Storm Hector has come and gone and we were lucky to miss the worst of its effects. Of course, it would have been better if we had staked the taller flowers, the sweetcorn and the potatoes before the storm rather than afterwards, but we didn’t actually lose anything. Unfortunately we had the terrible winds but not the rain, so the water butts remained dry until the weekend, when we did get a small amount, although nowhere near enough.
The garden is really starting to come alive now. The containers are a riot of colour, the cottage garden bed is settling in and attracting the pollinators we were hoping for and the border in front of the Pampas grass, which has been extended, is starting to fill as the plants begin to grow. There is still work to be done – I want to extend the patio slightly and make the lawn more into grass paths which lead you around the garden – but that can wait until next year, when we are also planning to make some changes in the front garden.
D has been busy in the kitchen garden too. The sweetcorn is doing well in spite of the winds and the potatoes have gone crazy, both in the greenhouse and in the raised beds. Technically, we give two of the beds over to potatoes but we always manage to miss some when we are digging them up, so we have extra plants in the others as well. The raspberries have also sprung up all by themselves, having crept under the hedge from next door. We are excited about having some raspberries this year as a result but I think we will need to work quite hard to keep them under control.
We have harvested most of our garlic now and it is drying on the kitchen windowsill along with the Paris Silverskin onions from the greenhouse. We have a lot of tomato plants this year, mostly grown from seed and our plan is for me to make more of the roasted tomato, garlic and pepper sauces which I bottled last year and used in pasta dishes during the colder months. Unfortunately, the onions and garlic have ripened much earlier than the tomatoes and peppers – they are, after all, technically last year’s plantings – but hopefully I can store the garlic and we have plenty more onions growing in both greenhouse and veg plot. The peppers are starting to form and we also have lots of chilli plants this year, ready for an arrabbiata version.
D also has carrots, beetroot, salad leaves, leeks and parsnips tucked into the beds wherever there is space and we impulsively bought a small sweet potato plant last week to see how that will fare. The blueberry has far more fruit on it this year than last and the blackberry plants are growing in the asparagus bed. They weren’t the only thing I found in the asparagus bed today …
Over the next couple of weeks, I am going to be revisiting Knaresborough. Next week I’ll be covering the Hidden Gardens weekend in the start of a new occasional series where I will be reviewing gardens I visit and then I have been asked by Liz from Exploring Colour (check out her great blog by the way, all the way from New Zealand) to expand my Knaresborough walk a little, which I am hoping to do the following week. My walk around Knaresborough was well received by lots of you, so I hope you will enjoy Part 2 just as much.