Thirsty.

Thirsty.

I know it’s Saturday, but the garden doesn’t sleep and it’s THIRSTY. We’ve had so little rain. People moan about the slightest drizzle, but we haven’t even had much of that. Just the odd thunder storm and a quick downpour like crying. Some days we find ourselves wistfully reminiscing about the snow. But only for a split second.

This morning I had a really special bod with me – my youngest son, Rory. It makes me really happy to have him here with me. It means getting going at 5.30am to collect him, so I can get us both to the garden at a reasonable time. This morning we landed at around 10am and found Guy and Liam busy in the glasshouses. We bought in old school Club biscuits after a suggestion from Steve yesterday and Earl grey tea – the refreshment of champions.

Rory mowed, weeded, tied in the sunflowers while I watered, watered and watered. We thought you might like to see the two of us by the globe artichokes to give a sense of how giant they’ve grown. I planted whitecurrants with the casual thought of moving the artichokes when they were dormant and no bigger than a fist. But even back then the roots had other ideas (I tried for too many backbreaking hours in midwinter, too proud to ask one of the stronger, but not more stubborn, men) So here they are, stunners (with the whitecurrants doing well, in the understorey)…

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Thank goodness my glasses are rose tinted. Me with Rory, a natural gardener.

It’s been a good couple of months since Rory saw the garden. When he came through the walls and saw all the flowers, he gasped. It wasn’t so much birdsong this morning as hundreds of bees busy pollinating the flowers and butterflies of all shapes and sizes flitting from bloom to bloom.

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The red admirals love the lavender.

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Rory ties in the sunflowers. There are literally, perhaps a thousand nails in the wall from espalier plants over the years…

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Rory is taller than me and look how high the sunflower is!

BE does a really odd thing with time. We were only going to be an hour, but lunchtime came before we knew it. We had intended to rush off for a cycle, but tired and happy we drifted to the nearest farm shop, loaded ourselves with locally grown goodies and headed for a well deserved rest in the garden at home.

Yesterday was similarly hot. The perfect weather for feeding. Raffe and I noticed while picking the raspberries that the leaves were a bit yellow and iron deficient; no wonder with all that energy going into fruiting. We assembled a troop of watering cans and basically just kept refilling. Ditto the squash. Everything is hungry at the moment.

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Liquid feed is added to the water and the troops deployed…

I guess I should mention that I had a great chat with Deborah from Homes and Garden magazine. Turns out that she stays at one of my favourite beaches and as a garden historian shares my enthusiasm for walled gardens. My usual headstone in the graveyard was playing up, but the one beside it had two bars of reception. I think it’s Kitchen Garden next week.

My Novikov boss Caroline is away at the moment, so she hasn’t got to meet Raffe yet – but Caroline, if you are reading this post from a sun lounger with wine in hand…

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Buckaroo anyone?! Steve snapped this pic of Raffe clearing up at the close of a long day.

‘Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.’ Charles Shand.

Have a fantastic rest of your weekend. I hear it’s going to rain tomorrow. I’m counting on it for a Sunday lie in.

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