Grow your own watermelon…

I’m always on the look out for slightly unusual or interesting plants which I can grow, normally which are fairly inappropriate to the weather conditions in England! I haven’t got a greenhouse yet so growing anything vaguely exotic is sometimes a problem. Tomatoes just about work but at the mercy of the weather and the famous British summer.

This year, I randomly tried planting 6 watermelon seeds. I didn’t think they would germinate but 1 of them did! It took 2 weeks for the shoot to appear above the soil and was fairly slow to start, but so far it has grown well. I planted the seeds around mid-May and now, at 20th July, it has already developed maybe 7 flowers and what look like a couple of fruits!

There has also been an interesting leaf shape change from the first dicotyledon leaves, through various stages of increasing complexity. The newest leaves are quite rough and spiky with longish white hairs. The edges are crinkly and variegated and there are loads of tendrils which the plant uses to support itself.

I have just planted it out so we’ll see what happens. I’m hoping slugs and snails stay clear of it as it is only the very thin stem which is in contact with the soil, with the rest of the long plant supported above the soil using its tendrils which have wrapped around garden sticks.


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Who knows where this will lead…?



sickness bug strikes…

So, we’ve just been through 2 fairly hard days of sickness – 24 hour stomach bug of some sort. I went down with it on Monday night, but there wasn’t much warning. My stomach just felt slightly unsettled maybe an hour before, then that was it (details removed!). Suffice to say, that was a very long night!

We’d tried to identify if there had been anything like food poisoning which could have caused it but nothing really fitted together + Jac didn’t get sick. Nothing the boys had eaten had been unusual either. But, equally, I can’t think of anything which would have caused this.

Claire had to take Tuesday off, and again today and she has been feeling queazy the whole day and we both got a bad headache. Yesterday I went on a mercy mission to Asda, for pomegranates, water melon, Evian, eggs + 2 small bottles of Coke! Claire was desperate for some melon and Evian, but I also added some evil Coke, mainly to get some sugars back into us and some caffeine. Also, the pomegranates are an amazing super food and powerful antioxidant.

So, today was fairly long and ‘cabin-feverish’ kind of event, with Claire feeling sick and everyone low on patience and energy. I took Jac out in the afternoon to get the wood which we had already got cut into exact lengths. The wood had been delivered to a local joinery and it gave us both a chance to get out and about.

We also had a bit of a ‘making things’ afternoon which the boys appreciated a lot. They had a go at making paper chains, in preparation for Christmas and I also made a start on our door wreath, which we’ll add lots of greenery to.

So, continuing our burst of post-sickness energy (fuelled by the first proper meal in 2 days), we played some after-dinner games, including Tag, What’s the time mr wolf?, hide and seek, and Pirates! I’m not sure the boys had played tag before but it was brilliant. Jamie understood the game really well and Jac just ran around like a nutter thinking I was chasing him the whole time! Jamie is also now really confident at counting then seeking. 6 months ago, he had been telling each person where to hide then just standing there looking where everyone was while counting!

The pirates game was good as well. It involved 1 person giving instructions, like ‘climb the rigging’ or ‘swim for shore’, or ‘pirates!’. Each one had a movement or location, so ‘pirates!’ was everyone jumping onto the sofa! This all lasted about an hour and I had to chill out after that as the food hadn’t exactly gone down!

While Claire was getting Jac to sleep, Jamie also had a bit of a puzzle burst, completing 3 of them in maybe 20 minutes. We also built a Lego ‘motor home’ buggy which he took to bed with him.

So, it should be business as usual tomorrow – maybe.