It can’t be August already surely? There has been a mistiness to the passing days, that has smudged the detail and had many of us puzzling over what day of the week it is. With the gentle easing of lockdown we will see clearer shapes and the return of punctuating routines.
Thank goodness for the garden, which has continued to grow undaunted and there is harvest to reap. I’ve picked courgettes and beans, there are plenty of tomatoes and a continuous supply of salad leaves. The greens have romped too, although the need to be vigilant with netting has never been more important. The first cabbage white butterflies are around and the pigeons cast a cursory glance each evening to see if anything has been left unprotected. The flowers have been good too and in particular I have to mention my foray into the new world of garden hardy Gerbera’s, which have been fantastic. With care the summer looks promising for gardeners. Do keep on top of dead heading, feeding and watering. The watering issue is particularly important, the ground still seems incredibly dry and sulky plants don’t perform well. So keep a watchful eye, watering modestly on a regular basis. If you do have spaces around, then you can be doing a bit of seed sowing. Salad crops will all germinate quickly as will Kohl Rabi and all will harvest in the autumn. I often talk about Kohl Rabi . It’s very easy to grow and raised primarily for it’s bulbous crown, which sits above the ground. It can be steamed, roasted or braised, included in stews and is terrific grated in Coleslaw. It’s a filler. If you don’t want to be sowing vegetable seeds, but do have space, then Chard, Perpetual Spinach and Spring Cabbage plants are all around now.
Incredibly in readiness for the autumn planting, we are seeing wallflowers, winter pansies and some biennials offered. These early offerings are for over wintering really and whilst early planting will build good roots, there is no rush. If you do want to treat yourself to anything, bulbs are starting to land in centres and the early bird will get the best pick.
And finally, if you find yourself in the mood for a day out, head off to the Welsh border at the top end of Herefordshire. We recently visited the garden at Hergest Croft in Kington, which spreads across 70 acres and it is truly stunning.