It’s been a very good year for rhubarb in my English garden this year. Above is a picture of some stalks I picked the other day, and was glad to give away because there is only so much rhubarb you can eat as a family!
The leaves were gigantic as well. Here I am holding up two of them. They look like umbrellas, don’t they.
It has also been a very good year for runner beans:
and we have been eating them for a couple of weeks now. They are really a colder weather crop and so long as they get plenty of water, they always seem to do just fine. I prepare them as I was taught when I was small. My mother was very particular about the cutting process and I had to get them just right. The thinner the better. Later on when I got married, I bought a bean slicer, but it never did such a good job. Now I buy a new knife every summer and use it for the first time when the first beans come in from the garden. That way I get the best cut, just so long as it’s not my fingers!!!
We have lots of tomatoes, but they are not ripening very fast. We need more sunshine, please?
Lots of people have been clicking on a post I did last year about propagating geraniums. I’ll tell you how this year’s babies are doing next time.
I greet you from a very rainy England 🙂
June is the month for roses and I’m pleased to say that the roses in my garden are doing well. I did have a plague of green fly descend upon the bushes, but a little spray took care of that. I use a washing up detergent diluted in water to remove the little blighters. There weren’t many ladybirds around so I thought I’d better deal with it myself. The rose bush above is in its third year and is doing very well. There are more flowers on it this year and the blooms are larger.
New to the garden is the red climber in the next picture. It’s doing well. I won’t prune it this Autumn. I’ll let it do its thing. I did buy two, but sadly the other one has died. I planted that one out the front on a north facing wall so that may have something to do with it.
Roses are quite easy plants to grow and they seem to thrive in most conditions. I find it fascinating how each bush is different and some do better one year than another.
Here are the others.
These daisies come up every year and sometimes are just a little too prolific, but I like things I can get a lot of so I put up! with the profusion. Can you see the bee on one of the flowers? Last year it was hover flies and I got stung twice on the arm on two separate occasions. I’m hoping that won’t happen again this year because I’m allergic to stings and bites and suffer miserably.
Here is the hanging basket just outside my back door. The nasturtiums aren’t flowering yet, but they will be soon I think. Just as soon as we get some sunshine.
On Sunday last, Larry cooked a tasty barbecue. We had steak and lamb chops. Next time I fancy doing kebabs of some sort so here he is making an addition to the grill to cook kebabs on. Does anyone have any good recipes for kebabs? I’m new to barbecues and could do with some help please.
Jim’s runner beans are all up, even the ones in the pots. Last year was a disaster to start with and he had to replant the lot. Then in the second coming (so to speak), they did so well that he had the best year for runner beans ever.
Here the ferns and in front the tomatoe plants. To the right is our camellia.
We had lots of beautiful clematis flowers this year. This one is called ‘The President’.
Last year I took care to spread around lots of the white nigella plants. We are rewarded this summer with some lovely specimens. Common name is ‘Love in a mist’. So romantic, don’t you think?
The sweet williams are just starting to flower.
and we have lots of bright red poppies.
Lots of joy in the garden isn’t there.
Yesterday, my grandson Dylan, aged 2 1/2, picked his first strawberry at Oma’s. The gardener and I have been watching that strawberry to make sure that the birds didn’t get it and we succeeded – only just. The strawberry plant hid the strawberry under one of its leaves, which also helped. Dylan picked the strawberry, washed it and ate it all up. He said it was yummy!
‘Any soil that is warm, firm and will work into a fine tilth is suitable for growing strawberries. The position selected needs to be sheltered so that late spring frosts do no harm to the flowers. Varieties can be selected to suit the particular soil and so make a good crop more certain. For heavy soils choose Sir Joseph Paxton, while on a light soil grow Royal Sovereign. Where the soil is peaty, Jucunda will do best.
The best method of propagation is by layering runners early in July. Vigorous runners with compact centres should be selected, but do not allow a plant to retain more than four runners at the most. It is best to peg down runners in small 3-in. pots rather than direct into the ground, using wire pins or wooden layering pegs. Place a small piece of turf over the drainage hole in the pot and fill up with a mixture of loam and leaf soil, to avoid drying out of soil or upsetting. It is important to keep the soil moist.’
Then, when the work is done, put your feet up and have a rest!
Taken from’Practical Gardening and Food Production by Richard Sudell F.I.L.A.,F.R.H.S.
Are you growing strawberries this year? If so, how are you getting on? Ours are about one month late owing to the bad weather.
Millie loves walking (stalking) in the garden at the cottage. She can easily hide amongst the flowers and she is so well camouflaged that she rarely gets seen when she lies down. I couldn’t get her to turn round for this picture. She was watching something that I couldn’t see, so here she is, back view only.
Millie has adapted very well to her new home. It must seem so strange to her. It is much cooler over here, but the cottage is very sunny and she just follows the sun around from room to room so she can bask in it without even going outside.
She has become very dominant over Patch, my other cat. I am not surprised about that, but it is a shame because Patch is always at the bottom of the heap. She is old (13) and just wants to be left alone to sleep and eat, but Millie still wants to play and she chases Patch and corners her. Millie doesn’t attack Patch and there have been no injuries, but Patch is so timid she always submits. Sometimes I just wish she’d stand her ground and not move! Of course we humans must not interfere. Between the two of them they have established a routine. Patch even finds a sort of comfort in going out into the garden when Millie is around because Millie is the devil Patch knows. If there is a strange cat in the garden or if The Ghost is lurking in the undergrowth, then patch is quite happy for Millie to sort it out!
The two cats don’t argue over the food bowls. They both get fed at the same time, twice a day and whoever gets to the dishes first, starts. The other one will sit and wait. So far they haven’t stood next to each other to eat.
They will sit together in the back room sometimes. I like to see that and if I am in there doing my crochet or knitting, they like to sit with me. Sometimes one will sit on my lap and I have to put my knitting down, but mostly they just sit and watch. I like to listen to story tapes when I’m doing my handicraft and I do believe they like to listen too.
So all is peaceful chez moi – for the moment.
Since the weekend is for gardening, I’d like to share with you some of the flowers I’m enjoying at the moment.
Enjoy your weekend people.
We got off to a very slow start this summer. Everything is late and here at the cottage there has been some replanting. The gardener has had to replant his runner bean seeds because first they didn’t germinate properly – owing to the cold Spring and then when they did, something ate them under the ground. Every morning we went out to look, but nothing! Finally we gave up and planted some new seeds. As I speak on 18th June the little plants are about 3 inches up.
My Morning Glory seeds germinated and then got water-logged and cold and died so I had to buy another packet of seeds and replant them. They have just germinated – watch this space.
However! despite all that the garden is a riot of colour as you can see here. Come take a look…
The poppies, daisies and acquilegias are all in full bloom.
Here and there some lichnis growing fast (that’s the grey foliage in the bottom left hand corner of next picture).
The bees are happy and that’s the main thing! Happy gardening peeps.
How have you found the weather has affected your garden (if you have one) so far this year?
My English cottage garden has had a wonderful show of tulips during the last week. It’s so wonderful to watch them opening up every day when the sun comes out!
Each year I lift some of the bulbs and dry them off. I usually pick a hot, dry day in summer and let the bulbs have a good baking.
Once they are dry, I rub off the soil and store them until the Autumn when I plant them out again, usually haphazardly. I like to see where they come up, mixing the colours as I go.
Just love to count how many of each colour I have each year.
…but I always buy new ones, usual ten at a time. That guarantees that at least some of them will come true. I put the new ones in a tub by the back door to the cottage so I can see them from the kitchen window.
The cowslips are pretty too, aren’t they!
The primroses and primulas are mainly over now but there is still a bit of colour visible.
What a joy my Spring garden is. It delights all the senses.
Have a good week everyone.