Take a kilo of blackcurrants…

I promise there will be no whining this week about slugs and bugs. Instead of looking at all the disasters, let’s spend a few minutes appreciating all the things that are going right…and there are a few.

Take, for example, the sunflowers: since planting them out I’ve given them no attention all  bar for the occasional tying in to their supports. And look! They’ve shot up, the tallest one now almost as tall as me (5’7″). In a few weeks we’ll have a raucous display of blooms.

2016-07-09 17.17.24

The sunflowers are nearly as tall as me!

The climbing squash are sending out their creeping shoots and all three plants now have baby fruit. I’m tying them into their posts to see if they will begin to hold their own weight.

2016-07-09 17.18.02

Climbing squash are thinking about heading north

In the past week the zinnia and cosmos have opened with shades of hot pink, crimson and red. They look great bunched with the faded silken purples of the sweet peas and offset with the white lacy ammi.

2016-07-09 17.15.09

Now picking sweet peas, cosmos, ammi and zinnia

But the real star of the show this week is the blackcurrants. There’s an irony here: so many of the plants that I sweat over, prodding and weeding and feeding and de-bugging, seem to refuse to thrive. The currants, on the other hand, receive no food, no water, no attention, and year after year they bear fruit. On Saturday I picked an enormous cake tin-full of currants – several kilos worth – with many more left to harvest another day.

2016-07-09 17.18.18

Blackcurrants stole the show this weekend

2016-07-09 17.16.48

Several kilos of currants here – with more still to pick

So my main job for this week involves processing this lot into ice-cream, compotes and fool; despite the cloudy skies, this is the very essence of summer.

Harvest: Blackcurrants, broad beans, courgette, reine du glace, lollo rosso, Italian salad mix, last strawberries, sweet peas, first zinnia, cosmos, ammi, calendula
Sowed:  Treviso chicory, sweet william, parsley
Also: Defoliated the tomatoes