Wednesday 21 May 2008

oh dear

the stable door

Two posts in one day? It's because I'm a bit cross. Not only have the deer trespassed near the vegetable patch, and after writing this morning's entry I noticed they'd nibbled off the tops of the Jerusalem artichokes as they passed, but this evening taking a turn around the coppice patch I noticed they have comprehensively trashed the nicest remaining eucalytus. It's snapped off about 35cm from the ground and the debris is scattered all around.

A friend who keeps goats often talks of the intelligence of the creatures. The mothers and old wives of the herd will lead the babies to poisonous and harmful plants and make an example of them, stomping and mashing them down angrily to teach the youngsters what to avoid. I wonder if the deer are training their newborns the same way.

wild medlar blossom

The wild medlars are in full bloom, not as large in flower as the cultivated one we have in Newport Pagnell but prolifically beautifying the hedgerows. I still haven't managed to take a harvest from them yet but will try harder this year if any fruit set.

Some of the oca has finally put its head above the ground. I was beginning to wonder if it had all rotted.

I've also managed to get some plants from some old climbing french bean seeds I'd saved. Years ago, I made an effort to preserve a Thompson and Morgan variety of a brown seeded purple podded bean. I grew the same variety for several years without a problem but one year decided to try at the same time some black seeded beans from a packet I'd bought in Waitrose. French beans are not supposed to cross easily. The next year all my saved seed was in a fine old state. I had green and purple pods and three colours of beans, black, tan and white!

I tried several times to sort out the muddle by separating the seeds into their colours and growing the plants on as far away from each other as I could on the allotments but never managed to stop the cross pollinating. So I have a race of multicoloured seed and podded climbing beans which I've done nothing with for several years but I came across a bag of these magic beans a few days ago and have germinated enough from the old seed for several plants from each colour. Surely with all the space available to me here I can make a start on reselecting these beans so that they can be planted with some expectation of certainty about how they'll turn out.

cider garden

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