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.
Here’s a little video I made last year to explain how I harvest, dry and string up my onions for storing. The white onions were lifted in July and stored perfectly well with this method until I used the last one in April of this year.
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…….
Before the summer garden really starts producing I am still relying on stored produce from last year for the bulk of my meals. This is one of my favourites……so quick and easy to make and oh, so satisfying and tasty……it’s hard to believe that the main ingredients were harvested nearly 10 months ago as they still taste so great. I shall be making up a huge batch of this to feed to friends coming to my flat to watch the final of the football world cup. 🙂
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……
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!
The summer solstice is one of my favourite days of the year…….so I made sure I was free to enjoy the first sunshine of the day with some time in the garden…….pottering and simply being, taking time to appreciate my little quiet haven and reflect on happy memories.
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……
With elderflowers in abundance in our hedgerows at the moment and having a fondness for drinks with bubbles in them I decided it was time to have a go at making my own ‘champagne’. It could not be more simple………waiting to drink it will be the difficult part.
Another good session in the garden allowed me to get the last of the plants and seeds thrown into the soil. It has certainly been a tricky year so far so I feel like I have nothing to lose by just getting things in…….and now I can relax a bit and enjoy some tinker-time amongst the greenery.