We are midway through the best summer holiday in years. The main reason is the sun has blessed us with its presence. Last year the break at the beach was memorable because of its absence. In exchange we spent the summer in the company of wind and rain, which was actually a bit dreadful. Coming home to the garden was awful. The warm wet weather had invited powdery mildew, and blight and the plants that escaped those nasties were all bent over or wind damaged. So heartbreaking. But it is one of the joys of gardening in the middle of the Christmas holidays; you never really know what you will come home from the beach to.
We have just popped home on route to our second summer holiday spot and it was a good opportunity to have a quick look at the garden, grab a few ripe veggies and start making a mental list of all that needs attention before we whisk ourselves off to another exciting adventure. It’s just as well I have had enough sun, swimming and relaxation and new year cheer to leave me completely knackered because one look at the garden and I’m overwhelmed. I don’t know where to start.
The heat hasn’t been all that friendly to my lettuce. Most of it has gone to seed. Having said that lettuce is more of a cool weather crop anyway. I think I may have to do the unthinkable and buy a few seedlings from the garden centre as they bolted much quicker than I thought they would. I have a contingency plan for more lettuce but it is ages from being ready. Many people looked at me at the beach like I had a touch of madness… But all I did was take my succession seeds and some seed raising mix and some trays to the beach and sowed new seeds. They were already a bit late as Christmas festivities hijacked my intentions, and if I left it until I got back it may be too late, so I took my garden on holiday.
The weather was ideal growing conditions and so my garden took full advantage and grew! The pumpkins and squash are having the best season I have ever had. I need to remember this as I have only had crops in the past where the plants were existing – not thriving. As a result the bed I have put them in is way too small. They have climbed all over each other and have now escaped the bed and they have a couple more months of growing to do! I’ll be overrun!
The tomatoes are a bit late and haven’t really started yet which is great because I’m not missing much but the peas have decided this isn’t the season for them and curled up their toes and dressed themselves for their swan song in a white fuzzy outfit, and I have to say – it’s not a good look. So when we get back properly I’ll need to clear their bed. Another bed I’ll need to clear is the onion and garlic – but that is because they are ready. It’s possibly the best crop I have ever grown. Oh I can’t wait a moment longer. I have waited six months and 12 days so a few more days won’t hurt!
But time is short and so for now I shall retain the holiday mood, grab a glass of wine and sit in the sun and look at my garden. Despite all attempts it has made to rebel like some troubled teenager, you can still see the good garden underneath and a few days of disciplined gardening on our actual return from holiday should restore order and replace the chaos with a sense of calm.
Come again soon – I wouldn’t be too misguided if I included digging, weeding and harvesting in my new year’s resolutions!
Sarah the Gardener : o )