16 June 2014

A nice end to springtime

All in all, we are having a very nice month of June. It's not quite summertime but it already feels like early summer. A lot of the plants in the back yard are doing well this year.

A friend who lives on the other side of the village gave us a couple of cuttings from a thornless blackberry bush a few years ago. The plant survived but the berries usually disappear very quickly as soon as they get ripe, feeding the local birds or deer.

We planted five artichoke plants about seven years ago. Two survive, and there are quite a few artichokes this year. We usually just let them flower, rather than cutting and eating them.

There were a lot of roses growing around the house when we moved in eleven years ago. Many of them are still doing well, but we just dug out two big rosiers out front. Now I have to replant them elsewhere in the yard.

The same friend who gave us blackberries also gave us these hens and chicks. They have spread everywhere — I keep them mostly in pots.

Ten years ago CHM brought us some cactus cuttings from Virginia in the U.S. I rooted these cuttings over the winter and then planted them in a pot.

I hope our summer turns out to be as nice as the latter half of spring has been. The vegetable garden is just starting to grow. I'm also getting some persistent "weeds" under control these days. Ivy is trying to take over all around the yard.


  1. Are those cacti prickly pear? It's probably too wet for them to become invasive here, but they've taken over in several parts of Greece. Farmers planted them as fodder for goats, but the goats couldn't keep up. Spectacular plants, though. P.

  2. Well, the yard looks absolutely splendid-- clearly the fruits (no pun intended) of your labors (yours and Walt's). Lovely, lovely, lovely. Here's to great summer weather (which we are having right now, but it's about to turn über humid and into the 90°s F all week... and beyond.)

    1. I'm not hoping for 90s, that's for sure. Our high temperatures rarely pass the 85 mark.

  3. Ken, hens and chicks are amazing, I have some at my garden.

  4. Those blackberries look fantastic - the hedgerow variety have only just flowered here in Derbyshire.
    It's a shame the birds get all the fruit. They would go perfectly with the fabulous Bramley apples from your tree, into pies or crumbles, and they freeze really well. I made a blackberry and apple tart tatin last year which was delicious - a nice combination of French and British cooking!
    It might be worth throwing a net over the bushes to keep the birds from eating them all, so you could have some for yourself.

  5. Hi Jean, maybe we'll get some blackberries this year and be able to enjoy some of the pies and crumbles you mention. Last year, I went out one day to pick berries that I knew were getting ripe only to find that they had all been eaten. This year, we shall see.


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