One week of July is behind us and it is high time to write about the garden in June. We had a lot of warm and windy weather but not much rain and it took a long time for the annual vegetables to get established. It is still very dry compared to other years and we have spent quite a lot of time watering. The vegetables are finally beginning to put on some bulk.
The established shrubs, trees, flowers and herbs have not suffered as much from the drier conditions and we have an abundance of raspberries at the minute. All the other berry shrubs look like they will ripen up just in time for our Open Garden and the ‘Pick you own berries’ event this coming weekend .In our changing climate, there is a lot to say for perennial food forest garden systems that rely on planting food plants, herbs and other useful plants in layers and mulching any bare earth. The ground does not dry out so quickly, the plants can share nutrients in the soil and everything can thrive in a natural way, resembling young woodland.
We grow our annual vegetables in a similar way with no bare earth in between plants. Our onion sets are put in close together and early in the year we harvest them young and green whilst leaving some of them to mature for storage. In between the onions other plants germinate; like borage and quinoa that has set seeds in previous years. We leave them be along with the wild chickweed. This gives us water retentive soil and lots of tasty food as a bonus.
We do grow many flowering plants for pollinators and by the end of June the garden was filled with lovely scents and the constant buzzing of pollinators. We like to grow some flowers like sweet peas among the vegetables to draw in even more bees and butterflies.
Around our main circle the plants have put on considerable height, especially the Cardoons and Artichokes. They are just the right size for eating now, slathered in butter or olive oil and sea salt. The circle is the most relaxing place in the garden where you can meditate or walk around slowly, exploring the colours, scents and sounds.
We are in the middle of preparing for the Open Garden Weekend this coming Saturday and Sunday, so we will just leave you now with a few images of Summer.