant splatter, but a full on down pour.  The kind the quenches a parched earth.  The thing is – I didn’t have a parched earth, it was already quenched!  My first thoughts were “seriously?! – you’ve got to be kidding me!”

Not a bad all for this time of year!

Not a bad all for this time of year!

I was going to make elderflower champagne and elderflower cordial for Christmas, but you are supposed to pick the flowers when they are dry so that stopped those plans.  But I was still able to harvest a load of peas, strawberries, asparagus and broccoli – Oh and my first couple of Zukes – and so the harvest truly begins.

To make up for the lack of elderflower goodness, I decided to make the Christmas cake – I know it’s late, but I have a fabulous last minute recipe.  I was foiled by the cake too!  I read my lovely recipe and it says to soak the fruit in sherry for THREE DAYS!  I want to make my cake now!  Although it’s probably a good thing…  I think I’ve done enough for one day!

Come again soon – I still have to tackle a few weeds before they become a jungle.

Sarah the Gardener : o )

 

17 Comments on “You’d think a good heavy rain shower would be welcome in summer…

  1. Love these photos so I can picture what your farming life must be like. Thanks, Sarah. Also, would you take a picture of elderberry plant for me? It’s native to here where I live, and I’d love to see a photo of what yours looks like. I want to make some elderberry and apple vinegar so I don’t have to purchase it. Do you have a good recipe you use or have any suggestions for how elderberry does in your recipes? I’ve never worked with it. You can email me a photo at growinggracefarm@gmail.com. Thanks!

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    • Hi Cameron. Thank you for your lovely words. The elderflowers haven’t been taken off the to do list and so I hope to make my drinks before the end of the week. As for recipes – I just Googled them. I think this year I’ll use the River Cottage (UK) recipes for the cordial and the champagne as they both look relatively easy. The berries make a lovely wine and a nice “grown up” jam. I haven’t tried anything else – yet! Although apple and elderberry vinegar sounds lovely!
      I’ll make sure I include the elderflowers in my next blog!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  2. Two things, the hot sultry heat is the best thing for growing anything. Also you can water until the well is dry, there is nothing like a drink of real rain water to get the garden going in the right direction. Thanks for sharing.

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    • Hi. All the plants seem to have truly taken off now. This is always such an exciting time in the garden, the plants are no longer fragile babies that need to be nurtured and as they are yet to product anything significant – the harvest is becoming more and more anticipated with each passing day. Oh I can hardly wait.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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    • Hi Linda
      Thank you for your kind words. I know exactly what you mean. Northern gardens keep me inspired during our long wet yucky winters. I’m so glad I can offer you a window looking out onto a summer garden to keep you going.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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    • Hi There. Thank you so much. It has been a labour of love over several years and I feel really content with how it is. Having said that – there is always the possibility of just one more veggie bed…
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  3. Isn’t it often the case; we look at clouds, check where the wind’s coming from, compare it to other occasions when similar conditions prevailed and make an ‘educated’ guess whether it’s going to rain or not. And after all that, mother nature decides to have a bit of a laugh, making it quite clear that we’ve made the wrong decision to water/ not water AGAIN!!!
    Christine

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    • Hi Christine. I think the worst part is when it rains while I’m actually watering the garden! The sticky muggy weather has given way to proper blue sky summer days – an absolute pleasure to out and about in. Although that hose will need to be seen more often.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  4. Sounds like you are living in the tropics ;). I know what you mean about it raining after you water…especially when you have spent the better part of most of the day watering! Oh well…I guess it’s all part of the gardening ethos…at least they got watered albeit twice 🙂

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    • Hi Fran. Luckily our soil is really good – they call it the sponge of the soil world, so the double watering would have gone deep and be held tight, so I don’t have to spend too much time with a hose in this crazy last week running up to Christmas – especially now the kids are home from school. I’d get them to hold a hose, only they don’t do it properly!
      Cheer Sarah : o )

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  5. Thank you for liking my blog, Sarah! You gardening efforts are impressive! I bet Christmas dinner is going to delicious at your house. Nothing beats the flavour of freshly picked home grown vegetables.

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