I love that moment when everything has finally been planted out. Things have been squeezed in here and there, in rows and often not in rows, and there are no more little pots to be watered. The plantlings are off on their own in the big wide world, and my job is done. Well, except for the watering and staking and weeding and that kind of thing.
I thought I'd have a quick run through of what I've put in the raised beds in the garden. I honestly don't think I could fit in another thing at home, and I've planted things closer together than you're supposed to.
Shall we have a wander?
This is a view of all of them. The two at the back of the photo and the one at the front are 4' x 4', and the four in the middle are 8' x 4'. The 4x4s are the boys' beds, one each. You know, to avoid bickering.
This is the littlest boy's raised bed. The boys have done mostly (bee-friendly) flowers this year. He has nigella, some of Flighty's marigolds and cornflowers (thanks Flighty), sweet peas, cosmos and some unidentified stuff from a packet of bee mixture. Strawberries (and oddly raw spinach) are his best thing, but they weren't doing well in this bed, so I took them out.
Next up are climbing borlotti beans, green and red broad beans, artichokes, sorrel and three red French beans, which were the only ones that germinated from an old packet.
This is the salad bed. There are mustard leaves, red and green oak leaved lettuce which I find always grow really well, rocket, freckled cos lettuces, French sorrel, basil, spinach and perpetual spinach. I don't ever pull up a whole lettuce, I just pick leaves as I need them, pretty much every day. The ones in flower will be coming out soon and something else going in in their place. I'm not sure what yet, but I have got some Chinese leaf seedlings which I might use. Although growing salads might not sound terribly exciting, I do so love a mixture of all of these different leaves for lunch each day, they really are one of the joys of summer.
More beans in this bed, this time runner beans, along with onions, chard and some sweet peas. The onions in the garden are from a packet I bought from Tesco in a moment of madness because they were a bargain. I then realised I'd already planted a load at the allotment and I didn't have much space left. So they've been slotted in, late in the season, in any corner I could find. They seem happy enough though. You can always rely on an onion.
Here we have more onions, five tomato plants, a tayberry, peas and a little basil. Practically a pizza.
These are the biggest boys' things. Strawberries, including one or two ripe ones now, radishes, onions, bee friendly flowers and a solitary (and rather sad looking) tomato plant. I have high hopes for the tomato though, the other five didn't look happy at the start but they're much cheerier now.
Elsewhere in the garden there's some fruit; three apple trees, two pear trees, a (small and beleaguered) peach, a row of raspberries, a small blackcurrant, a gooseberry, four grapevines, four blueberries in pots, five little figs and a couple of olives. I don't imagine there will be a glut of figs and olives any time soon though, to be honest I keep them mostly because they're pretty.
There are a few herbs dotted around as well, marjoram, oregano, chives, bay leaves and a rosemary. I must remember to sow some coriander, which I love.
The list sounds quite long when I write it down, but as you can see, it's all squeezed in to a fairly small garden - just under 100' in length, including a garage, a patio and a football space. Hence the allotment, for all of the things that don't fit in here. The allotment's quite tightly packed as well now, but that's another post.
I was pottering about a couple of days ago trying to take photos of bees on the raspberries. (Is it my imagination or are there lots around this year?) They're tricky to get a shot of, always on the move, a bit camera shy. This was the best I managed.
But then a really surprising thing happened. As I looked through the viewfinder, focusing on a bee, he flew off and instantly this beautiful moth appeared, right in the centre of my picture. I pressed the shutter, and only just in time, because he didn't linger for more than a second or two either.
Pretty isn't he? It made my day because I almost never get any good butterfly/moth pictures. The right place at the right time is always a good place to be.