Sunday, 19 June 2016

Lush surroundings

Freshly cut silage
After three weeks of amazing weather, we are now back to normal with highs of 16C and barrels brimful of rain water. Never mind, I still love this time of year when everything is so lush, the days are long and the garden begins to yield all kinds of goodies. The lettuces are particularly good this year.

Delicious Merveille de Quatre Saisons
Today I harvested the last of last year's chard and the first of this year's. I love a seamless transition! The same goes for the chillies. The last of the frozen ones and the first new one are going into the chard curry tonight.

Because of the good weather everything is early this year, including the strawberries. We've been getting four or five a day for a week - just enough for our morning's porridge. I've started potting up runners for a new strawberry bed (we're going to have three so that we can rotate and replace them after three years).

Thinking of next year's strawberries already
The chicks are growing at a tremendous rate. Looks like we've got quite a few cock birds though!

Spot the cocks
Soruss is no more - he was just too aggressive. He made a delicious soup and now the hens are much happier and everything is much more peaceful. In fact, the hens are acting as if they're on holiday! They don't like being bossed around, it seems.

Our new grain crops - quinoa and amaranth - have been planted out and are doing well inside their pot protectors.

Another new crop, oca, has surfaced and is doing well. The achocha, however, is not. Another one has died and these things are supposed to be vigorous!

This year has been much better for our nascent hedges and I'm pleased that the sea buckthorn has finally started growing after only putting out a few measly leaves last year. Up in our top corner, the elder is looking like a proper tree.

Our first hedge after 2.5 years
Inside, tomatoes, chillies, peppers and okra are setting and the first cucumbers and melons are swelling up.

First of the cantaloupes

Crystal lemon cucumber
The roses and lavender are in full swing and the wild flower strip has come back to life.

Daisies first, but the poppies are coming

Patio lavender
The summer-flowering heathers are also blooming and there are some interesting ones.

'Stuart' heather
But maybe the most popular with the bees are the parsnip flowers. I left a few parsnips to gather fresh seed this year and they are immensely popular.

Parsnip going to seed
Together with Jim, I've started another, more thematic blog, Reasonably Good Life. Please have a look!


  1. Yes, it's a gorgeous time of year and your garden looks so pretty. I love that feeling of zero food miles, too - especially great if you have that seamless transition and no real gaps. Very envious of the melon, looks great - where are you growing it?

    1. Melons are in the conservatory for ease of hand pollination. Surely you can grow them outside, tumbling down your hill side? I highly recommend growing cantaloupes.

    2. I'm beginning to believe the decisive factor for melons is red tile/brick - your photo is in that regard exactly like ours...
      I'm envious - all our lavender died last winter.

    3. I think you might be right about the melons. I tried to grow some on metal staging in the greenhouse last year and they didn't do nearly as well as on the red tile. What a shame about your lavender.