Monday, 11 July 2022

Phew!

 Phew indeed.   We are not just not used to it here in the UK.   But it gives us something to talk about and it does look as though it might get just a little bit cooler after tomorrow (before getting hotter again at the week-end).

My pots - all eight of them - seem to need almost constant water but again it is good for me to keep on the move (don't want to sieze up).

Lots in the papers about the tennis final of course and a new bad boy, Nick Kyrgios (remember John McEnroe with his "You cannot be    serious)?   I find histrionics tedious but I really think some of the audience find it livens things up.  And a whole fortnight's Wimbledon without any rain - almost unheard of.   Poor old grass on Centre Court almost non-existent but with the top class treatment it gets it will be back to 'normal' in no time.  I rather wish I had a close relative to come and give my lawn the same treatment- but then that would mean saying good-bye to my Birds' Foot Trefoil and I am partial to that.   I don't expect a single petal dares to show  itself on that Hallowed Turf.

I am afraid that in this weather I more or less grind to a halt.   Nothing seems to function - nobody is walking their dog past in this heat, even the traffic seems at a standstill, nobody is about.  Nothing much is afoot - a torpor has settled over the land.  I hope they have started harvesting the barley round you Rachel.   Once in farming and the farming year is ingrained in your soul I think.   We never did much in the way of harvest - just three (hopefully) crops of silage for winter feed.   But my farmer did sometimes do a bit of contract harvesting for other farmers but, again for winter feed.   Now the silage fields come right up to my garden wall and the lovely fresh grass smell brings back the memories.  Only two crops so far this year but it is early days yet and a really good rain would soon make the grass grow again (and the weeds).

John (By Stargoose) put a shot on his post yesterday amongst random shots of the countryside (beautiful) of chicory growing.   It reminded me that one year - maybe ten years ago - a farmer in the farm below us on the lane grew a couple of fields of chicory - such a beautiful blue.   He didn't grow it again.   Anybody out there know what he would be growing it for.   I am sure I would have asked him at the time but I have forgotten and that glorious shade of blue reminded me.

See you tomorrow.

22 comments:

Rachel Phillips said...

Harvest is underway here, perfect weather for the arable farmer. The only blue fields we had were flax for the war effort. I wasn't around but was told that we grew a lot of it. Chicory is common on field margins for birds and wildlife. Perhaps the farmer you mention was growing chicory as a break crop.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

Rachel is quite right, mostly it's grown for birdlife (and things farmers like to shoot) on field margins, and that's exactly what the chicory I photographed was being grown for. A whole field of chicory, especially in your part of the world, could have been grown as a fodder crop for fattening lambs. I remember reading about a trial being done a while back to compare it to other feed crops.
Hope you manage to stay in the cool today, it's extremely hot out there.

Derek Faulkner said...

Are you sure that the fields of blue were chicory. Chicory grows to around 3ft tall or more. Round here in recent years we see fields of blue but it is flax, which only grows to about 1ft high.
The barley harvest here was completed over the weekend, just the barley straw to bale, and they are also completing the rape harvest.
My lawns are now burnt yellow, as are all the grass verges, etc. and you tend to feel morally wrong watering anything.

jinxxxygirl said...

Pat don't they make some coffee from chicory? I'm sure you know all about the drought in Tx... lets just say its miserable.. 108F predicted today.. uuughh... stay safe , stay cool! Hugs! debs

Susan said...

The heat is definitely oppressive. The early morning was 65 degrees F, breezy and lovely so breakfast on the patio was perfect. The temperature is rising quickly and is predicted to be 85 degrees F. In this heat, watering our pots is essential to keep everything alive. I love the blue of the chicory and would not mind at all having some growing on my property.

Anonymous said...

Yep, coffee with chicory, but I think they use the roots? Which would be complicated to harvest? I know so little about anything before the adding cream and sugar stage of coffee production!

ceci

Melinda from Ontario said...

I'm feeling guilty about all the watering I've done recently. I fear my gardens would be a sea of brown if I didn't. Where is the rain?? I would love to see a chicory field. I'm always looking for perennials with a blue flower for my garden. Chicory, which is native in Ontario, might be my next garden addition.

Sarah Browne said...

Farmers are growing Phacelia here, Dorset, as a green manure, I believe it’s a member of the Borage family, it gives a purple haze across the field. Lots of grass cut recently in meadows which bring the Red Kites to scout for a meal. Sarah Browne.

Derek Faulkner said...

Sarah, they grow a lot of Phacelia round here on Sheppey, in the 3 metre wide wildlife verges round the arable fields. The bees and butterflies love it.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Melinda there are several blue herbaceous geraniums like Johnson's blue for example - they are self seeding and will spread happily.

Thank you for all the info on flax. That is the most likely I think and it reminds me that during the war my sister and her husband were friends with a couple and the man was manager of a flax factory in Lincolnshire somewhere. And this leads me on to speculate - didn't they used to make linen from flax?

Rachel Phillips said...

The flax was used for many things in the war effort from aeroplane manufacture to more simple things like ropes. Linen has great strength.

angryparsnip said...

Every time you write about your hot days I just have such a hard time believing it.
Every trip to the UK I can remember was all the green and flowers.
Right now it will be a very "cool" 109 today. Plus Winston always wants to be outside.
I am always calling him inside to cool off.
Take care and stay cool

Barbara Anne said...

Our high temperature for today is to be 29*C (an estimate as I'm used to Fahrenheit!) and tomorrow the forecast is for a high of 33*C so errands today and indoors tomorrow. All in all, it's been an oddly cool late spring/summer (so far) here in the Mid-Atlantic state of Virginia. No complaints from me but I wonder what our usual Autumn will be like.
Here, the corn is growing well!

Hugs!

Anonymous said...

Warm! We’re only about 32 by your measure here …. 10 deg (F) down from last week. I’m not planting this year but have had dozens of volunteer potatoes from my compost pile. Red ones! Stay hydrated if you’re working outside a lot! Do you make ice tea in England?

Anonymous said...

I'm glad your neighbours are sensible about avoiding walking dogs in the heat - here not the same. Often see panting dogs on leads walking on searing pavements in heat over 100 degrees, even dogs forced to sit at the traffic lights, and think to myself, 'Would you sit with a bare behind on that burning asphalt?' Of course the order is repeated when the dog tries to stand, but of course is trained for obedience. Cats, on observing,must be witheringly scathing I'm sure!
A farmer here in Australia is now growing mung beans crops to cater for an increasing Indian and African population - delighted, as it was originally sewn as a green crop to plough back in to condition the soil, but was happy to change tactics..- Pam.

Karren said...

Yes, it's a New Orleans habit to add chicory to coffee. We buy it to add to ours in Indiana and love the richness it adds to our daily cups. The roots are roasted dark brown and ground fine. I add one scoop of chicory to about 6 cups high quality coffee grounds for a rich delicious cup of morning caffeine. And the blue flowers are gorgeouss.

Brenda said...

I live in Florida on the Gulf Coast
Heat lol
Love your blog

The Cheat said...

I believe most flax/linseed is grown for its oil nowadays :)
There is a small business near me that produces some nice 'cold pressed' flaxseed oil.

Cro Magnon said...

Here I am surrounded by fields of Sunflowers and Maize. The main hay crop has been cut and baled, and the grass is now dormant and shrivelled. Everywhere is turning beige. Flower pots have to be watered daily.

Jules said...

I'm sure the weather will become cooler and wet very soon, just as soon as the schools break for the summer ;)

Librarian said...

Much as I know how much everything and everyone is waiting for rain, it would be nice to have mostly dry weather for the next two weeks when my sister and I will finally be in Yorkshire again - first time since before the pandemic!
My suggestion therefore is that it could rain this week and then stop on Saturday :-)

The Weaver of Grass said...

Librarian - don't think that is going to happen. Damp today although hardly raining and then scoeching hot for a while after that I think.

Flad seed oil, iced tea - my shopping list increases dail!

Thanks everyone