summer heat is here at PumpjackPiddlewick

The summer heat has arrived. After a prolonged spring, of which the garden is profoundly grateful, we have seemingly overnight transitioned from cool nights and warm days to just warm. Well, hot.

It’s impact is felt not only in temperatures. Okay, mainly in temperatures, but also in what I do in consequence. It’s time to swap. Where as mornings were for working and afternoons were about gardening, now it’s the opposite.

Early mornings are still early. Gigi (ginger cat) continues to wake me at 5am, demanding breakfast and attention. Not necessarily in that order. Sometimes the cats gang up on me to wake me up if I am not inclined to pay attention to them. Yet it is still better than an alarm clock, and definitely not so jarring. Unless it involves impatient claws.

The garden beckons now in the wee hours, before the sun has kissed it. The duck pond water tends to grow some algae in the summer heat, so it is changed more often. There is nothing like starting the day with happy ducks frolicking in their pond.

Dirty pond water is re-used on vegetable beds and flower gardens. Wonderfully fertilised, it certainly helps give a boost, without my even having to do anything else.

We share a pechoir with our neighbour. This is a spring fed, stone built square box, or tank to all intensive purposes. It is where to store live fish until you are ready to eat them. Sadly our pechoir is in need of a good emptying and refilling. Over at least a half a century, leaves, pine cones and branches have littered it. And like the duck ponds, the summer heat gives it a coat of algae. And a bit of a whiff.

Plans are a foot to buy a water pump, with the intent to pump the water out, clean it, and let it refill with spring water. (It will then go on to enjoy life helping with the planned watering system, as well as work to keep the pechoir clean.) We’ll also take the opportunity to check out the ingress and egress of the water.

We know there is an overflow pipe to our lavoir (a place to wash clothes), found when we began digging it out (read all about it in Big Dig 2). But we suspect that there is another drainage point too. Just beyond our bottom garden wall there is a fast flowing spring. We are bound and determined to determine if it is linked to the pechoir or the lavoir. It’s definitely one of them. Time and emptying of them both, whether water or dirt, will tell.

I use the pechoir to water the veg garden. It is a matter of filling a couple of large watering cans and hoicking them about the veg patch. The trick to this is the when. In the past I would have normally watered at end of day. Then I saw this garden video and learned that watering at night encourages slugs.

We don’t have many slugs, thanks to our resident hedgehog and ducks, but why encourage them. So watering has swapped to mornings. The earlier the better to give them as much time to absorb the water as possible before the sun and summer heat begins its evaporation process.

The veg garden is an enclosed square that slopes downward. The sun tracks down it over the morning, due to tree placement. By late morning it is in full sunlight. So I am rather glad for Gigi waking me early enough to give the garden it’s maximum opportunity to drink.


If you are a keen gardener like me, I hope you will have a look at the variety of Gardener inspired gifts from My Shop. Here’s a taste…

Simply click on an image to see more.


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