13 June 2009

Vegetable blooms

The greenhouse tomatoes are noticeably bigger than those in the garden and are just beginning to flower. This one is an unknown variety given to me by a friend. It is supposed to produce huge tomatoes, which I can well believe, looking at the size of the flowers. I've labelled these plants 'Cyril's Jumbos'.

Early in the spring, I sowed some broad beans in the greenhouse. I wasn't sure how well they'd do in there, but insects have managed to find the flowers and there are tiny beans forming on each of the plants. My crop of broad beans last year was negligible, so I hope this year I'll have more than a mouthful.

Last year's 'three sisters' bed was a bit of a failure as the corn did badly. This year it seems to be the turn of the runner beans to disappoint. Only three of them have come up (it was two year old seed, but even so...). Last week there only appeared to be one, so the situation isn't quite as dire as I had thought. I must be sure to save some seed from the beans this year, as I haven't any left now. The first batch of pumpkin and squash seeds for this bed also failed to germinate. I had them on the floor of the greenhouse and am wondering whether rodents might have got to them: I had the same problem with the peas in the spring. I re-sowed the squashes and put them up off the floor and this second batch have germinated fine.

The coolish weather has suited the peas (another rather disappointing crop last year). They've been flowering for a week now, and some small peapods are forming on the plants.

The chicks seem to be enjoying their new home. These two were inspecting the nest boxes this evening. The one we're calling 'Cocky' is becoming very friendly now and will jump up on your lap and sit still to be stroked. The female ones are more timid. My daughter and I find them fascinating, but the males in the family aren't particularly bothered about them. As my step-mother thought they were intriguing too (and my father didn't), I wonder if this is a general trend. Are chickens just a chick thing?

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