I say summer love, but I’m having a real love-hate relationship with the garden at the moment. I’ve reached a super busy period of the year work-wise, so getting out in the garden is proving tricky. On top of that, I went off to GLASTONBURY festival (capitals needed) for a week and there happened to be a heatwave, so when I got home things weren’t looking fresh. Some things were just looking dead. This, along with the lack of progress concrete wise, threw me into a bit of a tizzy.
However today, when I’m writing this, is a Sunday and it ‘s such lovely warm weather, so I decided to whack on some shorts and head out into the jungle to see what mess I could resolve.
I started with my onions and garlic plants. They’ve been doing so well and I’ve been so chuffed that the first time growing them I’ve been pest and disease free. Alas, I came home from the week in the dancing fields to bone dry and wilted plants. After some googling I realised they’re fine. They’re going to wilt and they’re also going to be popping up from the soil. The sun can just ripen away and they’ll be ready to harvest soon, as long as I keep them watered and happy. I had some super low nets across them to stop the birds attacking them young, but as they have grown the netting has made it silly hard to weed the area which is crucial. So I got to work cutting the netting and freeing the onions and garlic once more. I’ve weeded (most) of the area and am much happier that the task is complete.
Next to attend to was my beautiful raspberry plants. I was GUTTED. One had lacked so much water it was going yellowy and the raspberries had ripened, fallen on and squished everywhere. I missed out on so many. I’m glad it wasn’t to the birds though. My next plan of action is to add some netting to that so the next batch goes in my mouth only. I have so many recipe ideas ranging from smoothies to cocktails to pastry based desserts. Therefore I hope I get a decent amount to be able to show you some recipes that include Raspberry Ruby Beauties. There’s literally about 3 a day that need picking, so I think freezing them is the best option to keep them fresh as can be.
I’ve slacked this year with my ‘grow your own’ routine and only managed to salvage two tomato plants from seed. I’m not even sure what varieties I’ve left myself with but I’m looking forward to harvesting either way. What shocked me though was the self seeding my previous year crop has done! I’ve got them coming out of every inch of soil in my veggie patch! It took me a while to realise what had happened, and unfortunately I’ve had to drag them onto the compost heap as they are in completely the wrong locations to thrive (i.e. among the sweetcorn and in the middle of the onions)! I’ve kept a few random ones though where I have not got around to planting much else! Bring on the random tomatoes! I’ve gone against tradition and planted the two from seed in containers. I was going to do grow bags but lack of organisation meant a trip to Homebase never happened.
The other havoc being caused is those pesky slugs! My poor, poor Hosta! It’s being eaten alive. So I’ve had no other option than to lay down some pellets. I hate using them, but it really is ruining my poor plant. And (even though you shouldn’t have favourites!) it’s totally my favourite. Big flowers are shooting up and starting the open so it’s taking the attention away from the bitten foliage which is great. Hopefully the pellets will kick into action soon. Has anyone got any suggestions to help?
As I said, it’s a love-hate relationship, so that’s all my hate, let’s move on to my love! MY HYDRANGEA LOVE. It’s bloomed, and it’s bloomin’ marvelous! I’ve waiting over a year for this beauty to grow and flower, and I’m excited to see it grow even more over the next year.
This area with my large shrubs in has really expanded over the year, and less and less soil is visible which is what I’d hoped for. I’m now thinking of adding small stones and pebbles in the area, which will also hopefully help the weeds dampen down. I’ve a few more plants I’d like to add to the collection, but for now I’m quite happy with the progress over the last year in this small area.
Another love is my herb collection. I’ve got basil thriving on my windowsill in the kitchen, parsley and rosemary in the ground and a pot of mint which is taking off like something else! I’ve just sown more cut n’ come again salad leaves, as the snails ate my last lot, so I’m ready to continue adding and harvesting! My next creative plan is to hang mini chalkboards against the brick wall above the area and write out the names of each herb above. Looks great in my head, might be rubbish in reality. I’ll let you folks know how that idea pans out!
For now, I’m taking a few steps back in the garden, but I’ll be keeping you up to date with the small additions and ideas, and hopefully a demolition post about the concrete atrocity haha.