The garden is now being shut down for the winter, with only leeks and our tuscan kale left for picking. Last year the kale lasted us all through the winter into spring.
The blueberry bushes and our pear tree are putting on a fine display of autumn colours at the moment and in the flower garden we still have a few roses blooming and the cosmos never seems to give in, even after a couple of frosts.
It was a very dry September this year, with some record breaking temperatures. Combined with the dry summer it meant we had a very meagre potato crop this year. The earlies got blight and the main crop were very small. The courgettes and squash have been excellent again this month and we have apples on two of our trees.
The star flowers at the moment are the asters and the never ending morning glory.
We are just emerging from another minor canicule with temperatures in the mid 30’s centigrade. So not much work has been done in the garden except for early mornings before it gets too hot. But the weather has definitely suited the Morning Glory flowers and the pattypan squash!
And its good weather for drying off the onion crop.
We have had a very hot and mainly dry July, excepting a couple of dramatic thunderstorms. So everything has galloped ahead, especially the courgettes and pattipan squash. We should be having our first squash risotto this week, in fact.
We have dug and eaten our first new potatoes and have finished the peas which were again very disappointing this year. The herbs and flowers are also know looking fantastic, especially the hyssop and fennel and the jerusalem artichoke’s are as usual, reaching for the sky.
The first couple of weeks of June were very wet here and slowed down our progress in the garden but not our plants or the weeds! We are now experiencing a dry warm period and it’s good to see all the plants progressing.
Red and blackcurrants are ripening and since moving the rhubarb it’s been the best year for it. The onions suffered some hail damage but are now – in the last few days of heat and sunshine – fighting back.
At the moment we are into a strawberry glut and are picking a bowl a day.
The wild flowers in the garden continue to impress and the new border is beginning to settle in well.
I have been a bit neglectful in taking photos this month. We have been away on holiday and had visitors, therefore all these photos were actually taken on June 1st!
All our fruit bushes are looking very healthy, particularly our red currants and we look likely to have a good crop of gooseberries this year. Though the major success is the first blossom and fruitlets on one of our pear trees.
The potatoes are now all through and looking good and the two seed potatoes we planted in a bag will be ready in a couple of weeks. Peas are planted out and we have some tomatoes and squash waiting dryer weather before planting out.
The weather this last week has been very wet and everything – including the grass – has shot up.
We have also planted up a new border along the side of our drive, along with an unintentional stumpery.
We have had snow showers, hail, heavy rain and temperatures up to 23C. So a bit of everything this April. Potatoes are planted (Belle de Fontenay and Sarpo Mira) with the trenches lined with our first cut off the comfrey patch. Most of the other crops are know sown and are coming on nicely in the garden shed. (Peas (Provence), Kale (Nero di Toscano), Tomatos (Chico Rosso), Paterson squash)
The garden is also full of blossom at the moment, with some of our apple and pear trees producing blossom for the first time.
It’s always good to get the first veg started off in the new growing season and now we have beetroot sown and potatoes chitting. This year we are growing three different varieties of beetroot (chiogia, golden, and detroit red) and two of potatoes (Belle de Fontenay and Sarpo Mira). No shallots this year but both red and white onions for a change.
Other things are stirring….
plum cherry blossom
mara des bois strawberries
We tried a green manure crop of field beans in some of the beds this winter and they were a great success, so we will repeat next year in all the beds.
Dwarf narcissi are out and the daffodils are near bud burst.
Thats all from Grahy for March, see you next month!
A mainly dry and warm February with just one fall of snow early on. Still some leeks left, though they need lifting now before they bolt. The kale is also still going strong and throwing out very tasty florets. The first act of the new gardening year has been to set the seed potatoes chitting. We are growing the same varieties as last year, “Belle de Fontenay” as an early, “Sarpo Mira” as a blight resistant main crop. These both did very well last year, which was very, very hot.
Some early appearances from the wild garlic and the rhubarb, and buds appearing on the blackcurrant bushes.