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Vivi’s Kitchen Garden 110: Harvesting broad bean seed, lavender and calendula (and drying).

It’s wonderful to spend some quiet time in the garden amongst the flowers with the bees for company. It’s time to start harvesting and drying them for use later in the year……and it’s time to gather the first vegetable seeds for next year’s harvest. Our heat wave and total absence of rain continues so my ‘adopted’ tree in the local park needs my help with regular watering – it seems to be doing OK.

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Vivi’s Kitchen Garden 109: Harvesting onions and planting the first brassicas.

It was supposed to be cooler today……with rain this evening. It didn’t happen. On yet another hot and dry day I got my white onions lifted and started the process of storing them…….the gap they left in the garden was quickly filled with the first of the winter brassicas to go in. It seems rather bonkers to be panting a winter garden under such a blazing sun…….

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Vivi’s Kitchen Garden: July Garden Tour (2018)

I think it is safe to say this has been an odd year for the garden! Winter seemed to go on forever…..so cold, so wet….and then, overnight, we seemed to be thrown into the height of summer with hot, dry days which started at the end of April. It is not surprising, therefore, that the garden seems to be struggling…….plants are just about alive but not really thriving and they seem much smaller and less green than in previous years….but….they are hanging in there and showing signs of wanting to produce. I have never had to work so hard to grow my own food…….every morsel I get this year will treasured and savoured! A few drops of rain and I’m sure the garden will burst forth with life and goodies……

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Thoughts on……visiting my Great Aunt at the seaside.

It probably goes without saying that I adore my Great Aunt Teapot. My visits with her are frequent and sometimes a little convoluted……..but always worth it to see her smile when I walk in and always worth it for the quiet time I get in her neck of the woods. Kent is beautiful……..the beaches are so old school seaside ( I prefer a more rugged coast line!), the fish and chips are the best in the whole country. I always try, when visiting with her, to take five minutes out of my day to go to the beach, breathe deeply, and feel normal again. Honour your oldies and go to the beach as often as you can!SAM_2498

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Vivi’s Kitchen Garden 106: Planting the Coco de Paimpol and thoughts on watering.

As soon as one crop finishes I can make space to put another one in…….today it was time to get the gorgeous Coco de Paimpol beans planted out. They are one of the harvests I most look forward to each year so it feels great to get them in the soil…..even on a scorching hot day………watering is beginning to take up the majority of the time spent in the garden……

June - cocobed4

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Vivi’s Kitchen Garden 104: Stuff it! Chuck it all in the ground and see what happens….

After so many fails this year already I decided it was time to get on with things other than the garden so I’m spending a few days chucking seed and plants into the soil and letting them decide whether or not they want to grow. At this stage I feel like there’s nothing to lose……and possibly a few veg to gain…….and I am simply enjoying the garden again for the peace and tranquility rather than worrying about the food…..May - shoesoff