High summer

After spending two lovely weeks in half of our family’s native country Sweden, we returned home to a garden full of life. There has been lots of rain while we where away so everything has put on massive amounts of growth, the flowers, vegetables and grass is all looking verdant and lush. It is nice to come back after half a month away and realize that the garden has not suffered at all in our absence. It is one of the positives we can experience from living in a climate with few droughts and no extreme changes in temperature. We think it can also be put down to the fact that we mulch all our plants well with cardboard, straw and just about any organic matter we can get our hands on.  This makes for a sustainable eco system in the garden where less intervention is needed to keep the balance right.

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All we have to do now is cut the grass on our paths and circles, pull out some of the less desirable plants that are threatening to steal the light and nutrients from our favourites and get very busy harvesting and preserving the bounty for the leaner months ahead.

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We had a friend in to water the conservatory while we were away and we returned just in time for the tomato harvest. All our plants have produced lots of tomatoes and although some of them are still green we decided to pick them all and dispose of the plants. We used natural jute twine to tie them up and for some reason, everywhere the twine wrapped around the stem a brown furry mould developed that weakened the plants. We thought it is better to be safe than sorry and took them out of the conservatory to prevent the mould potentially spreading to other plants. Everything else is doing fantastic in there.

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We are planning to dry most of the tomatoes in our Excalibur dehydrator and put them in some lovely olive oil and also to make some green tomato marmalade with lime and orange. This year we grew green zebra, purple Ukrainian and a small cherry tomato.

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As some of you know we take pictures of our main circle at the end of every month but since we were away this month the pictures are about a week late. You can see the garden after two weeks of complete neglect and we are amazed at the beauty and diversity present. We had four peacock butterflies present at the same time on our oregano plants. Birds flutter and swoop around you at all times and the bees, frogs and newts are always present.

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In our annual vegetable patch the courgettes had turned into marrows but we spiralized them and fried them along with some garlic for very healthy vegetable spaghetti.

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There are so many other crops just getting ready to harvest and it is a pure joy to be back home and work on preserving our little piece of land for the benefit of ourselves, our friends and all the wildlife that live on it. All our hard work is certainly starting to pay off. The herb spiral is unrecognizable from when we left two weeks ago and the pears are plumping up. We can’t wait to get stuck in!

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