We returned on sunday (saturday night actually) and realised that the garden had become completely overgrown whilst we were away.
We had two courgettes that had turned to rotten marrows and the artichoke had plants had grown 2 feet in two weeks.
We've had no option but to dig EVERYTHING (bar the carrots) up, including the artichokes - way too early.
Our potatos are plentiful though and we'll slowly get through them.
The photo below is of me standing next to our Jack and the Giant Artichoke plants, just before I pulled them up.
As for the birds - no Swifts like I said, although the Martins and Swallows are still around, and hardly any Goldfinch activity at the (very nearly empty) feeder. In fact, only Anna has seen the Goldfinches at all - though I have heard them.
I'll have to buy 'em some more sunflower hearts and tempt 'em back...