Yes, the garden is growing and the sun is shining. The harvesting of wonderful salad has taken over from the cutting of succulent sprouting broccoli (there's plenty of bags of broccoli in the freezer now). The broccoli plants have been lifted and taken their final journey to the big compost heaps (stalks cut off for burning as they are too tough to compost).
The strawberry plants are covered in blossom and the bees are busy pollinating the thornless blackberry – it looks like a bumper crop later this month (June) if we can keep the birds and slugs at bay!
Our parsnips and carrots have germinated well this year and (fingers crossed) even the peas and french beans seem to have escaped most of the predations of the tireless voles. The potatoes are roaring ahead now as are the runner beans, beetroot and spinach. We are up to the mark with our hoeing and the present sunny dry weather will do much to keep the weeds under control.
The sweet corn and pumpkins are still waiting for warmer weather but they are poised for a growth spurt when it finally arrives (temperatures of 14C are hardly enough).
The apple trees are still covered in blossom but the plums have already set a decent crop of fruit despite the late frosts. The blackcurrant and gooseberry bushes are covered in unripe fruit.
We are already progressively scything the orchard and young trees – piling up the compost heaps to fantastic heights which will produce our annual two and a half tons of winter food for the garden.
Our new “city garden” seems to be growing well and (fortunately) remains pretty free of weeds. So our “crash” programme using the rotavator after chunky digging seems to have paid off. The soil is much lighter than in the main garden but potatoes, beetroot, broad beans and salad are all doing well.
In the greenhouse the young sprouting broccoli plants are growing quickly (as all brassicas do) and we are waiting for the seed tray of basil seeds to spring into life. As always the grape vine is going crazy whilst the 8 tomato plants are racing upwards as only tomatoes can! The tiny frogs which seem to enjoy living in the greenhouse are hopping about smartly in the cosy warmth doing their stuff by consuming the bugs.
In my workshop the making of 3 legged milking stools continues. We were lucky to find a large trunk of fresh oak lying by the roadside so I got my chainsaw and cut it down the middle. When I began working on the green wood it was astonishing to smell the tannic acid and to see all my iron tools rapidly turn jet black with its corrosive impact.