Garden diary: July 2021

July epitomised the phrase: “If you don’t like the British weather, wait a moment and it will change.”

Changeable it was – meaning that we entered August with lush green grass for the first time in a couple of years. Also, however, that the emphasis on weeding and hedge cutting didn’t let up: warmth & regular deluges kept growth spurts unabated by midsummers usual dry heat.

Imperfectly perfect rain splashed Scarlet Emperor runner bean flowers.

New mowing regime = increased wildlife

Having plotted out areas of grass to be allowed to grow long in the garden, along the camping strip and in the lower orchard, the new ‘soft landscaping’ in July was truly stunning.

Increased numbers of butterflies, bees and crickets followed the more diverse flora, which we hope will develop further in the years to come.

Bees enjoying white, purple & pink clover

Increasing wildflower diversity

Our efforts to develop the diversity of wild flowers last year were stumped by the rabbits. So this year, we’ve grown specific varieties of wild flowers from seed in a makeshift protected ‘nursery’ area until fully grown, hoping that they will spread seeds naturally & some survive despite constant and over savage pruning from the wild rabbits.

Penstemons propagated from cuttings appear to be ‘rabbit proof’, so have done well!

Penstemon Raven

Vegetable garden

The final 2 raised beds were made from deconstructed pallets & filled with home made compost earlier this year. All plants for the veg garden have been grown from seed – in the case of the beans, & most of the marrows, the seeds were saved from last year’s crop so it’s a truly ‘sustainable’ food source.

Tesco is feeling the hit – we won’t be buying vegetables for a very long time!

Carrots & beans
Lettuce, pinhead cabbage, Courgettes, end of the chard before leek planting
Marrows
Courgette flowers
Beans – grown from last year’s saved seeds

Like many, our tomatoes have been devastated this year by blight. Too much rain. Looking forward to next year. Perhaps we will have a greenhouse by then!


Black & yellow beauties –

We’ve shared the flowers and vegetables with a striking array of minibeasts – luckily, the balance seems about right this year & there’s been sufficient to keep us, and them, happy!

Martyn Wilson, garden designer

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.”

10 thoughts on “Garden diary: July 2021

  1. Terrific photography, Emma and what an idyllic setting. I hope to get back to having a plot in the community garden not far from us when life becomes less hectic. Good for soul, having a vegetable garden.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Suzanne. I do hope that life settles soon and you get that plot in the community garden before too long – as you say, gardening is so good for the soul!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely photos, especially of all the beasties, and super especially the cricket. A splendid veg crop. I’m surprised that you have had increased numbers of butterflies – we and others report a dearth this year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your visit Derrick. I’m so glad to see crickets back this year, since we’ve reorganised the sheep to keep more areas of long grass. The butterflies have been wonderful, & such varied colours – hopefully yours will return!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. These are fabulous photos, especially all the close-ups. I was going to tell you which one was my favourite: then discovered that they all were. And what WILL you do with all those courgettes – the gift that keeps on giving? Sell them to Tesco….?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We are certainly giving some away, but not to Tesco!
      We’re also extending our repositories of baked courgette and marrow in different guises, courgette cake and loaves are delicious, and of course ratatouille, soup in the freezer, and a vat of courgette & green tomato chutney – making a positive end to our tomato blight experience this year🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh nooooo. Blight! But you have found a positive.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I really enjoy looking at your photo close-ups and getting intimately acquainted with the bees and caterpillars. The fist bee looks sweet and cuddly, doesn’t it? I think, however, I’ll leave him be.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed the close ups – I often notice insects, and other details that I’d have missed before ‘biggifying’! I think that’s the best strategy with regard to bees! 🙂

      Like

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Location Horsham, West Sussex, UK Phone (+44)07930533916 E-mail theoakswestsussex@gmail.com Hours We will respond as soon as possible, and certainly within 24 hours.
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