My goodness isn’t it hot! Both the maurading Labradors and myself are melting. Our day consists of bursts of gardening followed by pots of tea and dips in the pool. What I haven’t mentioned is that poor old Tango (the blonde one) has gone blind with cataracts and keeps falling into the pool; luckily he knows where the steps are. Any way enough of this nattering, on with the gardening.
1st August. Things I have been doing lately:
🌱 Letting the grass grow. I know that technically God makes the grass grow – mind you he is never around when it’s mowing time – but I have decided to assist him by letting my grass grow longer. When I told Cruella (my wife) that I was letting the grass grow she got very angry, when I asked why? She told me that longer grass would make it difficult for her to catch the frogs she uses in her beauty cream.
Now I understand that not many of you have a lawn in Spain as they can be tricky in the heat. But for those of you who do, then it’s time to let the grass grow a bit longer. There are a number of benefits from this:
- It stops scorching over the Summer
- It encourages low growing wild flowers
- It helps pollinators as the wild flowers provide nectar
- It saves you having to mow in the heat
One of the delights of the longer grass has been the low growing and creeping wildflowers. The first photo below shows the tiny yellow flowers of Creeping Woodsorrel that greet me every morning but then disappear by lunch as they escape the Sun. The second photo shows something I had never seen on the lawn, but is now happily growing in bare patches under shade. This is Asian Ponysfoot (from the shape of the leaf). I would have missed both of these if I had kept the mower blade low. Click on each photo for a larger view.
🍊 Harvesting Figs. Regular readers of this blog will know that I love Figs and look forward to the harvesting season with great anticipation. The great joy of Fig trees is that once they get mature then they produce fantastic harvests. The photo below shows the first figs of joy.
The problem of course is that once the figs start then they come thick and fast. You need to harvest every day, preferably first thing in the morning when they will be at their juiciest. Figs keep perfectly happy in the fridge for weeks, but, try and use up as many as possible fresh; including sharing your harvest with friends. But if you want to save some for the future then dry them in the Sun. This is very simple;
- Cut each fig in half
- Place them on an open mesh tray
- Place them on a table in full Sun
- Cover them with a mesh cover to protect from birds
- Try and remember to bring them indoors at night
The photo below shows my fig preparation area in action.
After three days the Figs should be fully dried and you can them store them in a plastic box in the freezer for months. Now to assist you in this matter I have once again come up with a new invention to stop the ants devouring your figs as they dry. (See photo below). The main components of my new invention are orange juice bottles cut in half, filled with water and then with the table legs inserted . Once again I have great hopes of this device being stocked by Amazon.
✂️ Trimming Trumpet Vine. I have lots of Pink Trumpet Vine growing in hedges etc in my garden, and it is a great joy with beautiful hanging flowers. Another of the great joys of Trumpet Vine is the hanging seed pods that are left after flowering. These provide great interest in the Autumn, but for now we need more flowers. To achieve another flush of flowers go round now chopping off all the seed pods and lo and behold you will have another huge burst of flowers. The next lot of seed pods can be left on as these will provide the plant with interest for the Autumn season. The first photo below shows the seed pods ripe for trimming, whilst the second photo shows the newly trimmed plant. Click on each photo for a larger view.
🦗 Spray Aphids. At this time of year you need to check your plants daily for pests such as Aphids. In my case this means putting on my glasses. Aphids and other pests start off very small and unnoticeable and till one day you have a biblical plague of them sucking the life out of your lovely plants. The first photo below shows my discovery of a new problem plague which I dealt with unmercifully with the methods in the second photo.
🧟♀️ Cruella has a Makeover. Regular readers of this blog will know that Cruella (my wife) is a proponent of the dark arts which I call Witchcraft but she insists is merely another way of looking at things. Any way because of the recent problems caused by identity politics she has decided that in case of bad publicity she needs a new image. Together with a number of her friends throughout the world she has formed a new association called Witches Lives Matter (WLM). To launch WLM Cruella has had a number of publicity photos taken showing her in a sympathetic light. In one photo she is seen swinging on a swing that is garlanded with flowers and with a garland of flowers in her hair. In another she is sitting on a rug before an open fire cuddling three cute little puppies. The photo she has Insisted I use in my blog is shown below and is self explanatory.