Herb Bed Update
I’m really pleased with how this has gone. One or two plants were lost in the hot dry summer but on the whole they’ve loved the heat. The Thyme especially has relished in the parched earth.
I’ve also cut handful after handful of Lemon Balm. It’s amazing in lemonade, makes a blow-your-socks-off mojito and is great hung in the bathroom, where is releases it’s scent in the steam from your morning shower. Very revitalising.
I’ve ordered some Orange Scented Thyme and Winter Savoury seeds to complement the collection next year.
p.s. Please excuse the unweeded paths. Mates tail is such a pernicious weed. I have a double layer of suppressant membrane and an inch of wood chips but it still fights through.
Not a particularly good harvest from the 6 plants that actually grew (from 10 tubers). They grew quite poorly from the start then blight got them early. I’ve not had a chance to try any yet so I’m not sure about the flavour. I think I might have planted them out too early, or not didn’t water them enough during the dry spell a month or so back. - Gary
I bought some Echinacea ‘Lustre Hybrids’ seeds from T&M last June and grew on around two dozen plants.
Most were given away to family members or other allotment holders, but I planted half a dozen in my front flower borderer.
They’ve started to flower and there’s this lovely pure white one that I’m enjoying. Echinacea plants don’t take to easily from cuttings but I’m going to give it a try.
I’ve also seen Echinacea ‘Summer Cocktail’ in this months Gardening Illustrated and I’m hoping I have some in a similar shade. If not I’ve got more seeds from the packet to sow.
Have been doing really well this year so far. They’re appreciating the hot weather and because they’re outdoor and planted in raised beds water hasn’t been a problem (even thought I only get down there once a week). However, they grow a lot in that week so I’m not always able to catch the side shoots before they go crazy. I spent some time yesterday cutting the vigorous growth out and stripping the bottom leaves from the plants to let light and air into the tomatoes. I’m also giving them a comfrey feed once a week.
Because the English summer can be unpredictable I’ve pinched out the top of half the plants, so they can concentrate on setting the next 1-2 trusses of flowers and ripening the fruit. I’m hedging my bets on a warm summer and leaving the other half to grow to the top of the canes before I pinch them out.
These plants were given to me by my mum and dad’s neighbour and have been grown on well but they’re not as far on as I would have liked for this time of year, so I’m guessing he sowed them late. Then again I wasn’t going to do tomatoes this year so can’t really complain!
I never thought gardening was for me.
I’ve always loved food and cooking. To me its very artistic. My love of food eventually leads to thinking more about the ingredients. If you follow that thought process long enough you end up with an allotment. Since then my need to grow herbs and heritage carrots has grown (pun intended) into a fully fledged horticultural obsession (where I even grow non-edible flowers).
My little sister loves good, seasonal food and has the healthiest diet of anyone I know. she has no interest in gardening though.
While she’s back from university for the summer I’ve convinced her to plant a few rows of seeds. She was keen as the thought of fresh veg is appealing … but just maybe it’ll spark a passion.
She occasionally reads this bog, so if you’re there you’ll be happy to know the Mustard Cress and the Ruby Chard have both germinated.