Tag Archive | potager

June in the Garden

June flew by, with a real mixture of weather, and not as much gardening as should have been done. We have a new gate now at the end of the garden to prevent stray cows wandering in and destroying the lawn with their deep footprints.

 

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The new path that we strimmed through the meadow over the winter is looking established now, and gives a lovely view from the near garden. Now to put a bench at the end to give a reason to walk along it!

 

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We have also had our first crops for the potager – a decent couple of handfuls of tasty radishes before the slugs worked out where they were. Later sowings have unfortunately been completely eaten. We will be employing some anti-slug measures!

 

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Our mange-touts have been a great success, however, untouched by pests they have cropped heavily, and the pods are so crisp and tasty, and last for weeks in the fridge. We have also enjoyed a few baby new potatoes which managed to develop before the slugs ate all the top growth.

 

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I uncovered a small dwarf rhododendron on the overgrown bank by the house last year, which hadn’t flowered. With a bit of space around it for a year, it has thrived, and treated me to a few flowers this year.

 

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I am collecting varieties of Cistus, rock rose, as they seem to do well on my stony bank. This one, C. purpureus, was the first I planted, and has been smothered for weeks this year.

 

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My bearded irises got completely eaten by slugs, but I have had more success with sibirica irises, and this lovely Iris ‘Silver Edge’ flowered well.

 

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We also had the usual huge flowers of the oriental poppy. They are so spectacular, but the colour is a bit strident. Maybe I should move them to somewhere where the colour clashes less, and replace them with something softer…

 

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July is proving to be just as variable weather-wise as June, so I am waiting for a dry day to get out and take some July photos. Fingers crossed!

 

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Hellebores and other Spring beauties

The last month has been less than perfect, as I have had a nasty bout of ‘flu, and haven’t been well enough to get out in the garden much. Once the worst was over, I went visiting friends and family around the country for a week, while I got my strength back. I managed to visit a fair few garden centres and nurseries while away, so returned with a boot full of delicious plants. This unusual striped hellebore was one of my finds – it is bred by Hilliers as part of their Spring Promise range, and is called ‘Lily’.

 

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I had a quick look at the other hellebores they were selling, not expecting to find anything else, but then I found yet another stunner – this time a double purple so dark it looks black, but with a softer purple showing around the edges.

 

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This is ‘Double Ellen Purple’, a superb addition to my little hellebore grove along the woodland path.

The garden is awash with Spring bulbs, all doing their best to stand up against the Spring storms. The crocuses struggle, but some have survived.

 

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My current favourite among the daffodils is this mid-sized one with swept back petals, and a rich orange trumpet. it really stands out amongst all the yellow and white varieties.

 

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This little corner bed at the end of our drive was just full of weeds, so in the winter I planted a little conifer which was swathed with fairy lights for Christmas, and added a few clumps of mini daffs that needed moving from elsewhere. Now I just need to add a little something else in front of the conifer for summer colour.

 

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We have had to add an extra layer of wire mesh around the base of our potager, as we found that the rabbits were chewing holes in our plastic deer fencing, even there is nothing inside yet for them to eat!

 

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That should stop them. The first plants have now gone in – summer and autumn-fruiting raspberries. They don’t look much at the moment, but should grow away well, helped by lots of homemade compost. I am really looking forward the the first crop.

 

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Now I need some mild, dry weather so that I can get out there and get gardening, but as it is currently raining I shall have to make do with admiring my bowl of hellebores.

 

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Developments in the garden

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Just before I went away on holiday, our new shed was finally built, and I am very pleased with it. There is plenty of room inside, but I am sure it will fill up very quickly. The next job is to make a ramp to the door, and to paint it a simple dark brown so that it blends in nicely and is less obvious from a distance.

We have also made two chicken wire pens for dead leaves, to rot them down slowly for leaf mould. I am a bit worried though by the sheer quantity of leaves that are coming off our beech trees…will the pens be big enough?

 

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Ah well, we can always build two more.

The most exciting news is that we now have a potager, surrounded by 6ft deer fencing, so that we can grow some fruit and veg next year without feeding all the local wildlife. It now needs the turf off and some basic terracing done over the winter, so as to be ready by the Spring. More work!

 

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My dear husband did say ‘When is the tiger arriving?’…

With all these new additions, the bottom end of the garden is looking very business-like. Now we just have to decide if that business is a garden or a zoo!