Gertie’s Garden Diary June 2016 … Part Two, from June 7th …


Gertie’s Garden Diary June 2016

Part Two, from June 7th …


There was a big thunderstorm and heavy rain on Tuesday p.m. 7th June.

Indoors, in the Glassroom, these flowers are dripping sticky nectar.


Outside, I am glad that I have put some into a basket … nectar for the bees and butterflies.


There are currently 9 bean sprouts, and I scattered a little slug bait today, 8th June.


We had rain and thunder again, though less than yesterday; sodden roses! …


9th June: Gorgeous sunny day!   Now ten bean shoots … yippee! [ and, she whispers, the slug bait is doing its job]…and Love these clematis.




It’s now June 11th, and has rained much of the afternoon. For the second time I have been out around midnight collecting snails and slugs. They are all in a bag destined for the Tip! The half-shell of melon is a good trap!

Yesterday I sat on the bench by the Blue Hill and just looked and pondered. There was a spider’s nest in the upturned bowl of the cloche I had left on the bench. It was filled with tiny spiders that ran about because I had disturbed them. Even baby spiders are cute!


I have concluded that holly leaves are falling after turning yellow and splodgy because they too have a malady:- Holly Leaf spot. I have been looking it up, and apparently the tree should recover if I treat it ….. like the roses, collect and DON’T compost the leaves!


I have also learnt that , on the whole, wood lice aren’t particularly pesky either.


From all this trauma it is evident why I would never buy my compost from the Municipal Tip!

During the afternoon I watched, [from the open front door] a young family of Great Titmice, a pair of Robins and a Dunnock, plus a female Blackbird all twittering around the feeders and more often, the baskets and the holly tree. It was quite amusing to see the little Titmice balancing on the swaying twigs as they landed on them. The birds were clearly enjoying an ‘After-shower’ party! Eventually they were joined and somewhat ousted by the arrival of Squidge, grappling with the nuts feeder!

Today, 12th June, it is raining again, after a brief respite from overnight rain this morning. I shall keep an eye on the garden fruit and find some old net curtains for their protection!


Happy 100 Birthday to my friend, Flora today X … the Queen remembered too J

Am glad that yesterday, I put that little green caterpillar in a bag for the Tip: I think it may have been a Diamond Back Moth larva, and I would prefer to hang on to the few crops I have!! No watering necessary, as it’s chucking it down!

30 Days Wild post arrived today, better late than never I suppose :lol:

17.06.2016 … more bugs found today … this dead Crane Fly,[ beautiful wings] reminding me of one year when I kept finding their larvae in the orchard in Normandy …..


… and a very weak Stag Beetle, on its back on the front doorstep, which I rescued and cleaned up as she was enmeshed in cobwebs! Later I put her onto an old log where she disappeared down a crack behind bark. They live for but one year apparently.



On the 18th, we spotted Foxy dozing in the car park behind housing at the back.


Also I sowed Jane’s foxglove seeds after cleaning the top shelf of the cold frame. Monty’s old cat trays make good, deep seed trays.


The balcony pelargoniums, over-wintered again, are bright and colourful, but with very few significant leaves.


It has rained frequently overnight, slugs’n’snails reign supreme and rotten holly leaves continue dropping off the branches; nevertheless the garden looks bright, green-wrapped and full of colour. I am glad that I let the Herb Robert stay in a basket….. what a glorious red ‘old age’ its leaves have! All this and lots more, on 20th June.




Midsummer Day, and … a blue geranium, [with the pink, now not flowering any more].



It’s very colourful and busy in the GGJungle!





22nd June Foxy was curled up on the car parking behind the Glassroom again this afternoon ….. and there is continuing garden colour and texture.




Hydrangea is bushy, though not blue. I have doused it with coffee grains to no avail?


Red Valerian from Somerset is gorgeous and like the pink, an insect ‘puller’.




Where whites aren’t supplied by flowers or leaves they are often in the glowing gaps as you look up to the sky.


The runner beans are at long last curling up the bean poles. The small amount of slug bait I have used carefully around edges of the raised bed, seems to have helped.


On Midsummer Day we took another load to the Tip. Since then we have had torrential rain over two nights; at least I need not water, except the Barmy Baskets under the trees’ shelter . I have to keep a sharp lookout for slugs and snails on the baskets too, as some of the Petunia and Begonia leaves are being nibbled! Darned molluscs are good climbers! Have had lots of bees but none with special number plates on their backs, yet.

Looking back over June, it’s been a very wet month, not many butterflies, but a few birds, including a family of little Blue Titmice busily exploring the feeders, the trees and the baskets. I saw a speckled baby robin on 21st which made me smile. Young crows, which have nested in the Sycamore tree make a racket: they have young, higher-pitched voices than their parents … quite funny! There has been constant sweeping, pruning and bag-filling daily, and it will never be tidy, just look at these footprints in soil washed onto the path by the overnight rain! … Fox? Ginger Tom?


Still, it is colourful so will be grateful for that!

All the cherries have disappeared, seemingly overnight … you have to wonder?

I am worried about the state of the cherry tree too, its branches seem to be bleeding sticky sap. …


Nevertheless there are ripening red currants and a few blueberries tucked under the leaves.



Strawberries need more straw to nestle in on. It looks as if those that escape through the netting are being picked off by something! Tiny-ness does not stop snails from nibbling!



One week of June left, and my thoughts are way west with a wet Glastonbury, poor souls.

So, too much heavy rain has left things looking a bit battered here too, a mixed month for June, but I bet/hope that they will brighten up again soon.


Anne ….. 23.06.2016


22 Responses

  1. A lovely Diary Anne, with your great variety of flowers you would think you had a garden of several acres :-) :good:
    I think I have a herb Robert under the almond tree? does it have pinky purple flowers on it in spring?
    Your fruit looks very healthy too, just hope you do get to taste some of it!!!! :rose:

  2. gertie says:

    :lol: Haha … thanks Lynn :good: I wish :lol:
    Yes, herb Robert is like a tiny geranium; it’s very pretty and the aged, red leaves are magnificent …it seeds itself every/anywhere and is often/usually treated as a weed as it’s so easy to pull up too.
    Huh! As for the fruit, I live in hope and am keeping my eyes sharp!! :lol: Still mystified at the total disappearance of the cherries :confused: :silly: :rose:

  3. cilla says:

    Your garden is delightful and full of interest Anne. I love the clems and roses, especially. The June weather has certainly made everything grow…….and with the growth, collapse :-( .There seem to be lots more bees this year in my garden, is it the same in yours? And there is your lovely foxy, who keeps going :good: As Lynn says, your garden loks much bigger than it is, thank you for sharing it with us. :rose:

  4. Yewbarrow says:

    what a delight Anne – I would just love to sit in your gaden and take it all in and a stag beetle too, not seen one of those for more years than I care to remember, they used to emerge about now along the road from our house to the village and if on your bike in the evening you would sometimes get bashed in the face as they flew around looking for a mate and hundreds of them would be lying on the paths and in the guttereach day having coshed themselves in flight, now they seem to be a rareity – shame

  5. gertie says:

    :lol: Big it isn’t Cilla :lol: Crammed it is for sure :good: I still want to find room for lupins, foxgloves, an iris and delphiniums at least next year. :lol: I only wish that the plants would prop each other up. You are absolutely right about the growth and flop in this wet weather.
    Re bees, yes Cilla ….. there seem to be many, many bees I am thankful to say, and it makes me feel a great responsibility, NOT to use those sprays I have waiting, to cure the rose and holly leaf drop. Have been soldiering on each day, sweeping, picking up manually and bagging them for the tip! Am still watching out for those special bees with number plates :lol:
    Many thanks for your kind comments….It’s lovely when folks like you, Lynn and Jenny, such dedicated gardeners amongst many here on site, like G’s G. too. :rose:

  6. gertie says:

    Thank you Jenny … I often do, sit and take it in that is :-)
    I was thrilled to find the Stag Beetle. I know that they don’t live for more than one season, and was anxious to save this one :lol: The prepared log was just the right place :good: and she staggered off after recovering, down a suitable woody crack! Fancy you seeing so many at once! How thrilling; they are amazing critters :good: I hope ‘mine’ finds a big, antlered mate :lol:

  7. Beanstew says:

    Think your garden diary may well have saved my sanity today – the photographs are a magnificent balm for the soul. I don’t know anything about tree diseases, but I am equally concerned for your cherry – it looks pretty serious to me – and I am resisting the impulse to ask for some diseased tissue with which to infect the tree next door. He wouldn’t do anything about it – simply leave it to weep sap everywhere (and we don’t know if it would infect other species) Thank you, Anne.

  8. gertie says:

    Thank you Sheila … I just wish that you could come and sit on one of the benches and take in the green peace of it all :-)
    Re the cherry tree, I am seriously considering chopping it down, but I will try trimming first. Your comment about it seriously concerns me, and concurs with what I am thinking. :-(
    HABD :rose: :good: :rose:

  9. Lovely garden, Anne and I’m sure you wouldn’t like it if it was dry all the time, despite the molluscs ;-)

  10. gertie says:

    I enjoy it thank you Jane, :lol: and quite so about the wet/dry thang :lol: the way is up :good: :rose:

  11. Ambersparkle says:

    Love your Garden, Anne, so full of Interest and Colour. How big is it.? :good:

  12. Walt says:

    Very nice indeed, Anne :good: … The cherry tree appears to be suffering from ‘bacterial canker’.

  13. gertie says:

    Thank you Tina :-)
    It’s about 60 feet long and maybe 12 feet wide [in old money ;-) ]
    Two rooms; one at the front with raised bed and surrounding side beds, and one at the back, comprising the Blue Hill [not very blue at the moment :lol: ]. There is an Inglenook between the two ‘rooms’ under the holly and cotoneaster trees and way at the back, the garden shed and Dom’s tool shed. I think it’s small, but I like it :-) ;-) It often surprises me :dance: :rose:

  14. gertie says:

    Thank you Walt :rose:
    Is there anything I could do about the canker Walt, in your experience? Will it, as Sheila fears, transmit to other plants in the garden? :rose:

  15. gertie says:

    Walt, have looked it up and you seem absolutely correct as I feared. I will now assess whether I can save the tree or whether the whole thing has to come down. :-( Thank you for alerting me to this, Anne :rose:

  16. Walt says:

    It can affect: cherry, plum, apricot,peach and nectarine. It thrives in wet weather in autumn & spring. Prune affected parts in summer and spray with Bordeaux Mixture, (if you can get it ;-), once each time at summer end, early and mid autumn.

  17. gertie says:

    Well we ‘ve certainly had ideal conditions then with all the wet weather :bad: :-( Now to find the mixture :-( Thanks Walt :good: :rose:

  18. Allan says:

    As Wat said Anne,It is canker,I have cut many trees down in the past for people,Once it gets as bad as the photos you have put on ,It is usually too late to save,Try cutting a branch off and if there is a brown ring or the starting of one in the cambium layer ,Cut ,more Untill you get to clean wood,I use a spray paint to seal the wound,It dries quickly and you can then give it another squirt, It effects all ages. of tree,I cut one wild cherry down once that was growing between a glasshouse and a school,It was 12 ” in diameter,Done a lot of wood turning out of that one, :-(

  19. gertie says:

    Thank you very much for your advice Allan :rose: …. looks like a busy week ahead ;-) I’ll let you all know how it goes :good: :love: :rose:

  20. gertie says:

    Walt and Allan … I have cut down the worst affected branch and another that was clearly rotting in the centre of the main tree where a friend lopped it for us, many years ago. There may well be other branches to trim but dark and rain stopped play. So I’ve cleaned and disinfected my tools, put my clothes all in the wash, enlisted Dom’s time for the next onslaught on the branches stretching over the pavement outside. I have a dilapidated cherry tree, with gold sprayed tips!! :lol: Am just hoping against hope that I can save it, as we adore the May blossom. We bought it for that originally, not for the cherries which we rarely get a taste of anyway. We have had the tree since a young one for about thirty years, give or take a year or so.
    :love: Thank you both for your valuable help and advice…now we shall see. :love:
    Anne :rose:

  21. shedsue says:

    All that beautiful fauna and flora right there .. :love: ..Great blog and photographs Anne xx

  22. gertie says:

    Thank you Sue :love: … our gardens are fun aren’t they :dance: :rose:

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