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Page: Jul 2015 wk 1


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Wednesday 01 July 2015

July Starts off by Breaking Records

What a start to July! The media has been full of our record breaking hot day on Wednesday as it smashed the record for the hottest day in the UK since records began.

It was also the hottest day I’ve recorded too as the temperature reached 33.1°C (91.6°F) late in the afternoon.

Tuesday was hot too and both days have entered my top twenty hottest days table.

It’s certainly tricky keeping everything watered in the greenhouse when it’s so hot. A few plants looked a bit sad at times but I’m hoping they’ll recover.

If you remember last week I posted how I wouldn’t be thinning out our Himrod grapes as Monty Don had done as I couldn’t be sure what would happen to our grapes between now and August when they’ll be ready for picking.

Well some of them didn’t like the hot weather and turned into sultanas on a plant in the hot sunshine. There’s only a few bunches affected so it shouldn’t reduce our crop too much.

Thursday 02 July 2015

Cherry Protection

After yesterday’s heat Thursday was more like a normal summer’s day. We didn’t have an awful lot of sunshine but it was pleasantly warm although it did spoil itself in the late afternoon and into the evening with some light rain. It wasn’t enough to do the garden any good and a decent spell of steady rain would do wonders.

We certainly aren’t going to get any cherries from our tree on the plot. In spring the wood pigeons took a fancy to the leaves and devastated the whole tree. At home we have a cherry tree, Stella, growing in a large tub. Although we have wood pigeons in the garden they didn’t take a fancy to the leaves and the tree was left intact.

Now we have a different bird problem as the blackbirds can’t resist the bright red cherries as the fruit ripens. In an effort to protect the fruit the tree has been covered with fleece for a couple of weeks while the cherries finish ripening.

Not only does the fleece make it more difficult for the blackbirds to get to the cherries it blows and flaps around in the breeze which may deter them a little bit too.

We haven’t many cherries on the tree but I’d prefer it if we, and not our resident blackbirds, got to taste them.

Friday 03 July 2015

Overnight Storm

Friday was another nice summer’s day with almost unbroken sunshine and a high temperature of 25.9°C or 78.6°F. Overnight into Saturday morning we had a thunderstorm which deposited a decent amount of much needed rain.

The rainfall intensity at the height of the storm was 108.6mm/hr (4.28in/hr) the heaviest of the year.

On Friday afternoon we visited the plot to do some watering and harvesting. I dug our first new potatoes (Foremost) of the year.

To simply say they were dug up under describes the job as they were hewn out of soil that more resembled rock than soil due to lack of rain. The potatoes weren’t very large but I’m assuming that too was due to a lack of water.

The potato haulms are still green so the rain overnight might help increase the size of the crop and make digging them up a little bit easier.

Saturday & Sunday 04/05 July 2015

Priory and a Steam Locomotive

Saturday morning was dull and overcast and it wasn’t until the afternoon when the sun came out that it started to dry up after the storm in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Sunday was a much better day or so we thought. We made a visit to North Yorkshire to visit Mount Grace Priory and do a little bit of steam train photography too. Fortunately the weather stayed fine for most of our visit but on the way back it was a little bit wet on the A1 heading back south.

Our first visit of the day was to Mount Grace Priory, once a Carthusian Monastery, which is now looked after by English Heritage.

As you can see the weather was much better earlier in the afternoon as we strolled around the gardens and looked around the ruins of the priory.

The construction of the priory began in 1398 and it is the best preserved of the ten Carthusian monasteries built in England. The priory was closed in 1539 with the Suppression of the monasteries act when the monks were pensioned off and its buildings dismantled.

We moved on from Mount Grace Priory to a spot on the Main East Coast Railway line between Darlington and Northallerton to catch the Cathedrals’ Express bound for Edinburgh and hauled by 60007 Sir Nigel Gresley.

By this time the sky was already starting to darken and a few rumbles of thunder gave warning of the storm heading our way.

Monday & Tuesday 06/07 July 2015

Train Chasing and Garden Centreing

We’ve certainly said goodbye to the excellent weather of the first few days of the month. Monday was a strange day. It tried to rain for most of the day but at its worst it wasn’t much more then drizzle and it didn’t do any more than dampen the surface of the soil.

Tuesday was the better of the two days with some sunny spells. We went chasing steam and heritage diesel trains around York with the intention of visiting a few garden centres in between each train.

Our first train was the White Rose from London Kings Cross to York hauled by a heritage diesel locomotive D9009 Alycidon. After lunch we moved on to the north of York to capture 60007 Sir Nigel Gresley returning to York from its excursion north to Edinburgh.

We didn’t even manage to spot the train as we were engulfed in the midst of a torrential downpour. We were soaked. By the time the rain eased a little the roads were flooded. We almost decided to head for home and dry out. We chose to stop for coffee and see what the weather did.

The weather did brighten up and after a couple of garden centre visits we headed off to see 60163 Tornado heading the White Rose back to London Kings Cross from York.

When this happens you know it’s not your day!

Luckily our garden centre visits were a little more productive and we found some plants to add to both our outdoor and indoor collections.




This was our view out of the car window!