Midsummer

It’s the midsummer solstice and I was having a look round the garden to see what is growing this sunny weekend. I remembered the twenty-six vegetables which I wrote about two months ago and wondered how they are all doing. Two months on, they are (nearly) all flourishing. Here’s an update:

  1. Apples Howgate Wonder – have developed pingpong ball sized fruits. Not so many as last year but they should grow to their usual grapefruit sized wonders

2. Apples, Red Falstaff, growing well and reddening up nicely

3. Apples, Sunset, promising clusters of fruit

4. Blackcurrants, never the most prolific crop in this garden but we’ll have a few juicy fruits soon

5. Broccoli – thriving beneath the runner bean wigwam

6. Broad beans – we’ve had our first serving from the overwintered beans, while the freshly sown plants are growing nicely with new flowers:

7. Cherries – well these are looking really good and fair crop this year. However, we’re in a competition with the blackbirds who’ve been helping themselves, in payment for their beautiful twilight singing.

8. Cucumbers – are out in the raised bed now. They’ve been a little unhappy in the colder weather over the last few weeks but the sun is out now and they should recover. There’s nice little yellow globe growing on this one, while a second sowing of green cucumbers is catching up well

9. We’ve had several juicy lettuces from the crop beside the peas, while this very slow overwintered crop, growing between tomato plants, is now providing salad most days:

10. Onions – still doing well and we’ve had quite a few in soup and curry. They are really at their best while still fresh and you can eat the green leaves too:

11. Oriental salad greens. The leaves from April have all been eaten but there are more coming from subsequent sowings:

12. Peas – oh peas – they are doing very well, as I explained in my last blog post. Here are the salmon pinks, still covered in raindrops last week, :

13. Peppers – are growing very slowly but surely in the seed palace. The upside is that they may still be small enough to be transported to my son’s student flat once we are allowed to visit him again. There they should flourish with his care and a sunny window:

14. Potatoes are growing magnificently in the new raised bed. I’ll take a wee peek and see if they are ready to harvest in the next few days:

15. Plums are hanging like grapes – it looks like it’s going to be a good plum year. I’ll just have to watch out for overburdened branches, a problem we had a few years ago, leading to the development of all sorts of green plum recipes:

16. Radishes – well, these are doing exactly what I predicted. Not producing any radishes to eat but beginning to flower rather beautifully and will provide us with radish seed pods and more radish seeds for next year. These are the rather beautiful ‘Purple Plum’ variety:

17. Raspberries – lots of fruit on the summer bushes, ready to ripen in a couple of weeks, pollinated and loved by bees, while the autumn plants are growing nicely:

18. Redcurrants – the first fruits just turning red:

19. Rhubarb – still growing well, both in the garden and at the allotment and being added to jams, breakfasts and puddings. Yesterday we had rhubarb and last year’s frozen raspberries in an impressive midsummer pudding- recipe here:

20. Rocket – we’re still feasting on rocket flowers in salad. I haven’t managed to grow any more this year but I’m hoping some of this will self-seed:

21. Spinach – has all gone to seed a bit but I’m still adding bits and pieces to salads:

22. Sprouts – no longer in the garden, I moved these beauties to the allotment a few weeks ago and they are flourishing there, a little squashed by some netting but I adjusted that yesterday to give them more room to grow, while keeping the pigeons off for a bit longer. Christmas dinner is looking promising:

23. Strawberries, still not very happy in the garden but they have a few flowers and a few berries. Maybe they are just a late variety as the allotment crop is at full production:

24. Swiss chard. The crop from April is completely finished but I found a couple of seedlings lurking in a pot and they are doing well under the runner bean wigwam, promising us more rainbows later this year:

25. Tomatoes. I always keep a few under glass in case of a very cold summer and a few in pots to pass on to my son, though these may get too big to transport if the lockdown goes on much longer. Here in Scotland we’re trying to stick to the 5 mile travel limit, would travel by train anyway and the tomatoes may grow too big for the journey. In the mean time most of the plants have moved out of the seed palace and into raised beds or the allotment, where they seem to be doing fine:

26. Watercress – had mostly disappeared under the multiplying foliage in the pond but it will return in time. Meanwhile, the frogs are back and we are enjoying their company as they peek their little noses out from under the waterlilies:

So there you are – an update on all twenty-six vegetables, two months on. New crops that were still at the planning stage in April, are the runner beans doing well under their wigwam and marrows, sown with care and now planted out in raised beds, beside the last of the onions:

Meanwhile, the allotment is also in full production – I posted a six on Saturday from the allotment yesterday, showing the allotment onions doing well, runner beans suffering a little from slug damage but showing some promise, the mint fountain doing well in a leaking watering can, the sprouts, under their netting, planted out tomatoes, and a system to try and keep the tiny courgette plants watered. That was yesterday’s work but there are also potatoes, strawberries, kale, leeks, apples and various soft fruits coming along nicely there too

In the garden there are also lots of flowers, birds, bees, frogs, snails, newts and this big fat caterpillar:

on a wildflower not a vegetable so I’m leaving to enjoy its feast – you can see a live action version of this on my twitter account here

Looking at my garden on this sunny midsummer weekend, all is looking well.

10 thoughts on “Midsummer

  1. I didn’t realise you had been given a five-mile limit for travel in Scotland. It was never that specific in England. Now, the last vestiges of lockdown seem to be breaking down before our eyes.

    Anyway, good to see a your fruit and veg doing well. And to see a frog – I hope I get some eventually 😊

    1. hello Helen – I couldn’t seem to reply to your question about the water levels. The pond level falls all the time – I think it’s all the plants round the edge which suck up all the water, especially in summer. I try to refill from the water butt so that it gets rainwater but when that runs dry I use tapwater, leaving it to stand overnight to get rid of some of the chemicals etc. 🙂

      1. I see – thanks for persevering with your reply, Jackie. It’s good to know how other ponds fare and what you do about it!

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