A Blooming Dry July

Yesterday I awoke to the rumble of thunder and the sound of rain pounding on the roof. It hasn’t rained for a few weeks now and the water butts were dry.
I have spent most of my evenings in the garden watering, but not the flower beds as you would think. Although one or two of the plants are starting to show some affects of the dry weather, it  goes to show that the theory of right plant in the right place really does work. The only watering in respect of the flower borders has been a weekly drench of the ground around the roses. Needless to say they have put on a fantastic display, and with one or two other plants, have needed deadheading almost daily. In the kitchen garden the peas, courgettes and tomatoes have needed watering every day with the brassicas and onions requiring a good drenching once or twice a week.
The garden overall is really starting to get going now. The cold spell early in the year has resulted in some plants flowering 6 weeks later than usual, with the warm dry weather that we are currently experiencing, resulting in the earlier flowering of other plants. Some vegetables have also been ready for picking, namely shallots, garlic, managetout, peas, beetroot and spring onions. The tomatoes are a little behind in the greenhouse, and are only just starting their second truss of fruit. I was absolutely gutted a few weeks back when seeing some tomatoes growing in a public garden, further south from here, they were strong looking plants and already onto their forth truss of fruit. Mine at the time hadn’t even managed the first, let alone a forth. The tomatoes are not the only fruit we have had a problem with so far. The blueberries/bilberries have produced only a small amount of fruit this year. This could be down to not enough pollinating insects around at the right time, or maybe with the bumper crop we had last year they need some time to recover. All I know is that we are not the only ones with a poor harvest this year.
For those of you that recall, the bees that were introduced into the garden a few months back, all is not well. I can only assume that the warm weather has assisted in bringing to a near end our hive. The queen bee has died and all but two or three of the workers have gone. Our only hope now is that the eggs that have been laid hatch okay and the hive exists a while longer. Despite this we are still getting a number of bees in the garden, some species of which I don’t recall ever seeing before.