Thursday, 5 June 2014

Early June in the garden

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.

33 comments:

  1. Stunning moth photo! Your garden looks great - and to think you were worriting about the state of the allotment a post or so back!

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  2. Beautiful photos and you saved the best for last. I love that the boys have their own garden, you are starting them young to be responsible and appreciate where food comes from.
    Hugs to you,
    Meredith

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  3. A most enjoyable post and terrific photos. I especially like the colourful Cinnebar Moth of which I'm a bit envious as I saw one for the first time recently but didn't manage to get a photo.
    It's all looking good with plenty of interest, and to eat later on.
    Thanks for the mention, I hope all the flowers grow okay. Flighty xx

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  4. love your beds, There seems to be a good few of the Cinnebar moth about.

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  5. Great post.. everything is looking good. Lovely bee photo.. we have loads in our garden too, it's great to see. That moth is particularly stunning :o) x

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  6. Yes that moth is stunning!!!! And you go pal!!! Look at this amazing garden!!! It is gorgeous and a lesson to all of those out there that make excuses that they don't have room to grow anything! Love this!!! And I would have to agree with you...I am enjoying sitting back a bit at this point.... Just like watching things grow now! Have a great weekend! Nic xo

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  7. Great stuff. I made a start on planting out today, will finish tomorrow, weather permitting. It is a great feeling to have it done and know that the rain can do the watering from now on!

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  8. Everything planted - I wish. Great moth photo.

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  9. Everything is growing so beautifully, CJ. I love the look of the lettuces and strawberries, you're going to have a wonderful harvest soon. The snail and moth photos are beautiful, so clear and crisp. I love seeing the wildlife you have there, I've never noticed a red moth where I live. Looking forward to hearing more about your lovely garden.

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  10. I'm very impressed with your garden.. bravo! Your moth capture was brilliant.. what a fun happenstance!
    ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  11. A lovely garden, and that moth...great shot!

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  12. Oh, you're so lucky to have all that great stuff growing! I bet with the addition of a goat and a few chickens you'd be on your way to self-sufficiency!
    Looks like you'll be (quite literally) enjoying the fruits of your labour for the reat of the year. I loved nosing around your garden :)
    Oh, and a few summers ago we came across a field full of those incredible moths - it was amazing.
    Have a great weekend.
    Sarah x

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  13. CJ I have to tell you how you've inspired me to do a little gardening this year, nothing compared to what you have there put more than I would normally do. I have half prepared a post about it but life has got in the way so it may never get published!
    I have a little row of carrots, parsnips and onions in the patch I've dug over, raised beds are on my wish list, if only the builder had time to help me.....
    I love that you've planted a pizza topping!!

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    1. Oh and beetroot in my patch too!

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  14. What a stunning moth picture. I need to do a garden catch up post too, maybe today would be a good day as the su. Is shining. I am envious that you can grow spinach mine always goes to seed no matter what I do or try. Never grows more than a couple of cm :(. Been trying for ten years now.........

    Your garden looks amazing and you have an allotment so much to keep on top of!

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  15. Wow - as the characters in one of my little babe's picture books says, "What a treasure!" That moth shot is great. What a variety of fruit you have - I'd take fruit over veg (even though I'm a vegetarian). And olives? - I didn't know you could grow those in England. They seem way too exotic, though I know they grow them in California.

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  16. I love that your boys have their own beds. Your plants are looking great :) Yay for summer!

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  17. You have a generous garden but I suppose that you spent a lot of time there, looking after it and taking care of it! There is nothing better than a harvest for your own! With the butterflies, you did it, brava!!! Never seen a red butterfly like this one!

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  18. Now that's what I call serendipity - the bee flies off to leave you with an even better prize. I can honestly say I've never seen anything so beautiful in the wild … except for the blue butterflies on the chalk downs by the Needles on the Isle of Wight … but certainly nothing like that in London. Ever.
    Your garden is looking very productive. I'm fearful of putting stuff out because of the slugs, of which there are many in the garden here; as a result I still have hundreds of plants waiting to go out. I sometimes go out on to the balcony, look at it all, shake my head and then come back inside again! I think I'll be brave and put the tomatoes out over the weekend … :)

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  19. I'm amazed how much you have managed to fit into your garden it looks fantastic, and is growing well. I love your wildlife pictures too. Sarah x

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  20. I am always so impressed and inspired by your gardening, CJ. It's amazing! The last picture of the red butterfly is beautiful as well. I've never seen a butterfly like that ever. I hope you enjoy the weekend!

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  21. That is a lot of produce to enjoy this summer CJ. I really love it how your boys have their own raised bed each and how they are allowed to plant what they like. I am feeling ever so inspired and I think next year I shall take over the vegetable garden here. Enjoy your weekend. x

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  22. I have to start of by saying how excited I am that I can identify your moth!! I am trying to learn a few and I know that this is a Cinnabar!! All of your veggies look so great, I hope that the boys plots do well so that they will stay interested and enjoy the fruits of their labours. The strawberries look very good!! xx

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  23. What a wonderful picture of that moth - such good timing! Your garden looks amazing, its lovely that your boys have their own raised beds too! Have a great weekend. xx

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  24. What a fabulous moth photo, I've never seen one quite like that before. You're growing such a variety of things, you'll be well fed this year. I love how you've given a raised bed to each of your boys, get them interested young and it will be a lifelong hobby.

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  25. Your garden looks fabulous. I'm feeling very old and tired at the moment and starting to dream of having my veg in the backgarden like you, instead of having to walk fifteen minutes to get there lol.....perhaps I should consider this?

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  26. Isn't it lovely to now stand back and watch everything grow. My greenhouse is now empty of nursery plants and just the house for tomatoes, butternut squash and courgettes. I also just pick the lettuce leaves so that more grow, I love walking around the garden eating things as I go (especially with salt for the tomatoes!!). How lovely to get that shot of the moth, and so beautiful. Enjoy a fresh food filled summer xx

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  27. Oh, how wonderful that the Cinnabar posed for you!

    For someone with a small courtyard garden at the back, of around thirty foot, your one hundred foot sounds positively huge! Admittedly I have fields all around, we're not short of space, but a small garden front and back is our lot. I long to have room to grow lots of lovely veggies and if it ever happens will be coming to you for tips :)

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  28. Your photos are beautiful and the gardens look so productive! Enjoy!!

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  29. That's a cracking moth shot (and well done for knowing it was a moth because I totally thought it was a butterfly). But mainly I am thinking WOW, woman, you are a gardening whirlwind! You have this incredible space, packed full to bursting with flowers, fruit, veg, AND you have your allotment too! Hats off to you. xx

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  30. Hey CJ,
    Is that a Cinnabar moth? I agree with Gillian - you are a gardening whirlwind. I love how your garden is both beautiful and productive. AND makes space for three boys. And I love the fact that they have a raised bed each too.
    Leanne xx

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  31. Your raised beds look so promising! All look so healthy.

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