Tuesday, 24 August 2021

DIY garden fun

For my three word gardening post this month I am going to have a flash back to the beginning of the summer. This is the first summer in our new house - the kind where you get to sit down rather than just build a house so we needed some home comforts. In fact on Monday it was our first anniversary in our house.

I asked the male folk of our family to knock up a table that would sit at least eight; the males are the dog and Andy. Andy found some oak left in the shed from building our porch and asked lots of, "What do you mean?" questions. I suggested we scout around and find something that already resembled legs and found an unused metal workbench in the shed. "Stick those on there!" I chimed. Anyway, after not being sure about my scant requests, he made it and it looks great. I know it is not flat but it doesn't matter - it was free and homemade.

I have managed to make our deckchairs limp on another summer but in my heart I know they are really finished. They are a little bit like 'Triggers broom' for anyone who gets that reference. The dowels have been replaced between the legs, they are on their third set of covers and I have forgotten how many times I have painted them. This third set is made from a sturdy tablecloth someone gave me when they were moving house. This will be the last time I do it.

This is the view from those patio chairs. I took this photo using a panoramic feature on my phone to capture the moon and the sun in the same shot.

In the veg patch things are going well. The round courgettes are producing well but steadily meaning we are not smothered in courgettes for eating but pleased with what we pick - a rare phenomenon for a courgette grower.

My Supersweet cherry tomato variety are fabulous, both runner and french beans are going well and there are a few more sticks of late rhubarb. I grew gherkins but they have not come at the same time for me to pickle a batch so we skin them and eat them like salad cucumbers in vinegar with a pinch of sugar like my nan used to do.

The girls have been keeping us in lettuce with interval sowing.

After this photo I realised that the cabbage white butterflies had laid eggs all over my purple sprouting because the net was not far enough away from the leaves. Bah! First fail.

The same has happened to my nasturtiums. I imagined the Belfast sinks at the front of the house, would be trailing with orange flowers,but they have been decimated. I had to pull them all up and give them to the chickens. They made light work of the caterpillars and remaining leaves, a rather upmarket salad for them if you will.

In the front garden that Geum on the left (totally tangerine) is STILL flowering and has been since early May! The cosmos I grew from seed is filling the bed in this first year while I continue to collect perennials and shrubs to complete the structure.

I have never grown Dahlias before because the slugs ate them all at our old house so this part of my gardening repertoire has been a very pleasant surprise. I have also been mighty impressed with my espresso gladioli, there are so many too.

The back garden remains looking good with its sweep towards the Shropshire landscape. The whole family spent a lot of effort weeding the lawn in Spring and it has paid off. Thistle free... for now.

Finally, apples. These are 'Discovery' I have only left six on the tree so as not to stress the tree in the first year. The nursery owner told me to remove all flowers and fruit in the first year to allow strength to go to the roots but I couldn't bring myself to do it!

Today I took delivery of a half whisky barrel to plant a Campsis in which my neighbour gave me. It needs full sun which I can provide but living on a ridge makes for a windy garden so I hope I can get it climbing before it blows over.

What are you growing? Jo xx


  1. I love the table the view and the tomatoes as well.
    I have only 4 lemon trees to grow this summer💛
    Peaceful view,enjoy it.

  2. The garden is so wonderful, congrats to all of your hard work.

  3. I do love looking around other peoples gardens. There is always something to inspire and your garden is coming on a real treat.
    I have grown a cup and saucer vine (cobaea scandens)for the first time this year. The leaves are pretty in green and purple hues and although there are only a few flowers they are stunning when they unfold. Not sure if it will survive the Winter but I'm going to try.

  4. Well done all of you (despite the one gardening fail)!!! Thanks for posting, Jo!

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