Looking Good

There is nothing like having a garden group come to visit the garden to ensure it is in tip top condition for their arrival.  So I have been working ever so hard to make the garden lovely.  The grass was mowed, I tidied the greenhouse and the shed and I even tidied behind it, not that anyone looked, but they might have!  I even incurred a few blisters on my calloused gardener hands.  The crops were looking sharp – except the peas.

Looking fabulous... for a real garden

Looking fabulous… for a real garden

The peas need to come out, but I didn’t have the time and it added a degree of interest.  A talking point.  “These are the most amazing peas and now they are finished and need to come out.”  I think I made it sound much more glamorous than that.  Much better than: “this is where the peas were” while staring at a empty patch of soil.

These peas have seen better days, but their removal will leave a considerable gap in the landscape

These peas have seen better days, but their removal will leave a considerable gap in the landscape

Having said that, the garden wasn’t magazine perfect.  There were weeds and plants going to seed, and I’m ok with that, because it is a real garden.  A working garden.  While perfection can be captured in a moment for a glossy picture, it isn’t sustainable.  A proper garden, one feeding a family has gaps, and weeds, and things that were missed and are bolting for the sky.  I think it is important to be a bit relaxed about all that, otherwise it would drive you crazy and steal the joy from the garden.  I am over the moon when the garden’s peak condition is just tidy.

Weeds among the pumpkins

Weeds among the pumpkins

And just to confirm its status as a real garden, while proudly showing off my cucumber patch, it responding by showing off small white spots – the start of powdery mildew!  I did toy with the idea of letting it go for a bit until treating it, just to slow down the crop.  Note to self for next season:  One telegraph cucumber plant at a time!    The space I so proudly left for succession planting has been completely swallowed up by everything that is already there.

I sprayed the powdery mildew with ½ teaspoon of baking soda in a litre of water so hopefully this will hold it at bay.

I sprayed the powdery mildew with ½ teaspoon of baking soda in a litre of water so hopefully this will hold it at bay.  I could have used the milk version, but we were running low and I must have milk in my cuppa tea!

But I reckon, had I not made a stupid mistake in the spring, then the cucumbers would still be free of powdery mildew at this point and there would be a little bit of room for a late season sowing.  I was lulled into a false sense of possibilities due to the completely unfavourable conditions for pumpkin growing last year.  Which resulted in stunted plants and half a dozen pumpkin that could be held easily in one hand, I decided popping a dwarf pumpkin in with my cucumbers would be a good idea.  It may have been a good idea had I not mixed up the labels.  How do I keep doing that?!  Even so, the compact dwarf variety is thriving in the open garden where the Baby Bear pumpkin should have been.   So maybe it wasn’t such a good idea, even if I put the right plant in the right place.  Meanwhile the vigorous Baby Bear pumpkin has run rampant through my cucumbers!

Pumpkins among the cucumbers

Pumpkins among the cucumbers

Busy has been the state of the year so far.  I am committed to making this year all about sustainability and by now I have normally forgotten my New Year Resolutions and have slipped comfortably back into doing what I’ve always done.   Not this time.  The first stage of this process has been a bit of a purge and doing some serious de-cluttering.  It has not been easy.  But we need to reduce what we have so we can go forward in a degree of control.  It is my aim to have completely taken care of the clutter by the end of the month. Stay tuned for an end of month update into The Sustainability Project.  So I am beginning to see a new way of life emerging from chaotic lifestyle we are more used to.  Exciting times.

Come again soon, I am still working on my water distribution trolley and with my ‘give it a whirl” construction style it should be interesting!

Sarah the Gardener  : o )

For a bit of housekeeping, I am claiming my blog on Bloglovin’ so you can follow me there if you want to.  So I have to put this here. <a href=”http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/6936355/?claim=zzwdzjh8wyf”>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>       I’m not very tech savvy – I’m a gardener, so I hope I’ve done it right!

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11 Comments on “Looking Good

  1. I’m forever mixing up plants and always over planting. I have for years used all sorts of homemade concoctions for powdery mildew, but I have come to the conclusion that while they slow it down then ever stop it. Off with the infected leaves! LOL …

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  2. Lost of loveliness in this post Sarah. Your garden is neat, tidy and real. There isn’t a garden that exists (without a team of qualified horticulturalists working on it 24/7 and a whopping labour bill to match) that doesn’t have a few weeds, the odd plant problem and I say it all adds to the interests sake in gardening. If it was all easy peasy we wouldn’t learn anything and people would get bored! I planted out 2 “cucumbers” that a friend gave me to join the 1 cucumber that grew from seed itself in the garden. I now have 2 cucumbers and one pumpkin of indeterminate type. Not sure whether to pull it out as it’s smack bang in the middle of my tomato garden or to try to train it outside the garden bed so that I can see what it is! Growing all kinds of interesting things in the glasshouse at the moment and this year has seem me reinvigorated with growing things. This autumn I will be starting to graft things. Going to make my own frankenapple tree. SO exciting! I hope the garden group visiting gave you lots of positive feedback because from my seat here, your garden looks fabulous 🙂

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    • Hi Fran. I have a volunteer tomato plant in my leeks and a potato in my leafy greens and a pumpkin in my flowers. Normally I have learnt to be brutal and if they aren’t what they should be, then they are out. But somehow these earned a reprieve. I never learn. I have studied grafting, but haven’t actually tried it, but always wanted to. I want to give cuttings a more serious try this year. I normally get them to a certain point and forget all about them and they die. I would have some fabulously large trees about the place if I’d paid more attention over the years! All the best with your frankenapple. Cheers Sarah : o )

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      • Ditto on the grafting. Actually did it for our horticulture course but thinking that I need to get my skills up and running. Found a little apple sapling from what must have been a fruit that dropped from a now long dead apple tree on our property that the possums were chewing down to a stump every year. Now that it is inside Earl’s perimeters of protection, it is starting to grow. I am thinking of grafting all kinds of apple scion onto it and making it a frankentree! Might do the same with the pear trees. My kids have a big beure bosc pear at their place and I might pinch some scion this winter and give it the old college try :).

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  3. I have been following you for a while on Bloglovin, it’s a great way to follow blogs I enjoy. Great looking garden, I wish I had the space you have, does it keep you busy 24/7 or do you have time for other things?

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    • Hi Trudy. I am so sorry for this extremely late reply. I only just found the comment. Thanks so much for your kind words. The garden keeps me very busy but I still have time for loads of different writing projects. I am now getting ready for the new season. I hope it is kind to us.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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