Summer 2021 - In our garden

As I type, we’re in the middle of a heatwave with daily temperatures in the high twenties and not much less at night. This has us on tomato and chilli watch, with greenhouse temperatures rising significantly and daily watering and damping down required so as not to lose any crops.

Everything that normally sits happily in the conservatory has been moved outside, so pest watch on these plants is essential too.

We have a garden full of growing veg and lots of jobs to keep us pottering through summer. We’re not suffering from any gluts of anything so far, but have lots of little and often harvests of salad leaves, spring onion and radish, beetroot, and a handful of courgettes. Salad seeds have been re-sown, so we can ensure successional produce in around 6 weeks’ time and we can keep doing this across the summer as long as the weather allows, as it can be too hot for germination too!

Our broad beans are just coming to an end, but our first Peas are late for us this year due to the hungry rabbits or mice that finished off our first batch of pea shoots. The thing about creating a garden that wildlife will love, is that you have to be ready to share your produce!

Our first ripe strawberries were being eaten by something before we made it to them, so we set up our wildlife camera to see who the culprit was and a pair of Blackbirds were caught enjoying the lovely ripe fruits. Netting is the only real good way to keep the birds off, so we netted the strawberries and have since had good crops to make jam and a refreshing sorbet and leaving a few for the birds to enjoy.

Our Brassicas are also doing very well considering the slow start they had in the cold spring, and we’ve already harvested calabrese heads (or broccoli as it’s more commonly known) along with some perfect all year-round cauliflowers. We have back-up plants ready to replace these once pulled, so we should then have another crop at the end of summer.

We’re eating green chillies already and have lots of baby tumbling TomatoesTumbling tomato that are eaten as soon as they are ripe, they never make it to the kitchen and are eaten in all of their warm, sweet and plump juiciness straight from the plant.

Our Lupins were stunning in the garden this year and we seem to have avoided a greenfly infestation unlike last year. As these have faded, the glory of foxgloves replaced them and these are just going over as the Echinacea begin to appear. 

Other perennials are also doing well in the garden, the Salvias Blue and Rose Queen , Crazy Daisies and Achillea are stunning this year. 

Sowing and growing perennial flowers Achilleafrom seed, may seem a bit of hard work, and you need to be patient, but the savings and sense of achievement you will get can be huge especially if like us you have some large flower beds to fill.
We like to sow these in Autumn as we find germination is easier and there’s room in the greenhouse and cold frames to look after them then over winter. By the time Spring veggies are being sown, these little plants are big and strong enough to go outside.
 
We’re testing some new seeds this summer too, so you should see some new varieties coming soon. We’re trying out a few different Basil varieties, lemon, lime and cinnamon, and also growing borage, lovage and sorrel and then a few other things that we’ll keep as a surprise!

 

We’re also working on expanding our gift and accessories range this year and we’re already planning Autumn and Winter market events, so Covid status and rules permitting, hopefully you can come along and see us in person and we can catch up on what everyone has been up to in their gardens. Follow us on Facebook to find events.

In the meantime, lovely summer is here so enjoy your pottering and make time to put up your feet and bask in the glory of your garden.

Happy sowing! Love from Jo and Wendy