Today, I planted out the last of my tomato plants. I've cut back quite a lot this year and am growing just 31 plants. The ongoing drought is making me a bit nervous of having too much stuff in the ground that needs lots of water and also, the ground has had so little moisture that it is baked pretty hard making planting anything quite a challenge.
This year I have planted 2 Ananas, 4 Marmande, 6 Veeroma, 8 Moneymaker and 9 Ian's Red Cherry. These have all been raised from seed saved last year. I had some excitement with my seeds over the winter and lost most of the Ananas seeds and all my Golden Sunrise seeds to a passing mouse.
This year I'm also growing 2 Cobra for the first time. This variety was recommended to me by the seedling man at Villereal market. His produce is raised very close to here and his seedlings have always done well for me. I chatted to him about different varieties of tomato some weeks ago and he persuaded me to buy two of his Cobra. He claims they are quite an early tomato. Looking at the photo taken today, the fruit is certainly far in advance of any other tomato plant in my garden. As I said, I've never grown Cobra before so I'm waiting to see how it turns out. I like the seedling man. He sets up his small stall well off the main market where he can park his van and simply gets out whatever you want. He has a small table which looks very unprepossessing but I know his van to be a veritable Tardis, with far more coming out than it could possibly hold. Tjhe other thing is that he shares this bit of road with just one other trader. This trader doesn't even have a table, preferring to simply open the back doors of his van and allow you to peer in. If you want to buy then he will happily pull out the crates for you to select whichever live animal you have chosen. Yes, that's all he sells, live animals, chickens and pigs mainly, but often a goose or some ducks.
The drought continues unabated with no rainfall at all recorded by me for the past 12 days but the garden is fairing with mixed success. I had two olive trees that had been in the ground about 2 years. They are planted adjacent to one another... one is fairly happy with the drought and occasional drop of water I throw at it but the other seems to have dies, although I'm still watering it from time to time as it seems to be holding onto it's greenness. I had a great crop of cherries but they came and went much faster than usual this year. I guess that also is an effect of the drought. My walnut tress are laden with fruit. I've nowhere near finished eating the walnuts I collected last year yet and looking at the trees this should be another good year for walnuts Elsewhere, I have some of the best roses I have seen since I moved here about 7 years ago and a pot of Iris has flowered for the first time since we arrived. To be honest, I inherited the pot when we moved here and always meant to dig out the bulbs and do something with it.... but the best of intentions and all that,... but this year I needed to move the pot so I put it out in the sunlight a bit more, mainly to remind me that I needed to deal with it and, hey presto, beautiful Yellow Japanese Irises arrived.