Tuesday 21 May 2024

Ready to Start

 I am ready to start my three word gardening posts for the summer. I love growing flowers and vegetables and also observing the natural hedgerow growth throughout the season. It has been a slow start with the wet cold UK spring but things are starting to move along. Lets go for a little tour to start the season incase you have not been here before.

I have a table vase challenge I set myself last year which has now become a habit. I have a vase on the kitchen table and I try to have seasonal flowers in it everyday either that I have grown or found in the verges on dog walks. It usually starts around March when the daffs come out but this year I was able to roll it round from Christmas with the inclusion of some birthday and thank you flowers along with my now established hellebores. Early this month the orange broom was magnificent and then it was joined with my prolific geum called totally tangerine.

I started a gravel garden last year which looked a bit manufactured but as each plant sends out seeds I am hoping that the front garden bed will be surrounded by easy care drought resistant planting. My bloke was apprehensive, he is not sure about random things sprouting up in the gravel but I am determined to show him a naturalised walk way around the front box.

I didn't know that this shrub would turn into a tree when I bought it 4 years ago when the bed was new but I like it because it gives the border structure. I have taken out quite a bit from the bottom to raise the canopy and light in underneath.

We live on a smallholding so often you will see sheds and farm tat in the background of my photos but the crab apple tree really shone out this year and put on a fantastic display of blossom.

There are soft fruits surrounding my veg patch which are looking good at the moment. I am so glad that I have summer and autumn raspberries in different beds so that I can prune them properly. These are the summer ones and I have impressed myself that I remembered to tie in the new canes last year to bear this years fruit.

The strawberries have had a good weeding. Last year I fed them at the start of the season which was a mistake because they put on huge amounts of green leaves and no fruit. This year the plants seem strong and full of flowers so fingers crossed
. Our rhubarb patch is throwing out some good stalks which we are cooking and eating with greek yoghurt.

We have had to be patient with the veg patch up until about four weeks ago it was like a chocolate mousse. We had been manically eating spinach before it runs to seed but we are out of time on that now. It means we can free up that space for this years veg.

I have started off lots of veg in the greenhouse this year because it was too wet for outside. I am trying really hard to get successional lettuce again with interval sowing.

I have sown 6 different types of tomatoes and I also grow a few for my mum too. They are much bigger now and I have planted these in their final pots. It is always a bit of an experiment with tomatoes but I will let you know how I get on. The greenhouse was an absolute car crash last week but now there is some order to the chaos of trying to keep everything in limbo. I have cucumbers, tomatoes and for the first time melons all in their final positions.

My friend uses some of my garden to grow wedding flowers for her floristry business which is an absolute bonus. I get to see wonderful flowers from my kitchen window but not lift a finger - win, win. The ranunculus were amazing and now the roses and foxgloves are pushing their way through. She grows farm style in long beds with netting to hold the stems upright.

The back garden, where we see the view, is very modest. The natural view dominates and the border curves around the edge so as not to interrupt it. It is solely purple, pink and blue and looks best in Early summer.

My work space has been softened with a climber which took a while to get going but it smells amazing when the little flowers come out - like vanilla.

I will leave you with the view from our patio to remind you that there are blue skies ahead.

That's it for today. I know I am very lucky to live here and we try our best to work alongside nature, not waste anything and grow as much as we can. Hopefully you can check in as the season progresses to see what we get to eat and preserve in 2024.

I'm off to forage for elderflowers...


  1. It's all looking beautiful out there, and such a glorious time of year. I have no doubt your gravel area will be beautiful, you have a very good touch in the garden. I bought some red-flowered strawberries the other day, so I am hoping there will be some fruit from them as well as the ordinary ones. I have rather overdone the seedlings this year. Especially chillies. No idea what I'm going to do with them all. But gardening is always a joy, I am not complaining! I shall enjoy seeing your flowers over the summer season. CJ xx

  2. A gravel garden is an excellent idea, my mum has one (with some stones in between) and it looks fabulous in the summer when everything is a bit dry. The geum is glorious! That orange colour is happiness inducing. Cx

  3. I always look forward to your beautiful posts, inspiring and hopeful.

    1. Thanks Kay, that is wonderful to hear.

  4. Your garden is coming along so nicely! You really do live in such a beautiful place. The scenery is simply breathtaking! And what a delicious looking rhubarb and greek trifle you have there. Such a great idea to make it with greek yoghurt!

  5. It has been so hard waiting to get things planted in the ground this year hasn't it. I was determined to make good use of my new greenhouse, so had plenty to keep me busy during the many wet, windy and generally non-growing weather. Now they are all being planted out. Hope the slugs and pigeons keep away!!
    The gravel garden will get better and better with the plants deciding where they want to grow and it will become more random and less structured. Hope it turns out well x

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