Definitely summer

Fuschia in full bloom

Fuschia in full bloom

Summer has definitely arrived in all its glory. Both the flora and fauna of Garybuie are thriving and just being in the garden makes us feel priveleged to be a part of it all. The soft fruit is ripening rapidly and I’ll soon be having to put my trusty jam pan to work! The raspberries in particular seem to be producing a bumper crop and the gooseberries are getting a lovely pink blush. As in previous years, the poor old gooseberry bushes have been attacked by the extremely destructive saw-fly caterpillar. Fortunately we managed to treat them early this year, so

Juicy gooseberries

Juicy gooseberries

they  haven’t been stripped completely naked!
The main fruity problem this year has been the disappearance of many of our blackcurrants! Kevin always puts chicken wire around the bushes to prevent the hens having their way with the berries, but this season they seem to have suffered an ariel attack! I can’t say that we’ve noticed any berry burgling, so the guilty parties must be expert in stealth! Needles to say, Kevin’s been out with his fruit netting to try and prevent any further thefts!
Salad days

Salad days

The weather has been so hot recently that other than for watering purposes, the polytunnel has been strictly out of bounds because of the unbearable temperature. But we’ve had some thunder and a couple of downpours which seem to have refreshed things somewhat, so yesterday I finally got in there to catch up with some chores. General tidying was a priority followed by nipping out tomato shoots and finally planting some more salad seeds. This year for the first time we’ve tried a ‘spicy greens mix’ from Marshall’s seeds which are excellent and add real bite to a salad. Both the standard and tumbling tomatoes are starting to fruit now, although only the ones in the conservatory are ripening just yet. Our sweetcorn plants are coming on too. We tried them for the first time last year and although we didn’t get a huge number of cobs, their wonderfully crisp sweetness was so rewarding that we couldn’t resist growing some more!
Little & Large

Little & Large

On the animal front, all seem to be doing well and it would seem that Puff has come back into lay after her broody period although her first attempt wasn’t quite the usual size and seemed to take her by surprise on her way to a preen in the pool! Speaking of Puff, we can’t believe the difference in her motherly behaviour over the past days. From being fiercely protective and moving around very little, she and her duckling are now out and about in a big way. She’s far more relaxed in her parental roll and the duckling is confident to move around alone, with dad or even being baby-sat by the Cherry Bs while mum and dad are elsewhere!
After over seven weeks,our phantom broody
Still sitting!

Still sitting!

hen is STILL sitting under the coop! Kevin suggested that as she seems so determined, we might as well give her some eggs to sit on! So he put six in her nest yesterday while she was away feeding and when she returned, we couldn’t believe it as she wasn’t sitting on the nest/eggs but to one side of it! Needless to say we removed the eggs. She’s one mixed up hen! Maybe she’s just waiting for Brenda to give up on her brood so that they can both return to the tree where they usually live!
And finally, today is another beautiful day with another summertime activity taking place in Balmeanach where Garybuie sits – silage cutting…

Our crofting neighbour, Iain Martin

Our crofting neighbour, Iain Martin

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