I’ve not been in the best of health for some time now, but finally got a diagnosis of my problems and treatment earlier this year. The garden had been neglected for a couple of years, and then earlier this year a tree got blown down by the winds, and smashed the greenhouse. I got a tree surgeon in to deal with the trees and greenhouse, and to clear the worst of the garden problems I’d allowed to develop. The manufacturers still haven’t delivered the replacement greenhouse, but I have at least managed to make a start on general maintenance.
I’d already sown seeds indoors of some tomato plants indoors, intended to grow them on in the greenhouse, as I usually do. Freshly picked ripe tomatoes are so much better than shop bought, so I had to try to salvage them, and so far have been successful. (I’ve not had much luck with outdoor tomatoes when I’ve tried them in other years, though). The ‘Sungold’ plants have all started to set at least one truss and they’re developing well. The ‘Pink Brandywine’ plants have buds but no flowers yet – these plants were started a bit later though, as I’d intended to try a couple outside anyway.
Started after the tomato plants, but going into the ground earlier, were some potatoes. I usually buy a pack of seed second early seed potatoes from the village hardware shop and plant a few. This year a slight change – I planted rather more than usual, filling one bed in the kitchen garden as soon as I had it cleared. I knew I had a lot of work to do, but wanted to be able to get as much of the garden in use as possible, so as I had the seed potatoes available (the smallest pack holds too many for my normal use!) I used them to fill the bed, before going on to the next.
I also have some pea and bean plants sown and growing, but not yet in flower. I usually start these early in the greenhouse and then plant out, but that wasn’t an option this year – so I’ve been reminded why I start them indoors! The young seedlings get eaten by slugs or birds as soon as they come up, but I have now got a few plants coming on, but not yet in flower. The carrots seem to have been totally demolished
I’ve also planted out some courgettes, and have some autumn sown onion sets and elephant garlic, which avoided serious damage despite being underneath the fallen tree. One of the elephant garlic plants sent up a flower which I’ve left on out of curiosity. The flowering spike is so far about five feet tall, and the flower bud is beginning to open. I assume it will be a normal allium family flower. Elephant garlic isn’t really a garlic, it’s more closely related to the leek family, but develops cloves similar to garlic cloves, but much larger and milder in taste (I’m told – it’s the first year I’ve grown them, and they aren’t yet ready for harvest). The courgettes plants are still growing and are yet to flower, but have developed both male and female flower buds.
The garden isn’t all vegetables, the kitchen garden is only a part of the garden and there are some flowers as well!
… and last but not least, wildlife! I try to avoid the use of pesticides, so there’s a healthy population of insects and birds, below are some green shieldbug first instar nymphs, and an unidentified bird that has built a nest in an overgrown gateway that I want to clear!