It’s been a couple of weeks since I did a little garden update and my growing garden has been growing. Mostly in the wonderful summer time sort of way, and just a little bit in an ‘aargh I’m really busy and I can’t quite keep up with it sort of way’. The rain has been wonderful for the whole garden, and really rubbish for letting me actually get out there of an evening or at the weekend to tidy it up and do the little bits and bobs that need doing so mostly it’s been left to itself. Fortunately neither veggie nor flowers gardens seems to mind too much.
We were in Devon at the weekend where the hydrangeas are in full deep china blue bloom. Further north mine are just starting to make an appearance and I can just about forgive the lack of blue this year given when I get highlighter pen pink and the loveliest of blue blushed lilac.
The roses have their own rambling dance across the back fence, and showers of petals douse my little boy every time he slams a football into the back fence. These pale pink beauties are hiding from him, tucked up behind a bramble but given away by their gorgeous scent.
In the fruit bed the strawberries are all over now. We did have some, but I never got around to netting them and the birds had more but I don’t think we minded too much. I’m never going to have a strawberry patch that can produce an entire supper’s worth of berries unless I dig up the whole lawn; these are more about the fun of watching and waiting for the strawberries to turn red and then timing just right to get to them first. Next year though, netting.
Next door to the fruit the onions and garlic are all wilting down nicely and I think it’s time for the garlic at least to come up. I’ve tried lifting a couple to see how they were getting on but for the first few I wondered whether things had got a bit muddled between the planting and the harvesting because what I was pulling as garlic turned out to be a single bulb, more like an onion than a head of garlic split into cloves. Fortunately third time lucky I pulled a nice fat proper looking garlic. Whatever the funny ones are, if it doesn’t look right then it doesn’t go in the kitchen and I’ll just chalk it up to experience. But if there’s something obvious I should know as to why it didn’t work then please let me know.
The parsnips and purple beans are putting everything else to shame. The parsnips are a regular forest, I have no idea whether they’re too close together or whether they’ll be OK but I’ve gone with what felt about right and if we have lots of teeny tiny parsnips this winter I’ll know for next year.
And at last, we have promise of beans. Well promise of beans and what I think may actually be a teeny tiny baby purple bean. We’ve celebrated by finally getting around to staking them and hopefully before too long it will be purple beans for supper.
Speaking of staking, and slightly off centre wonky staking at that, I’ve also (and also finally) staked up the sugarsnap peas. I’ve given them a little arch to climb along but apparently it clashed with their outfits or something because they turned up their little climber feelers at it and steadfastly insisted on being ground cover peas, no matter how many times I tried to give them a persuasive twirl around the hoop as I passed by. Now we have bamboo of the ‘rescued from the floor of the shed because I couldn’t find where we’d put the rest of it’ variety and some very snazzy green garden twine and they’re quite happily ensconced in a sort of wigwam with one minor addition because one pole was too short. So far they seem to love it and I’m determined to protect them from the birds. They may take our strawberries, but they’ll never take our peas..!
My spinach forrest has been eyeing up a bit of a bolt this week. It also seems to have got a bit squashed in places (Pip Squeak?!) so after I’d taken these pictures I basically attacked it with a pair of scissors and enlisted some child labour to help with stripping the leaves. We got a colander-full and what I left behind will either grow again, or it really won’t and I’ll have to pull it all out and plant again – but maybe a little more sparsely this time.
The carrots are another crop where I’m worrying about spacing. This is how close they are together at the moment and I don’t really want to thin them any more because then I’ll only be growing about five carrots total so I’m hoping they’ve got enough room to grow long enough. Because my little photobombing gardener is getting so very excited about the prospect of actually being able to pull things up without a cry of “nooooooo!” that the least I can do is make sure there’s a carrot on the end of it for his snack!