Sunburn and black kale

I received third degree sunburn on Saturday. Sunburn! My attention was focused on digging out weeds from the soft fruit patch and as a result I didn’t realise that my skin was getting toasted. Raspberry and blackberry canes, perfect rosettes of dandelion and (worst of all) a carpet of buttercups; they’d all set up home and needed to be evicted. I’ve planted autumn cyclamen in their place for some colour.

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Autumn cyclamen

I also cut out a load of prickly tormenting briars from the raspberries. I’m pondering the future of these raspberries: they fruit well, but they’re unruly and need taking in hand. They’re now coming into ripeness but the bees still hover and hum in their search for nectar.

Meanwhile, a harvest, albeit an inedible one: more ornamental gourds, this time yellow and green, slightly gnarled, and rather wonderful.

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Bi-colour gourd

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The gourd pile

The hops have started to fatten out in the past week, the flowers setting first at the very top and working their way down. They’re green now but will ripen into golden papery pods.

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Hop flowers are forming

The cavalo nero have now been planted out, though they didn’t take kindly to Saturday’s soaring temperatures and are a bit floppy in the picture. I’ve made a temporary bird cage from netting and canes, but need to get something more permanent in place. Left alone, this lot would be devoured overnight.

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Black kale – cavalo nero – hopefully they’ll perk up a bit

Meanwhile, the blueberries are in full swing, as are the purple beans. Late summer harvests.

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Saturday’s harvest

Tidied up: hacked out raspberry briars, pulled weeds in the soft-fruit, pruned the blackcurrants

Planted out: Cyclamen, cavalo nero

Harvesting: green and purple beans, tomatoes, raspberries, blueberries, courgette, gourds, chard, lettuce, spinach, beets, sweet peas, sunflowers, dahlias, last on the bishop’s flower and calendula

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