I am finally getting a bit of time in the garden after our holidays left me with rather a mess to clear up. I’m at that stage where I am looking forward to getting everything cut back and tidied, there’s still a bit of time to go but I think the general crappy nature of the garden this year (it’s definitely not been my best gardening year) and the out of control vibe of the school summer holidays has me ready for a little more order and some neat vegetable beds.
The garden is full of butterflies today, we have some huge buddleia bushes growing on the other side of the fence, they are in fact taller than the fence at this time of year and the butterflies sun themselves on the wood.
This one sat on my arm and refused to move for about 10mins, I was walking around most of that time slowly doing jobs (and trying to photograph it one handed – not easy – lucky I had my camera around my neck). Shame there are so many cabbage whites as well, leaving caterpillars munching away at my poor leaves.
Crops this year have been sparse. We didn’t get to eat many tomatoes at all, most were very blighted by the time we returned from holiday, but we did get to munch some of the sungold before we went. Their cherry size and orange colour was a winner with C, who likes to eat them whilst exploring the garden.
Also still going strong are:
I have broccoli, barlotti beans, sweetcorn and a second sowing of chard on the way, but the definite highlight of this year are the squash. I’ll write a full post on these once they have been picked for drying, it’s almost quite difficult to see exactly how many fruits I’ve got with the large leaves roaming everywhere, but it’s looking quite good and may well be my redeeming crop this year.
I pulled up all the shallots when we returned from Yorkshire. They haven’t grown very big, the trapped rabbit (the one stuck in the vegetable patch) ate all the tops when they should have had plenty of growing time left and the rain had them sitting in damp ground so I have popped them into the greenhouse to dry off. They may not be very big but there are loads, so I’m planning some pickled shallots this year, when the boys are back at school and I have time.
I’ve trimmed off the garlic and brought it indoors. It’s been drying for some weeks in the greenhouse and this has about half the crop. Although they started well they aren’t the size of last years, still good enough though and something I’ll always make room for, in fact I’ve ordered the autumn planing bulbs (Solent Wight) so I don’t forget from Thompson and Morgan. I’m not going to order shallot sets, I’m going to try planing this year’s bulbs and see what happens.
I need to get my act together, I’m determined to get some autumn/winter crops started, it’s difficult when we are still having such hot days, so many plants have bolted this year, I’m waiting for things to cool off a bit and for the school holidays to be over. I tend to get very busy with sewing work from September onwards, but I’m determined to make time for the garden, we’ll see, only time will tell 🙂