Saturday, 11 June 2016
This week in the garden
The garden has been such a good place to be this week. It's that time of year when a quick trip outside to the bin turns into an hour or two of tidying, trimming and weeding.
The first of the strawberries are ripe. Last year the plants were terrible, sad little stumps doing almost nothing. At the end of the season they rallied a bit and put on a small amount of growth. This year they've taken off and it looks like there will be a good crop. I assume they just needed to settle in. Patience.
I've started tying in the tomatoes. As usual Sungold are the furthest ahead with little fruits already forming. Orkado is not far behind though, it's rapidly becoming my favourite for reliability. There were dozens of sideshoots to be pinched out and one or two plants had been snapped off the by the cricketers or the golfer. As usual everyone is blaming everyone else. Anyway, it wasn't me.
Fruit is swelling nicely and the raspberries are permanently covered in bees. They really are one of the best things for attracting pollinators to the kitchen garden. I visited Jekka's Herbs yesterday and learnt a few new things. I'll write about it more another day, but one of her tips was to plant borage at each end of the row of runner beans. Apparently that brings the bees from far and wide.
Chives are another thing that the bees love. This clump is just a supermarket pot of them planted in a tucked away corner and left to their own devices. They never fail to look beautiful every single year, and the flowers are so pretty pulled apart and sprinkled over salads. I leave most of them for the bees though.
The carrots have been resown after the first batch disappeared without trace. It seems to me that a decent slug or snail can happily work his way through a row or two of seedlings over the course of a night.
After a dry spell the heavens opened yesterday (at school pick-up time of course). There were several monsoon style deluges. Safe to say everything has been thoroughly watered. No amount of watering seems to equal a good natural downpour does it? Today everything looks gloriously green.
I hope your gardens or patios or window boxes are giving you pleasure too. And that you find a bit of time this weekend to go out and enjoy them. Or if you don't have a garden of your own, which I didn't for a very long time, that you can find a garden or a park to visit. This really is the very best time of year out there.