plastic

For the past week, I’ve been counting the plastic items I throw out, as part of the GreenPeace “Big Plastic Count”. I’m fairly pleased with the result. What’s interesting is that the great majority of the plastic I chuck is in the form of cat-food pouches – 23 items in a week.

Sadly, Chelsea-cat refuses to eat any other kind of catfood – and when she does rely on the perpetual cat-feeder full of dry food, she gets badly affected and her back legs stop working properly (which I think is a diabetes issue).

Anyway, my results: 34 pieces of plastic chucked in a week in total, of which I noted 23 were cat-food.

give peas a chance

We grew peas when I was a kid, but gave them up as a massive hassle in my early teens. Over half a century later, I’ve just discovered “Tom Thumb” – what took me so long? It dates from the 1850s! It grows to 9 inches high, so no wretched pea-sticks or netting. Young pods can be eaten whole (though it’s more of a snap pea than a sugar pea), so no more laborious shelling of peas out of pods. It’s just coming into flower (photo shows an unwanted passenger …). And, for comparison, I also sowed some “purple snow pea”, which are the row behind the “Tom Thumb”

 

cream coloured pea flower

garden bits

Last night was my first full picking of lettuce, which I had with a cheddar&chive omelette and oven fries. I always sow lettuce thickly (early crops have to start under a bell cloche), and harvest the first few meals by pulling up whole plants to make space for the rest to grow! The variety is “Marvel of the Four Seasons”, a rather floppy lettuce but extremely reliable here.
Also last night, the first flower on geranium versicolour (the Pencilled Geranium) opened after the showers in the afternoon.

"marvel of the Four Seasons" green lettuce tinged with red.

.

pale pink flwer with veins a dark purple looking like pencil lines

green and yellow

A facebook post by Worcester Green Party from a couple of days ago. And Courgette! Well, nearly … it’s about half the size of a matchstick at the moment. I was taken by surprise, as previous courgettes I’ve grown have had a couple of weeks of male (non-courgette-bearing) flowerbuds before there’s any sign of the female (courgette-bearing) ones, but there’s no mistaking this. The variety is “Soleil”, a yellow bush variety that I haven’t grown before.

seven people standing

.

baby yellow courgette

front garden

Madame A. Meilland (probably better known as “Peace”) opening this morning. She does pretty well, considering that in my north-facing front garden she only gets about an hour of late-evening sun a day!

Madame A. Meilland rose, yellow touched with pink/peach edges

pond things

Typha minima – the “Baby Bullrush” has reached its full height of about 60cm in my pond, and is starting into flower. The yellowy-green male flowers at the top will fade and blow away in due course, while the brown female inflorescence forms the familiar bullrush seed mass.

Sadly, the two red damselflies were disturbed by the camera and refused to stay in shot!

miniature bullrush with male and female inflorescences

garden bit

Geranium sangineum (“Bloody cranesbill”) open today. A favourite plant, which unlike some other cranesbills doesn’t spread everywhere, but makes a nice mound with flushes of flowers from May to October, followed by glorious scarlet leaves.

purple flower against green leaves

walk

Today’s walk was a bit shorter than yesterday’s (I’d had a busy morning in the garden). Glorious (though hayfevery) honeysuckle by Gregory’s Mill Bottom Lock, still a few bluebells in the wooded bit by Gregory’s Mill Top Lock, and the buds of dog-rose starting to open along the side of St Barnabas school.

map of route

.

honeysuckle flower

wild things

My “wildflower bank” is only about 2 metres x half a metre, but manages a good assortment of flowers. The first buttercup has opened, a brassy glare in the morning sunshine and almost impossible to photograph as the petals are so brightly reflective!

And, as I posted to the Allotment & Garden group, “How’s everyone doing for bees this year? I’ve seen very few, even on the rosemary (now over) and thyme (in full bloom). The mining bees have just started making nests in the cracks in the concrete path, but there’s little sign of other bee activity here …. hopefully, when the ceanothus opens next week I’ll see more of them.

bright buttercup against dark grass leaves

.

mound of dry soil, with two entrance-holes to mining bee nests

.