Sunday, 22 June 2008

The Sweet Smell of the Garden

We went away last weekend, so I have been playing catchup in the garden this weekend.

I have unearthed my garlic and if they had been a success, I would have taken a photograph and would have reported me jumping for joy but as I pulled them from the earth, my heart sank with disappointment. Some of them were waterlogged and the ones which weren't, were small and a bit insignificant. I left them on the top of the soil in the sunshine today and then brushed off the dirt and have hung them to dry in the garage. When I entered the garage half an hour after hanging them up, there was a faint whiff of garlic in the air!

Talking of whiffs you cannot beat the smell of Sweet Peas. This is a success I can photograph and sing about. I absolutely love Sweet Peas. Next to Dahlia's these are my favourite flowers. They

are so delicate but pack a punch in the nasal department. They need to be fed and watered well and in doing so, reward you with flowers in abundance. Professional growers, grow them on a cordon, (one stem) and cut off the tendrils, which are a nuisance as they wrap themselves around the stems which distorts them. I heard someone today, say that you shouldn't let them flower until they are 2ft tall but I just can't do that, I am too impatient and am happy to have small flowers and lots of them. The important thing to do, is to pick the flowers regularly and not let them set seed, otherwise they will stop flowering. So the more you pick, the more they will flower.
Although I have planted Autumn fruiting raspberries, I am picking the fruit from the bushes now which has puzzled me. I have been growing plants for many years and have quite a good knowledge but vegetables and fruit are new to me. There is so much to learn. The advantage of growing on an allotment, would be that there are lots of people around you with experience and advice but growing on your own with just a few books for help is not so easy. I am thinking that it might be a good idea to join a horticultural society. There must be one local to me. I will do some research.
This afternoon, we took ourselves off to the Purbecks to visit Kingston. They opened 9 gardens in the village for charity which were absolutely heavenly. One garden had a small plant stall and I bought a Dahlia. It has dark foliage and the flower is an acid yellow.

Most of the gardens were small but had the most wonderful views of the Purbecks, the sea and Corfe Castle.
I love visiting ordinary peoples gardens and talking to them about their passion.
The village church was open for tea and cake. I got the last scone with jam and clotted cream - I really felt extremely happy. Gardens, cream tea and sunshine. It really doesn't get better than that!

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

First Taste of Summer

YUM, YUM YUMMY! I tasted the first produce from my garden last night. I was so excited to see the strawberries all juicy and ripe just waiting to be picked that I shouted Strawberries! at the top of my voice (well according to my son, I didn't realise I was that loud) but it was a very exciting moment for me.

Before I could eat them, I ran inside and searched for a lovely bowl to photograph them in. The light was just right, nice and diffused but still bright enough.

The veg plot is going crazy at the moment. Some of the leaves on the onions and garlic are starting to yellow, so I don't think it will be too long before they are pulled from the ground. I hope not because I have some Butternut Squash waiting in the wings and desperate to be put in the ground. I think I am definitely going to move to a bigger plot next year, I just love growing your own and it tastes so good!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Getting Familiar with Your Garden

We moved into our house and garden last August, so as with all inherited gardens, you need to spend the first year seeing what pops out of the ground. Our predecessors, were more keen on grass than plants but I have found a few gems dotted around the garden.

Callistemon (Bottlebrush)

Clemetis (name unknown)

Digitalis (Foxglove)

Kniphofia (Red-Hot Poker)

This last plant, I am a little bit stuck as to the name. It started to flower the beginning of April and looks absolutely beautiful now, with the whole plant covered in these pink flowers. The bees absolutely love it too! I think it might be called Chamelaucium uncinatum (Geraldton waxflower) but I'm not sure. The leaves are thin like Rosemary. If anyone knows the name then I would be very grateful if they could get in touch.
My veg patch is looking mighty fine too. With everything shooting up towards the heavens.
I have really enjoyed the vegetable growing so far and cannot wait to start tasting them but my raised beds are quite small and I am very limited to what I can grow. I am thinking that I may transfer my veg plot to another part of the garden, next year. I have a bed which is just grass at the moment and I thought I might have a dry gravel garden there (as done by Beth Chatto) but I am having a rethink and might have a large veg bed there instead, depending on my success this year. I will probably have changed my mind many times over before the end of the year though!


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