Yes, I know that all gardeners grumble about the weather and we always qualify each success or failure with 'well, it really has been a bit of a funny year, hasn't it?' - well this year I do think that we might have a point. It's been a warm and dry March followed but a cold and very, very wet second quarter, and there is a distinct lack of 'Summer' going on, even though it is July.
I was very gloomy after arriving at the Hill today as I went round counting up the casualties - looking at the beans losing the battle against the damn slugs, and seeing that the carrots have still not done anything at all, and - worst of all, and despite the slug pellets - seeing the SNAIL GRAVEYARD where my planted out uchiki kuri (red onion) squash plant was.
The broad beans have got blackfly, the calabrese seedlings under their netting are looking skeletal (no idea what's causing that particular one).
However, the courgettes have made it through, as have two out of three of the cucumbers; the peas are looking terrific; and I did bring home rhubarb, the first of the new potatoes and dug up a row of garlic - smaller than I would have hoped, but ok nonetheless.
I weeded like fury and left a sea of blue slug pellets in my wake. I know, I don't like it either - but I do want to eat beans. And squash. And cucumbers. And calabrese. And carrots - although I am not entirely sure that the slugs are the culprits in this instance.
On the plus side too, underneath the incredible mass of growth on the red and black currant bushes there are jewel like strings of currants very nearly ready to pick.
I was just about to come away when the muck delivery arrived, so I pitched in to help unload, and then did my community bit by emptying about a third of the bags in to the manure skip. I took half a dozen bags to put on the squash bed - it's far too fresh and hot, really, but I'll clear a space to plant out a new squash and it should have calmed down a bit by the time the squash grows over it.
Then home to sow a couple of replacement squash, a second batch of leek seeds, and some kale for some winter fresh veg.
And then a much needed bath.