Mars and a Colourful Lunar Fog Bow

Arching across the lower part of the image above is a rare lunar fog bow. Unlike a more commonly seen rainbow, which is created by sunlight reflected prismatically by falling rain, this fog bow was created by moonlight reflected by the small water drops that compose fog. Although most fog bows appear white, all of the colours of the rainbow were somehow visible here. The above image was taken from high atop Haleakala, a huge volcano in Hawaii, USA, by Wally Pacholka. 2 Feb 2010 APOD

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Rain, rain, rain

Well after the dry spell during May we now have a wet June. The month started off reasonably well but the last few days have been overcast and wet. No major downpours just the drizzle we tend to get over here.

Mind you at least I don't need to do any watering and with 2 new water barrels I can reduce the amount of tap water used. Definitely a good thing when you are metered.

Greenhouse has arrived and is waiting patiently to be constructed tomorrow. My Dad is coming over with various tools though he is under strict instructions from his wife not to over do it as they go on holiday for 2 weeks on Saturday. So after a nice lunch (his wages) we'll see what we can put together.

In the meantime I've managed to get some fruiting plants out as today was a good Fire/Fruit day. French beans, peas and a couple of yellow courgettes (Zucchini) in the square foot plot at the front. Potted up a couple more courgettes and a couple more tomatoes ready to go in the greenhouse when it's ready.

Sowed a few more peas, a dwarf bush variety called Kelvedon Wonder (first batch already flowered and pods are growing) and a climbing sugar snap that I plan to dual plant with my tomatoes. I've used 6' canes with the tomatoes so the sugar snaps with have something to climb.

And just to cheer everyone up here are a couple of photos of an Iris a neighbour gave me last year. This year it has produced 2 triple blooms and on the close up you can just see some tiny raindrops from a brief shower yesterday on the petal at the top of the picture.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

What a difference a month makes!

Well it's almost a month since my last post because short of taking a photo of every inch of growth there hasn't been much to say.

The weather has been much warmer at the end of May though still dry so the hosepipe has been out a couple of times. My pear tree had leaf curl which is usually lack of water or aphids. No signs of bugs so it got a few good soakings and seems to have perked up a bit.

I've ordered a greenhouse today from eBay which should be here in the next few days. When we moved in there was a shed on a concrete hard standing which we didn't see the point of as it only housed a few tools. We don't have a lawn so didn't need a lawnmower or anything big so the tools went into the back of the garage and the shed went to a friend's garden. So we have a solid base to stand the new construction on. It will be a 2 person job to put it together....Dad !!

It has polycarbonate glazing instead of glass which is supposed to be better at filtering some of the harmful sun's rays and with 2 windows I should be able to keep things cool on a hotter day. Best thing of all is that we can grow things through the winter. We are quite sheltered here in the lee of a hill and it will have a hedge on one side and a fence on another. I'm planning on some winter potatoes, broad beans, brassicas and some salad leaves. It will also mean I can have somewhere to put my seedlings rather than on our windowsills.

Latest photos are here. Potato forest in the back garden with a couple of courgettes at the back against the fence. Growing those in bags for the first time. Empty 60 litre compost bags filled with Alpaca poo and a thick layer of compost. Courgettes can be quite greedy plants so I hope they like the conditions and grow well.

The square foot garden at the front is coming on well with broad beans, peas, beetroot, carrots, radishes and spinach all thriving. Got sweetcorn still in medium pots which will get planted into their squares next week in a block and 5 in pots will go into the greenhouse to see what happens under glass.

Some of my tomatoes are in their final pots behind the square foot bed. Again I will move some into the greenhouse to see if we get a better result.