Friday, 1 August 2014

End Of Month View ~ July 2014.


Somehow I missed posting at the end of June so it's fast forward to the end of July. My word of the month is FRAZZLE which is what garden, allotment and myself did. As it happens the one day when we got a veritable drenching I was helping to run a plant and produce stall on behalf of our allotment association. Five of us spent a most cosy few hours under a small gazebo where we managed by and large to keep dry. It's fortunate that we get on well. We sold more plants than we expected - rhubarb plants and wallflowers were the day's best sellers.

July was also a short month in that we were away for the first two weeks so by the time we were home and settled it positively raced away. The weather was more for sitting, reading and sipping something cool rather than physical exertion so I did little in the way of gardening. We returned in time to catch a glimpse of the day lilies and a couple of my favourite geraniums in flower but to find several flowers sadly well past their sell by date. There has been much in the way of scent to enjoy this months with some delicious wafts from lilies, roses and more recently from the buddleias.

A few seeds have been sown - more lunaria, sweet williams, a perennial white stock as well as dwarf French beans, beetroot and turnips. I have been excited to see that we have the grand total of four pears between our two trees! There were more at the start of June but a windy day sent them scattering to the floor. I am checking them everyday to make sure that there are still clinging on but dare not take a photograph in case it tempts fate.


Another pleasing observation is that the sedums we planted on the top of the gabion wall in May 2013 have now really started to do some serious travelling. In some places they have covered the metre width of the wall whilst they are also now beginning to stray over the edges. The wall is beginning to age too which is most pleasing.


There is never a right time to go on holiday apart from winter as far as the allotment is concerned. Fortunately we had done justice to most of the strawberries, summer fruiting raspberries and goosegogs before we left. Home to a seemingly never ending supply of courgettes. If you have a similar abundance and have not come across this post yet do have a look at Caro's signposts over at The Urban Veg Patch in the direction of some fabulous recipes. French beans are also proving reasonably bounteous despite the dry weather. This year the tables have turned and the green 'Cobra' is faring much better than the purple 'Blauhilde'. Hopefully we will have a second crop later with some dwarf beans. Broad beans and peas were picked and savoured in June.


Shallots and garlic have been harvested - the former not doing as well as last year in terms of numbers. I have grown some 'Red Baron' onions from sets and am picking them before they get big to use in salads. The first of the 'Rainbow Beet' beetroot will be sampled next week. The potatoes have struggled again probably with the lack of much rain but 'Roseval' and 'Cherie' will definitely be ordered again next year. My 'Lark' sweetcorn went in too late and I'm not sure whether I will get much in the way of cobs. I'm kicking myself as my plot neighbours have gigantic plants.

The first of my apples will probably be picked later this month. The fruits still look relatively small although I've tried to remember to water the trees at least once a week. Yesterday however I was able to pick half a dozen or so from a tree which overhangs no man's land on the allotment site, to which when stewed I added some blackberries making for a most delicious desert.

My tomatoes and cucumbers have had to take their chance at home this summer and were lobbed in to the cold frame before we went away. Here himself has rigged up an automatic watering system. The cucumbers did not appreciate this treatment and have curled up their tendrils but the tomatoes though still green are slowly getting there.

Plant purchases over the last couple of months have been fairly minimal. I ordered a collection of penstemons from Hayloft Plants which arrived in June. I have not ordered from them before and was fairly impressed with both packaging and plant quality. The plants were plug plant size so it will probably be next year before I see any flowers but I'm happy to wait. Also coming home from France with me was a little purple scabious as a souvenir of our visit to a French nursery. Finally I finished July off with an order for some dormant snowdrop bulbs which hopefully I will show in a future EOMV view.

Thanks as always to Helen over at The Patient Gardener's Weblog for hosting the EOMV which provides a most opportune chance to reflect at the end of each month.

13 comments:

  1. Lucky you getting some rain.
    It must have been lovely coming back from your holiday to so much produce.
    I' d love to see your French scabious, is it in flower?
    Lovely photos, specially the Peacock butterfly.

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  2. I've never had such a good year for 'Cobra' here, it's romping away.

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  3. July has just flown by hasn't it? Still not a bad month at all, very productive for you and with all that harvest!

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  4. The gabion wall is looking fabulous with the sedum spilling over the sides, it hasn't taken long for it to take on a natural look. It sounds like you're getting some great harvests. Most of my Cobra French beans were eaten by slugs but I got a very small picking last week, they didn't seem to like the Purple Sensation so they're doing ok, and I'm harvesting loads of runners. The courgettes are as prolific as ever, I handed over a carrier bag full to my next door neighbour last night, she'd been trying to grow them in the garden but she's harvested the grand sum of one courgette, needless to say she was very pleased with my gift. Hayloft Plants are always advertising in magazines, they seem to have some great offers on plant collections and I've heard good things about them in the past.

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  5. Your gabion wall is looking rather wonderful Anna, and your harvests sound bountiful and delicious despite your absence. Good luck hanging on to your pears!

    I'm enjoying a good harvest from 'Cobra' too, makes a change from last year, when all my beans failed! I grew 'Cherie' this year too, and am really enjoying them, now my only problem is working out where to plant them next year. I am thinking about moving to a much more chaotic mixed approach, cramming things in to different beds rather than having dedicated sections. Mind you, I am bad enough at succession planning as it is, that approach could tip me over the edge!

    PS What is the plant in that first photo? Lovely flowers.

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  6. Hi Anna - good to hear what's been happening in your garden and on the allotment. You have prompted me to do some serious thinking about seed sowing for next year although I am unsure where to start - have just ordered some fresh teucrium seeds from Ebay though. The perennial white stock sounds useful - what variety is it? I have found Hayloft offers very good, although the plant size varies - they are very good at replacing items that don't thrive so you can't lose really. Well done on your veg despite lack of rain - no courgettes here yet, but the handful of Cobra was very tasty and there will be more. Just noticed the first ripe tomatoes today!

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  7. We are having a much welcome day of rain today and Frazzle just about covered here too!
    You've been extremely busy with your holiday and playing catch up on the allotment but by the sounds of your harvest, it's been worthwhile Anna.
    I noticed Janet has asked the name of the plant in your first photo - was going to ask the same thing.

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  8. That's a lovely picture of your geranium. July was frazzling here too, although we did get rain in between. Hope August is a bit cooler!

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  9. I have bought collections of plants from Hayloft and they are good plants for a reasonable price. Have you browsed their magazine offers as you can order these without buying a magazine.

    We have three pears on one of our three trees on the plot and it is the one that had the least.blossonm. I have links to courgette recipes on my blog too including courgette crumble which tastes like apple crumble.

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  10. You've been busy, Anna. Have you been somewhere nice? Bet you were! I hate leaving my garden behind in summer and it's an awful job finding someone reliable for watering etc. Protect you pears well - we have to net our trees as the jays fancy the fruit too. Lovely geranium and the wall is really coming on well.

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  11. Looks like you have had a bountiful harvest, Anna. I was hoping courgettes were what we call cucumbers, of which I have an abundance. But I see they are what we call zucchini. I didn't get any planted this year, but I wish I had. One year I had so many that it seemed as if everything I cooked had some zucchini/courgettes snuck in somewhere:)

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  12. It's hard finding the time to have a holiday as a gardener. I'm reluctant to leave during the summer. Hopefully once Wellyman has finished his OU degree autumn will be freed up once more and we can get away then. Loving the sedums on the gabions. Just picked our first apples. We got to them this year before the wasps. :)

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  13. Thanks for all your lovely comments. No longer frazzling but freezing. Janet & Angie the plant in the first photo is clematis jouiniana 'Praecox'. Sorry for the late reply to your question.

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All your comments are much appreciated and treasured. I wil try to reply to everyone who leaves a comment, but it may take me a few days, especially when I start spending more time in the garden and at the lottie. I know that you will understand :) I am sure that I will also visit your blog if I have not already done so. If you have any
specific questions I will either reply to them here or you can email me at : thegreentapestry@gmail.com

Namasté

- Anna.