We weren't sure just how much to plant out this year (we are thinking of moving house in the near future).
But the decent weather a few weeks back compelled us towards the garden centre and thence to the yarden for a tidy-up and planting session. And I'm very glad we did.
We commenced with re-potting all of the existing plants. The rosemary was so pleased it immediately flowered, and the cherry tree joined in with an early indication of a plentiful crop.
Meanwhile, the window box has gone insane with herbs! It's bursting with coriander, basil, thyme, parsley, oregano and mint. One of the pots features the twin attack of a daffodil planted by Olive when we visited Saltaire Festival (and which has never flowered) and a primula given to us by my dad.
Finally, we have some new lavendar and a bunch of new and colourful windmills.
Related Reading: Neil's blog documents his ongoing garden clearance project.
The weather in July has been far removed from the lovely fine summer we enjoyed in May and June. And as Augusts moves towards September, if feels like Autumn is pushing at an open door.
At the beginning of last month I told you about how our garden was faring. Since then, we've enjoyed a mixed harvest.
Best and first was the cherry tree, which gave a small but delicious crop of fruit. Also doing well was the window box. All the plants here have done well; perhaps due to the competition for space. We've ended up with more oregano and parsley than we can possibly use.
Despite a promising start, the strawberries have disappointed. The fruit have looked the part, as can be seen from the above snap. They even smell just like the real thing. But I think our decision to put two plants into the hanging basket was a mistake. The relatively small amount of compost just cannot hold enough water for both plants, and the strawberries have been small and fleshy, inedible really.
The tomatoes are doing alright, last time I looked. There are some fruit, which are or a reasonable size, but which stubbornly refuse to turn from green to red.
The chillies went wrong during July. One of the two plants failed to take off, while the other seemed to pick up some withering disease. And it took two weeks to win the battle against the cartoon fungus, which had sprouted in the tub. Since then, I decided to leave the cloche in place and hope the the best. I really must open it up and have a look...
The beans have just been wonderful. Phaseolus coccineus have been in such abundance that we have had to give them away. We were able to pick then beans just at the right time to ensure maximum taste, and it's hard to conceive that the delicate start had by these plants has led to a monster taking over the trellis.
The small amount of work and preparation we did in April is paying off.
We have kept some of the plants that were successful last year, and chosen differently when failure blossomed.
In the window garden, we have some very agressive oregano, parsley and mint, which needs to be constantly kept in check to avoid the lettuce and thyme (not pictured) from being crowded out:
In the hanging baskets this year, we have gone for tomatoes and strawberries:
The rosemary is doing well:
But the lavendar, which managed to weather the harsh winter, failed to survive being transferred to a pot that unbeknownst to us had it's drainage hole blocked with blu-tack. It basically drowned. Sorry lavendar. Slavender:
Also under attack from nature are the strawberries (from some kind of aphid) and the beans (from some kind of gastropod):
Meanwhile, in the fence tubs, the lobelia are doing well. We decided to stick with them after last year's success, but Gemma has improved the drainage. The results are good:
The chillis, which we started indoors, were perhaps planted out a week or two early. But after employing a perspex dome-cloche, one of the two plants has started growning well:
I mentioned the beans earlier; these have been a great success. These were nurtured in my mum and dad's greenhouse before going into our largest pot. They have gone pretty insane, and are flowering nicely:
Finally, our cherry tree is in fruit, after only three seasons:
These pictures were in fact taken a fortnight ago. Since then, the herbs continue to grow quicker than we can consume them, the basket fruits are doing well, and the beans have filled the trellis. Tonight, I picked all of the cherries, which have darkened to a deeper red. I went ahead and sampled a windfall fruit, and it tasted ace.
We've been making the most of the recent fine and dry weather, by getting out and about (wherever in the country we find ourselves). Here's an Olive-centric photo diary of the last couple of grassy weeks.