Thursday, June 12, 2014

Around the garden



























The garden has been a forgotten place over the last few weeks as we dealt with more pressing issues, so it was good to finally get my hands back into the earth and see what could be salvaged. It all seemed very disheartening as I looked around, but then, under a jungle of weeds, I found the strawberry plants growing away nicely - a good start.  After some vigorous but therapeutic weeding and mulching, it began to look more like my garden. The alliums are providing bright pops of colour in the flower bed, but the weeds have begun reclaiming the empty spaces again. One step at a time though... and at least we are able to harvest some of the autumn sown produce. Yes - it is garlic scape time again! I picked a few tender scapes and we roasted them along with some Scottish asparagus - delicious. I also dug up the shallots and hung them to dry in the sunshine. 
Son, Kenneth, and his partner, Louise are here this week and have been such a great help. Among other things, they removed some redundant fencing, that bordered the vegetable plot. It  has really opened up the space and makes access so much easier - it should help with improving the drainage too. I was quite surprised to see that is almost three years since we first put that fence up... 

I had planted a lot of seeds in the polytunnel and they were doing so well, but then were left to their own devices while we were away. Of course the weather changed and there was a lot of sunshine, so most of them didn't survive. Its a pity, because it would have been no bother for one of my neighbours to chuck a watering can around every couple of days, but it kind of slipped my mind at the time. Anyway - not all was lost - the broad beans look very strong and will go out into the bed soon, the tomatoes have made it, and most of the peas are ok. It's not too late to start again, either; already new trays of kale, broccoli and salads have been filled, and more seeds will be sown directly into the beds. 

Do you like my new plant labels? Every year I fail badly at labelling seed rows and trays, and spend too much time scouring the garden looking for fallen plastic labels, struggling to read the disappearing writing, and trying to remember if those seedlings should go in the flower bed or with the salads.  I collected lots of razor clam shells (spoots) on one of our beach visits, and thought they would be ideal for the job - big enough to see in the raised beds, sustainable, and pretty too. I used a laundry sharpie to write the plant names, so hopefully that will survive the Hebridean weather.

Happy gardening xxx

17 comments:

  1. From Margie in Toronto - so glad that your garden is giving you some comfort and that the work to build it back up is perhaps a good distraction at the moment. Our strawberries are now in the shops and they are so sweet and delicious - I hope yours prove to be a welcome treat. Please remember not to overdo it however as you must look after yourself as well as your husband. So glad that you are back at home. Best wishes to you and your family.

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  2. It all looks pretty good to me. I always find gardening very therapeutic.

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  3. Sounds like you have been having some therapeutic mother nature time, my thoughts and prayers have been with you and your family. I hope hubby is not in too much pain. xx

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  4. Definitely not too late! If it is any consolation, I have only just sown savoy cabbage, kale and perpetual spinach - they will soon catch up I am sure.

    Although weeds are a bit of a pest, I find it quite comforting that they are so quick to reclaim the earth - one day when the human race is long gone, the foxgloves will still be coming up in the shade...

    Thanks for the lovely pictures, especially the one of the shallots. Have a good weekend up there x

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  5. So glad your garden has survived its lack of attention :) love your plant labels. We use old lolly sticks!

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  6. There is nothing like getting your hands in the soil and I'm glad you have your garden to work in Jacqui.
    I love your plant stakes, what a smart lady. I have tons of oyster shells that I think will work for the same thing, I'll have to try it for the fall garden.
    Have a beautiful weekend .

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  7. Jacqui, it's good to see all that your garden is providing and promising to provide, too. I do like your clever shell markers. They seem perfect.

    Lots of love to you and yours. xo

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  8. How fabulous to see the strawberries. Loving the photos. Love, Wendy, Edinburgh x

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  9. Gardening is such a solace. The earth shares her energy with us as we work away... Your plant labels are fantastic! I'm glad you have some visitors/helpers, and that your garden is still full of life despite necessary absences. Keeping you all in my prayers.

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  10. We have been getting our garden in finally and it feels wonderful. I love that folding chair :) and your labels are cute!

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  11. I do like your labels and I am so glad that you spent time in the garden. Losing one's self in whatever you enjoy and find rewarding is so therapeutic. Enjoy being home and in your own space. Best to you all.

    Wendy in NH

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  12. When I saw your photo of the shells I thought that this was an absolutely brilliant idea! Much better than the horrid plastic that is not biodegradable. Fantastic.

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  13. Your gardens will be in tip top shape in no time, no doubt!! Wonderful photos!! Happy Father's Day to your husband. I continue to keep him in my thoughts and prayers. : ) xo

    ~ Wendy
    http://Crickleberrycottage.blogspot.com/

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  14. There truly is nothing like dirt under the nails! Glad at least some of your seedlings made it and that you've still time to replant. Love your row markers.
    Blessings, Lisa :)

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  15. What a clever idea to use the Razor Clam shells for labelling plant rows. I found some old blinds thrown out in someone's garbage and cut them up and they make great labels.

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  16. What a great idea to use the shells. I have also discovered a recipe for making garlic scape pesto. These wee gems have a lot going for them.

    Happy gardening!

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  17. I have come across your blog whilst looking at Lewis and really like your garden and the razor clam shell idea. We are considering a move to Lewis to have our own croft. Where is your home on the island?

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