WP_20150826_19_04_46_ProTo Walter Degrasse

Dear Walter,

Another month and little to report as far as Old School Garden is concerned! As you know we’ve spent around 10 days away in Portugal (more posts on this to follow in the next few days), and once more we seem to have found some lovely and interesting places to visit. Fortunately my neighbours and good friends Steve and Joan were able to get in to water while we were away.

There seems to have been a good harvest of tomatoes, cucumbers and soft fruit while we’ve been abroad, and this is continuing ,though starting to tail off a little (apart from the prolific blackberries and promise of many apples to come). The new watering/feeding system for the greenhouse tomatoes seems to be going well, though it seems many others have had a good crop of tomatoes this year too, so we must hold fire on any final conclusions about its advantages over other systems- but having the reservoirs does make watering less of an issue while you’re away.

Almost the first thing I noticed when looking round the garden was a new rash of mole hills and tunnels, so the mole man’s achievement of catching two, has paled as we seem to ave around four or five new and probably young moles at work! I swear they were waiting in the borders for us to go away before they came out into the grass! As we are about to go away again (to Scotland and Northumberland, isn’t retirement tiring?) I’ll hold off on any further action until we return-  as I have a couple of traps I might have a go myself.

Sweet William seedlings in a nursery bed, just avoiding being smothered by the squashes!

Sweet William seedlings in a nursery bed, just avoiding being smothered by the squashes!

You know I’ve been puzzled about my raspberries – you might remember that for a few years now the second half of the autumn fruiting variety has not produced any flowers or fruit? Well, I noticed one summer type- fruit on one of the canes the other day and that got me thinking. Maybe these canes are summer varieties and therefore I’ve been pruning them wrongly! I shall leave the canes that have grown this year and treat them like summer varieties and we’ll see if they produce anything next year.

The garden is looking very full and flouncy and its a pleasure just wandering around it or sitting on the terrace, though recent weather seems to have announced autumn rather than the expected dry warmth of late summer! Thankfully most of my house decorating is now done, so I can turn my hands to the garden more seriously upon our return from the north. I’m keen to press on with my pond project and I’m gathering lots of ideas for this as I look round gardens and parks on our travels. Also, as my old potting shed is now reaching the end of its life, I’m thinking about creating a new one using the floorboards taken up during our refurbishment works. This will probably be a spring project.

WP_20150826_19_05_21_ProWell, old friend, once more to the joys of packing cases for another trip, hopefully to include some beautiful landscapes and interesting places (we’re also taking our bikes!), as well as seeing our old circle of college pals for our annual ‘road trip’…

Good gardening!

Old School Gardener

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