Nearly Midsummer 2017

Á chairde! Tá sé lár an tsamhraidh i sa ghairdín agus is iad na bláthanna áille.

Here we are again.  Its a beautiful day, the sun is splitting the stones and the garden has vaulted into full bloom.  One of the reasons I love gardening isn't just getting my hands into the earth, but watching the transition of seasons throughout the year.  It might seem slow but the change from barren winter beauty to lush summer abundance is truly incredible.

The garden is changing and growing fast.  The peonies are at their end, the last blooms about to shatter.
Peonies just about to bloom, late May

Full bloom, early June

Last blooms about to shatter, mid June

As the peonies bow out, the regular roses are prepared to take centre stage.  I have three rose buses at either side of the peonies.  They are all varieties of pink and one is classified as a blue rose.

Tea rose: 'blue' 

The lilies & crocosmia are also getting ready to bloom.

Lily - approximately 4.5feet tall. 

Crocosmia Lucifer at far left.  This is a fantastic perennial that will continue to impress year after year.

I only have one dahlia in bloom at the moment, recently purchased from a garden shop.  They other three dahlias in the garden I've had for a few years and will bloom later in the season.  I don't take them up in the winter and they need a good bit of heat to get growing.

Dahlias at centre and right. Lobelia in front, petunias, lobelia & black ornamental grass at left. 

The veg beds are doing well.  I've already harvested early potatoes and have reseeded the back garden veg beds with winter cabbage, winter leeks and courgettes.  The slugs in the back garden are always far worse than the front garden because its north facing (slightly darker & wetter).  I've added slug nematodes to the soil today and will re-add in six weeks time.  Nematodes are a huge help to organic garden in keeping pest populations under control.

Early potatoes harvested late May, early June

Must have if you have a hungry slug population

The front garden veg bed has lettuce, sunflowers, spinach, garden peas & sweetcorn.  Sadly the tomatoes and cucumbers never came up - either I sowed them too early or they were eaten by pests.

Front to back: mixed lettuce; onions; sweetcorn; garden peas. Lines of sunflowers and spinach at left.

Garden peas. They're climbers so I'll start tying them in soon. 

Spinach on left, sunflowers at right

The back garden is also starting to pick up, I'm delighted with the fruit trees in it (2 apples) and also have blackberries in flower and two boysenberry plants which are fruiting this year.

Back garden


Apples on the grow

Blackberry blossoms

I harvested some marjoram and rosemary this morning.  I'll dry half and use half this weekend.  The smell wafting through the house is absolutely gorgeous.

Freshly cut marjoram & rosemary

One of the more stupid things I've done this year was to sprinkle a wild flower seed mix over all of the clear bits of soil I have in front, back & side gardens.  The problem is, its impossible to distinguish weeds from wild flower sprouts and as a result I've inadvertently pulled up many of the wild flowers.  Some I can see aren't weeds and those are doing well, I'm glad to have them.  They add a much needed bit of fast colour to the back garden as the pelargonium hasn't really gotten going yet. Excepting the little patch of ground I've taken over to the back of the house - here, I'm not so much concerned with weeds so I've let everything grow to great result.  It looks stunning and I'm very pleased.  It was so easy to establish and yet adds so much to a small, communal plot of land.

Snow in Summer, french lavender and catmint surrounding a maple tree with wild flowers filling the gaps. 

 My to-do list now is mainly feeding and watering the young plants coming up and keeping the grass & weeds from getting too unruly.  If you share my joy of gardening don't miss BBC's Gardener's World and Beechgrove Garden.  Both shows are enjoyable to watch, current for gardening trends and because they're filmed nearly in real time, very applicable to what's going on in my garden right now.  GW's coverage of big UK garden shows such as RHS Chelsea are also very good to see.  Enjoy!

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