Veg Beds – Sunday 2nd July, 2023

It is cooler but mainly dry. Any rain we have had hardly soaks into the soil. The wildflower bed is sad, the flowers gasping, the stems languid. Drought rushes plants through their cycle as they are stressed, and must set seed before lack of water kills them. Our plants in pots dry out quickly, one of our apple trees, in one, I fear has died. The grass is yellowing. As Bob Dylan tells us, the times they are a-changing.

The UK is moving to a Mediterranean climate with temperate, wet winters, and hot dry summers. This is climate change in action. The world is letting it run, having COP after COP, but fossil fuels still run the show. Our Prime Ministers flies around in helicopters and private jets, like many other world leaders, telling us all they are doing to mitigate climate change, but their words hardly add up to actions. Perhaps we get the leaders we deserve, with the driving and flying individuals do and the protests at low traffic neighbourhoods, all giving climate change a free ride.

COP 28 will be held in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates in November. This sounds like an April Fool’s joke. A country whose economy is almost entirely run on oil money, is hosting and chairing the UN Conference on Climate Change. It’s like inviting the fox to run the rabbits picnic.

It’s been a busy weekend locally, with Woodgrange Infant’s fete and our plant sale. On Saturday 8 July, we join much of Forest Gate in our annual festival, from 11am to 6pm on Osborne Road. There are 120 stalls, including ourselves: community groups, young people, arts and crafts, vintage clothing and of course food. This year, for the first time, there will be a play street with lots more for children, with games, sport and art activities.

The globe thistles are prickly spheres, with a hint of blue, the full colour coming in a few days. Their roundness delights me; flowers come in myriad shapes and sizes, but spheres are not common. There are lots of bumble bees in the garden, and they especially favour the giant scabious.

The buddleia seems to have overcome its leaf curl. Or could it simply be the life cycle of the pest has run its course?

The four vegetable beds are doing well. Growing in them, we have: butternut squash, beetroot, peas,  runner beans (climbing the pole), rainbow chard, potatoes, tomatoes, curly Kale, and spinach. They are being regularly watered, and are green with life. No sign of any pests. It’s amazing how much you can get in a small raised bed.

Nearby, we have our grape vine. It is getting some watering. There are tiny grapes on it, not quite enough for Chateau Earlham, but perhaps for a decent munch.

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