Wow, I can't believe its a whole month since I last wrote here, and looking at the last picture I can't believe how much everything has grown. The peas are now over a foot tall! We have been busy, a new fruit cage has gone in with a Black current, two red currents and a white current.  We have used weed control fabric for the first time in our own garden, mostly because of my abiding memory of my mothers fruit cage with sneaky nettles growing up through the bushes ready to sting the picking fingers. Beans, runners and climbing french are planted out, always a bit of a gamble at this latitude, last year I got about 6 pods whereas the year before I had pounds, with the new frame I have been able to start them off in pots rather than waiting to sow direct outside, so lets hope it makes a difference, though I have to say that at the moment they are still looking a little chilly. I have planted a row of sweet peas in the veg patch for the first time this year, mostly because I had run out of space else where. The potatoes are about a foot tall as are the weeds. I know that in June you always feel like you are loosing the battle but it doesn't change the fact that there is so much to do everywhere!

I have also planted up the border near the front door, its south facing and free draining so I have tried to keep the planting a bit mediterranean, lots of herbs, some euphobia, some echinops and nepeta, not stricly med plants but silvery and I love them. I also chose plants that are supposed to be rabbit resistant so I can take take down the rabbit netting which bothers my other half. Its a bit of a test, if it works then I can use the plants in similar situations in clients gardens. I am hoping the chickens will leave it alone too.

We are still about a month behind where we normally are at this time of year, though I think it is catching up. Having said that the apple tree is still in full blossom and it is usually well over by the middle of May. At least the blossom will not have been frosted this year, I just hope there is enough of the season left for the fruit to ripen. Last year there was no fruit in the whole of Aberdeenshire as a severe late frost killed the lot so quite looking forward to having cooking apples again.

The other bit of news is that we have three hens sitting on eggs. As our cockrel got eaten by a fox we had to import some fertilized eggs (11, it was a dozen but one got broken in the post). The last time we didn't get a single chick so this time we have taken extra care over the bedding so make sure the eggs are kept warm, I think I got a bit over enthusiastic as one hen is doing an impression of the Princess and the Pea I have put so much bedding under the eggs. The incubation is three weeks, (two weeks and 1 day from now) so keep your fingers crossed and don't count your chickens before they hatch!

Copyright 2011 Heather Dale Garden Design, Burnbrae Farmhouse, Park, Banchory, Aberdeenshire, AB31 5HH

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