Garden Views-06-June 2015

What a start to summer! June 1st brought gales, cold temperatures and 41 mm of continuous rain in the first 24 hours – our wettest day for months. As the month progressed though, rainfall was modest but as in May, temperatures were poor, particularly overnight.SDIM2496 (2) Although a fairly bright month, these low temperatures combined with frequent northerly winds, meant that growth and flowering times for many plants were relatively late. June 20th saw a nightime temperature of just 5 degrees C.SDIM3280 (2) But my bottle bank system for vegetable growing really paid off this year, as did the extra warmth in the greenhouse from lots of bottle stored water, and supplementary heat from my compost heating system. We enjoyed our first roast apricots on the longest day, June 21st.SDIM3331 (2)By which time we had good tomato set, and up to 4 flower trusses open on some plants – really pleasing since they were all growing in the same pots, in the same compost (from our compost heating system) for the 3rd year in succession, and all plants were grown from home saved seed.SDIM3193 (2) I’d heard that tomatoes are one of the few plants which relish growing in the same soil year after year, and with the addition of broken egg shells added at potting out time, they certainly seem to be performing better than ever.

A real delight was the regular sightings and constant tsooweeeping of a pair of nesting Redstarts, Phoenicurus phoenicurus, just beyond our bedroom roof light, in the cottage’s old stone wall.S1010046 (2)S1010118 (2)SDIM2498 (2)SDIM2496 (2)SDIM2503 (2)SDIM2509 (2)SDIM2511 (2)SDIM2515 (2)SDIM2539 (2)SDIM3286 (2)SDIM3373 (2)SDIM3378 (2)SDIM3211 (2)SDIM3220 (2)SDIM3420 (2)SDIM3433 (2)SDIM3424 (2)SDIM3417 (3)SDIM3445 (2)SDIM3447 (2)

A month of fabulous cloud scapes, and few midges to prevent outside enjoyment until very late in the month. 2 new Wax cap mushroom species found in the hay meadow, along with a first Small Heath and Common Blue butterfly at Gelli Uchaf.SDIM3396 (2)SDIM3491 (2)SDIM3363 (2)SDIM3429 (2)

The last week of June finally saw temperatures rise, peaking on June 30th in the high ’20’s SDIM3470 (2)On a day of perfect hay drying weather – strong sun all day, and a brisk wind.SDIM3465 (2)Unfortunately, rain showers on July 1st – which had not been forecast, spoiled much of the hard work, but not before another spectacular Scarlet tiger moth, Callimorpha dominula, was spotted, flying through the hay meadow, and fortunately pausing for a photograph as the rain began to fall.SDIM3484 (2)

Rainfall total for the month was 74.9 mm. The inverter for our PV system shows another month of over 500 KWH, after April, the second brightest month of 2015.SDIM3469 (2)

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