To boldly go

marigoldsOh what a perfect day. Vegetable gardening.   I’ve given myself a day in the garden before I devote the rest of the week to guests, cleaning and cooking.

So I burst out the door rather fast this morning. And believe me, I’ve been to places I haven’t gone since April: into the carrots.   I haven’t thinned since I sowed.   So you can imagine what a thicket of fun I had to uncover this morning.   But I hauled out lots of lovelies for cooking, and there are still plenty more to go.

It also gave me a chance to deadhead the marigolds growing next to the carrots, and admire the lovely parsnips growing like mad in this part of the garden. charlotte haul

tomatoes plantedI made the decision to move the nine large tomato plants out of the potting shed and get them into the ground.   But first, naturally, I had to sort out where to plant them first.   So that meant digging up a row of Charlotte potatoes. Good big ones among the tiddlers, so that will do for a few meals at least.

And then I was able to get those rather uninspiring tomatoes into the last gaps of the potager. I don’t have enough tall stakes, so I have made do with recyling from other parts of the garden and pruning.   I’m not confident I will have many fruit, but there are some tigrellas from Robyn, so they will taste great.

the cabbage bedI then had to somehow find space for a dozen little cabbage plants which were languishing in the potting shed.   That was fun. Because first there is the great squishing event: taking out some of the gendarme colony that feed on the cabbage plants.   These are tiny bugs that breed like mad, and thrive on my cabbages.   They don’t do massive damage, but they do make some of the leaves unsightly. sunfloers end july

Artur came to give me a hand while I was planting out. Well, his forte is to pester me for cuddles while I am at a nice low crouch planting or weeding. But it was enjoyable to actually be working in the sun for a bit.   The clouds came over by late morning and I did have to scuttle indoors once to make a cup of tea and wait for the weather to change.   Mightily humid, but I just kept thinking how happy the lawn and the newly transplanted thyme plants were with all this dampness and spots of rain.burgeoning pumpkin

potager end julyThe weather has been perfect for gardeners these past few days: cool, with the ocassional shower.   Once I had replaced the cloches on the cabbage I spent a bit of time supporting all the squashes and pumpkin with rocks.   Some people use bricks, but when you live in an area of granite terraces, then granite stones is what you get.   Oh yes, and I had to pick yet more courgettes.   I swear they double in size every day.

lawn end julyI had a few bare bits of earth around these newly planted toms, so I needed a mulch. And where better than to collect some grass clippings? So out came the ear protectors, on went the mp3 for my entertainment, and out came the mower.

I didn’t think I would be mowing in July, but with those two inches of rain last week there was a bit of growth everywhere.   The lawn certainly looks neater (you have to ignore the bald patches) and I managed to have a good mow right around the edges of the pool. We tend to forget to mow that bit when you have such a massive expanse to get trimmed. mown lawn end july

mown track end julyAnd then I set off around the gardens: down past the plum trees (always a playful place to mow as the branches are low and you tend to beam yourself as you sweep past. Down along the track that is the first terrace below the pool.   And even down to the orchard.

It isn’t as pretty as it was in May when I first made my wonky curves. But there is still a semblance of the original shape.

mown orchard end julyAnd each time the grass catcher was full, I trudged up to the potager and mulched around the newly planted tomatoes and cabbages.   It isn’t the perfect mulch, but it’s all I can manage right now. I never have enough proper garden mulch to spread around. But it’s better than nowt. mulched tomatoes

I put the lawnmower away just as the heavens opened and we had a good bit of a shower.   Artur had already repaired to the potting shed, so I joined him in a spot of misting my seedlings and generally pottering. Perfect activity for a potting shed I say.