Thursday, 14 July 2022

my little english summer garden

 hello lovely people. it feels strange and wonderful this little place on the internet, where a few quiet people read another person's thoughts and ideas, slipping their feet into my shoes for a brief moment, imagining a different life, or feeling as though their ways of being are validated. 

it really is both strange and wonderful. anyhow, thank you for sharing with me today, for joining in, for being part of the community and conversation in this big world. 

today is a simple blog post full of photos of my garden. and whilst probably only about 20 people will read this, i hope each and every one of you finish reading this and feel inspired to grow something more next season. because quite frankly, we are made to be nurturers of this earth, we are made to look after it, and if you don't believe that you were made for it, then even by happenstance of your existence, we ought to protect it for the sake of future generations, and if you don't believe that, then just simply believe that it does you immeasurable good to spend time in nature, shaping it and just being with it.

this year i've found my garden really humbling. lots has gone differently than i expect, a few failures, and lots of lessons. in previous years i've gone full pelt at the garden and really been 'in charge' and also put in lots of new plants, but this year i've taken a small step back, not added as many new things, and watched it at work.

i've found the garden to really look after itself in lots of ways this year, by there simply being more plants in the borders, with lots of variety of colour and shape and size, there's a home for almost every type of bug imaginable, and they really do keep themselves in order, the large eating the little, the circle of life. i haven't had too many problems with "pests", and i've found that a good spray with the hose on jet wash mode seems to work wonders in most cases, and a spray of soapy water to work on the rest. 

usually my roses are plagued with little green bugs and often the rosebuds get eaten before they can flower, but this year, they've not had any pests at all, so they've been spectacular and so easy. i've also been able to harvest some of them for culinary uses - i made a watermelon and rose petal jam, from the gorgeous Tessa Kiros cookbook Falling Cloudberries, one of my all time favourites. 

the greatest things i enjoy about the garden are the simplest - hanging my washing out to dry, watching the children play with the Aquaplay, seeing the lawn freshly mowed, and recently we played a game of Kubb there with my friends and neighbours which was the most fun i've had in a long time (and made me appreciate my lawn more than i usually do). we love to watch the squirrel that lives in our giant oak tree run up and down the fences and eat next door's birdfood upside down. there's so many things to love about the garden space besides the plants and flowers...

i've really worked on the little side borders at the front and edge of the house, and this year it's been looking quite different, with a variety of currants, marigolds, cosmos, hellebores and shrubs like this hydrangea - so lovely.

i've harvested lots more than normal, and am currently drying four different types of herbs and plants for teas for the winter in my spare room on trays. we've had several bowls full of mixed salad greens, lots of tayberries ready for making jam (finally after two years of tayberry confusion) and more strawberries than i can count. i love having all my own herbs at the ready whenever i need them, and fresh too - nothing beats the joy of harvesting your own fresh bay leaves (and i think it's one of the simplest things to grow for any beginner).

i must make sure next year to keep a more detailed garden journal so i can spot the progression of things and how it changes year on year, and i'd love to see how it works with the moon too and keep detail of that to see if it affects anything. 

my little containers haven't done so well this year, i think the dry spell in the spring put lots of things off growing quite as they ought, and then only now are a few things starting to wake with this hot spell. 

there are a few stars out there, and my wisteria this year that i thought for sure this year wasn't going to come back, is definitely looking as plump and leafy as ever! 

my pelargoniums have all skipped putting on leaf and growth and gone straight into abundant flowering - they're all about ready for a little trim so that they can keep flowering for the next few months - thankfully my littlest daughter deadheaded on of them for me already ;)

this autumn i am going to put on compost and manure and mulch like i've never done before, as the garden i think is lower in nutrients than it otherwise ought to be. i only use a seaweed fertiliser very occasionally, and then just cross my fingers that things will be happy, and this year i think they're a bit undernourished. hopefully the larger water butt i'm after will finally come back into stock and we can connect that all up too so i will have more of the good water and less of the dodgy chlorinated stuff. 

i am hoping i will get to doing a garden tour in the autumn this year, because i've never videoed it and it usually looks so beautiful in early september. but for now, i've got to try and keep things alive in this heat without overstepping my water bill budget. 

if you're interested in a little video tour, here's my latest on YT...

thank you all so much for reading. you are so special to me and i'm really grateful you're here x

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