It’s almost July. Crikey. Most of my photos this week are from our vegetable garden. We finally nuked the fungus gnats *happy dance* and have been gifted lots of plants over the last couple of weeks. Firstly, lots of tomatoes and flowers from Scott’s grandparents (they’d already given us some lovely runner beans too). The next day Scott went to see a friend and his wife generously gave us 2 boxes of plants and a box of terracotta pots! You can imagine how excited I was; I spent the last few hours of that day doing this:
Look at all these pots! Our whole collection is made up of brand new, some from Scott’s Mum, others we’ve scavenged and now all of these from Linda. They’re beautiful. All different shapes and sizes that are weathered with wobbly edges.
So what’s been happening? Well, the sweet peas are starting to flower. I think they are mixed colours so I have no idea what each flower will look like. I’m growing these to cut and put in the house.
The cornflowers seeds I sowed are looking beautiful. I like coming home and walking up the garden path with these growing everywhere. They are much taller than I thought they’d be – easily over a metre.
And these cornflowers were part of the wild seed mix I scattered. The bees love them.
The tomato plant from Linda has started to set fruit. I can’t wait to pick some homegrown tomatoes.
The kale nero is growing beautifully. It’s not something I would have thought to grow but I’m really glad we were given this. Since this photo its taken a bit of a battering from slugs but it’s not defeated yet (hope I haven’t just tempted fate).
And this is the curly leaf kale I’ve grown from seed. Most of it will be used in slow cooker dinners/soups. Nero is definitely the slug cuisine of choice because they’ve barely touched the curly variety.
As the flowers on the Hebe Sapphire fade they create this ombre effect.
I’ve been experimenting with watering, especially for the more water hungry plants like tomatoes, beans and courgettes. I’m using drinks bottles with the top cut off wedged in the soil. The idea being that more water reaches the roots rather than sitting on the surface of the soil and/or evaporating. I should have a better idea of how much water plants need, too. I’ve managed to hide most of the bottles behind leaves etc but you don’t really notice them if they aren’t hidden.
I did my daily nose round the garden one evening and saw garlic cloves growing on the garlic stalk above the ground. It was only happening on a few of them. Having not grown garlic before I had no idea what this meant (anyone else experienced this?). Anyway, I decided to sacrifice one and dig it up so I could see what was happening.
When I dug down deep enough to lever it out I got a whoosh of garlic. It wasn’t quite ready to be pulled up but look… I’ve grown garlic! I was convinced that after months of rain they would have gone rotten. When I cut the bulb in half I could see a distinct set of cloves. They needed more time to develop but they were on their way. I read you can use it straight out the ground so I made my favourite garlicy treat…
Garlic bread! With parsley from the garden too. My stomach is a bottomless pit for this stuff!
After digging up the garlic and making garlic bread I now see the vegetables we’re growing as meals rather than plants. This change in thinking happens to me every year after the first harvest of something (usually salad leaves). This year I look at the kale and think of it in beef and ale stew with dumplings. And the courgettes as ratatouille or sliced into ribbons with olive oil, salt and lemon. You’d never guess I love my food would you? ;)
Does anyone have any favourite recipes for their garden produce? Especially kale.