Sunny Days are Here Again
After a period of life getting in the way of the garden with its dodgy weather, emotionally anxious pandemic, teens and exam related stress and non gardening computer related activities, the pendulum swung back in my favour. All it took was for me to muster up all my everything to tackle all the non gardening things indoors while the weather was less than ideal, the kids to finally reach the end of the dramatic side of the end of the school year, and the sun to come out. The pandemic is still a worry but there isn’t a lot that I can do about that.
Sector 1 – all taken care of and looking good.
Yesterday I gardened. Which felt so healing from the moment I stepped into the garden. I now have 2 sectors in complete control that only need minor adjustment while it heads towards the edible stage. The other 3 sectors aren’t that bad, but do need a bit of love to bring it up to a low maintenance level. And then I can tackle the side mess – the bits outside of the garden. I’m still endeavouring to do my 5 things a day in the garden, but learning not to beat myself up about it on the days it is not possible and allowing myself to stop guilt free if my weary body is telling me too – even if I haven’t finished the task in front of me. Together this makes a nice slow enjoyable pace, without overdoing things yet still making progress, and feeling still human when I come in at the end of the day to spend time with my family.
Sector 2 – all taken care of and looking good.
So here is a lovely summary of what I got up to in the garden for me in pictures:
Finally the peas have shrugged off the bird attacks and now look like normal pea plants. Lucky I didn’t give up on them!
Picking asparagus is a daily task right now and they get too tall in the blink of an eye!
The Wong Bok had a bit of a shaky start with their leaves being eaten but they are looking good and I should be able to make some kimchi soon!
The gherkins are coming along nicely – these are almost pickling size. But there are only 4 of them right now so not enough to fill a jar unless I let them get too big – which is what I’m trying to avoid this year.
These waterlilies were a nice surprise. But the pond is still choked up with weed so I need to clean it out so the flowers can really stand out.
After being planted in early autumn this Romanesco was finally ready for harvest. We ate it steamed with a garlic and sweet chilli dressing and it was delicious. Although it did feel weird to gobble down in moments something that took 9 months to grow – I mean I could have a baby in that time – not that I would… ummm awkward…. But now I can pull the plant out of the salad bed and put more successional lettuce in its place.
Now that is more like it. The netting is working so I can probably harvest some today. Yummo.
When we rearranged the living room to make room for the Christmas trees I found a demijohn of garlic wine. This was left over from my old dreams of being a vinegar maker on a grand scale – turning fruit and other wines into vinegars. At the height of it all I had successfully produced 22 varieties, but never took it beyond the R&D stage. This garlic wine has been well aged. I made it in March 2010! I’ll have to look into the old recipes to remember how to turn it into vinegar – I’m already excited about using it in the kitchen.
I have a baby giant pumpkin. I hope it takes… I have big dreams for it.
And now the sun is shining again so I shall head back out into the garden and see what else can be done to bring me joy and pleasure and whip the garden into shape at the same time.
I’m not a fan of just water but need to stay hydrated while in the garden on hot days. So I made some Hay Makers Punch. I’m not one for following instructions to the letter so I checked a few recipes and then gave it a whirl. It is quite easy to make, although I added all the ingredients before the water and then read that the you’re supposed to boil the water and the ginger (- the amount varied so I finely grated a good knob of ginger) first to infuse the flavours then cool and add 1 tablespoon of honey and 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar so you don’t destroy the beneficial effects. Oh and the juice of half a lemon juice is supposed to go in there too… I just added boiled water to everything, let it cool and popped it in the fridge. Everyone seemed to like it so I made some more again today, but with only 1 tablespoon of vinegar and a touch more honey and a lot less ginger.
Come again soon – the air has those summer vibes going on.
Sarah the Gardener : o)
NB: clicking on the images will give a small tale to go with each one!