Friday, 22 July 2016

Potager update July 2016

Well, we've just past mid summer in the garden, so I thought it's timely to do an update on the potager garden. Remember I was planting it up, read about that here. As you can see, it has come together very nicely and I have to say, in what is a very busy mostly non gardening year, I'm enjoying this garden space. Recently I revisited the vegetable garden in the Botanic Gardens, which impressed me so much over the past couple of years (read one of my blog posts here on it), and wasn't disappointed. You can see where I adopted some of their habits in developing my little production area....

At this point in the year I'm enjoying fruits of my early 2016 labour with produce like the these mini cucumbers, called 'Mini Munchie'. Other salad crops include tomatoes, which are just starting to ripen, and beetroots, which are looking like a good size now. I've been enjoying strawberries for the past month, mostly with my morning cereal and as they come to an end the raspberries have appeared along with some blueberries. I note the gooseberries, black currants and loganberries are ready for picking too. Where there is gluts of fruits I either make jam or freeze the produce for later use. 

Every day this area is a hive of activity, and this year I think I've even spotted some worker bees ...

This year, rather than growing gourds, we're all about the pumpkins here. First time for growing them and it is a real novelty to see the size some of them are growing to, particularly as the young plants required so much care and attention in the cold months of spring, and remember all those nightly slug patrols ... Lol

Oh, and their flowers are HUGE too !

As I've mentioned before, we all need a few sunflowers in the garden. While these guys won't win any prizes for height, the flowers are very impressive, and their seeds will be a nicely appreciated snack over the winter months. 

If you look up the word 'potager' you'll see it's a term that's used to describe a vegetable garden that has flower colour added to it. In this potager garden, at this time of year there is a riot of colour coming from the day lilies, Hemerocallis. Each of the large blooms only lasts a day (I've a blog here about flowers at each stage of the day), however, there are sooo many buds the plants flower for days and days on end. Plenty of colour too from the blue flowers of borage, the orange and yellow English marigolds, and touches of purple to pink flowers of red clover. I sowed all of these in spring, with the intention of attracting more insects into the garden, and boy o boy has this worked ! Every day this area is a hive of activity, and this year I think I've even spotted some worker bees doing their thing, after an absence in the garden for the last couple of years. 

What else is growing here? Well, two (sort of) trained apples have a nice amount of fruits on them. The onions are motoring along very nicely (read about planting them here). There are a dozen or so sweetcorn plants looking very well, with some cobs forming. The dill plants, which were so revered here in early summer are going to seed. Chive plants require some dead heading at this point. The lovely pea 'Shiraz' continues  to produce. While I didn't have seed for  a later sowing this year, I'm saving enough seed for a couple of sowings next year.
Finally, the grapes. In the great winter clean up, I cut the main grape plant back quite harshly over winter to tidy it up. At this point it's not looking like there'll be many fruits, so we'll have to be content with pictures from last year. 

Happy gardening. 

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Tickled pink

I thought it was worth sharing some photos from one of the beds in the back garden. A lot of plants in the pink to purple spectrum are looking great at the moment. 

Now I'd like to say this bed has been meticulously planned for this effect. However the truth is that this grouping reflects some of my favourites and a couple of random self sown seedlings that have sprung up in between ... Lol. 


The round headed Alliums were given as a present by my mum the first year we moved in. Planting them with plenty of good organic compost and fertiliser, as will as regular feeds has ensured they continue to flower year after year.


You can also see a Lupin seedling I brought on that has turned out to be pink, rather than the expected purple. You can also see the beautiful Clematis 'Warszawska Nike'. It's a bred variety that I'll write about again in the future.  And, you can see two varieties of herbaceous Geranium. One is a pink seedling to the foreground and the other is a blue, in the back ground. 

All this colour (and growth)?has only come on quite recently and, I have to say, it's been well worth waiting for.



Happy gardening