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It is the month of June, the month of leaves and roses

It is the month of June, The month of leaves and roses, When pleasant sights salute the eyes and pleasant scents the noses.
Nathaniel Parker Willis

The Anglo-Saxons called the month of June ‘sens monath’ meaning ‘dry month’. Judging from the weather so far, the Anglo-Saxons were right. But because we don’t have water in the garden, the number of dry days on the run is taking its toll. On volunteers as well as the plants. The weather is about to change for a few days, so hopefully a mixture of sun and rain will help our young plants and seeds to grow and get stronger.

There is still a lot of work to do setting up the garden. We have moved seedlings into the containers there this week. Mainly nasturtiums, marigolds, sweet peas, salvia, cornflower and nicotiana so far. The repotting has also been another continuing job.

We have lots of extra sunflower, squash and pumpkin plants that we are looking to plant elsewhere. And we have left some surplus plants in the garden so that people can help themselves or leave their own unwanted plants.

We have transferred some wall and climbing plants to the garden to go against the high wall. We are hoping this will enhance it. We can’t fix anything to the wall as it is unstable and held together with Lego. So the C.R.A.F.T Group has used some willow to make simple garden structures for tall plants to grow up or rest against.

I have planted a donated climbing rose against the wall. This was grown from a cutting taken a couple of years ago. Apart from some greenfly it is growing really well. I’ve added a couple of companion plants to it. A marigold to deter bugs and an onion to make the rose smell more strongly. Apparently the rose and onion compete to be the smelliest. So next time you are in the garden, smell both and see which has won.

We’ve also had another small crab apple tree donated from someone’s garden. This was a larger tree that has been cut down and re-potted. This joins the apple trees from the W.I and Rotary. We are getting quite an orchard now and the birds will love it as they grow bushier and produce fruit. We need some help from the birds in getting rid of the aphids that love these trees though. Minnie has a touch of leaf curl, so possible bird friendly ‘cures’ are being looked into. Greenfly is appearing on plants now too so I hope there are some ladybirds about.

The veg garden is thriving, despite it needing lots of watering. We’ve peas just starting to plump up. Courgettes, tomatoes and beans are flowering. We had red strawberries in one of the hanging baskets. So some volunteers celebrated royalty being in Runcorn on Thursday, albeit very briefly, by adding them to our garden party Pimms. But not before Claire, the co-ordinator, had tested one out.

And we’ve finally had the announcement of the winning name for the bug hotel built by Scout volunteers (from 1st Weston Scouts). It’s going to be Bugingham Palace. Quite topical considering the recent royal visitors we had to the area. The name was first put forward by Lyndsey Wilkinson on Wednesday 9th May at 14:09 (someone else suggested that name, but that was at 17:50 on that same day). There will be an official opening of the hotel soon and we hope that Lyndsey will be able to attend, we are just waiting on the official sign and red ribbon.

Official results for naming of the bug house - can be found here

The Blooming Old Gardener

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