01 July 2012

summertime, and the garden is...

...well it's not exactly doing what it oughta.

After introducing you to my garden a month ago, and telling anyone who stood still long enough to stop being feeble mimsies about the rotten weather, I have to confess, it's getting me down. In the North East of Scotland this June we have been living in a cloud. And I don't mean it has been like living in a cloud, in the manner of some exaggerated metaphor, we have actually been living in a cloud. We get this stuff called haar, sort of sea mist that means that you can't see as far as the hand on the end of your arm. A colleague had to sleep on our floor a few weeks ago because the airport closed due to poor visibility... in June for kerissakes, the height of midsummer. He missed his wife's 40th birthday in London and I think she might hate us for ever, simply by association. Mind you she's never met us, so there's an off-chance she'd have hated us anyway.

But yesterday, for a few glorious hours, the sun made an appearance so I could catalogue progress in the garden. I've grumbled all month about how nothing's getting enough sunshine to grow, weeds excepted of course (you know when you've said something negative so many times to so many people that, even as you're saying it, you realise how much of a bore you're being? As if anyone gives a flying duck that your sweetcorn has succumbed to snails - seriously - put the kettle on and shut up woman). And then when I get a chance to go out and take some pictures, compare them to the pictures in last month's post, I realise that I've been talking crap all along. The garden's gone berserk, just not with anything terribly useful.

So here we go. Update at the start of July 2012. Let's start with something pretty.

the most beautiful thing - I'm so proud of these babies
can't remember the name of these, but aren't they purty

alchemilla and oriental poppies rescued from the rain, brought into the house for an stunningly beautiful hour,
provoked three days of craptastic hayfever in everybody, and were relegated back to the garden again

Generally the perennial stuff (is that the right word? veggies that come back every year?) is doing amazingly - raspberries, rhubarb, chives, mint, cardoons, apples. But anything planted from seed is seriously failing to thrive. The peas are only inches high. The sweetcorn is, as previously mentioned, a total failure. And the most idiot proof of vegetables in my experience, the courgettes, are in a serious sulk. They're all still there, or there-ish, it's just hard to believe that there is enough summer left for the bucolic abundance of previous years.

anyone ever eaten cardoon? I believe you can, but I'm nervous...

the raspberry and cardoon "wall" obscuring much of the rest of the plot

bumble bee central (though they're camera shy and I don't have a close up lens)

wild strawberries, discovered by chance, doing better than almost anything else
broad beans do at least have flowers on, some progress

sulky sweetcorn, spring onions and courgettes

peas at last starting to do their thing, but still only just

the scene behind the raspberry/cardoon wall - definitely more lush (though no more productive) than last month

So, midsummer has been and gone, and so far the edible tally from the veg plot this year is rather disappointing:
wild strawberries

Yes, that last one was intentionally in the singular: carrot.

Me and The Boss couldn't wait, we had to have a wee peek at the carrots. One nibble each of this tiny critter. It kind of sums up that lack of progress this month. But who knows, maybe we're in for some warmth in July - fingers crossed!

Click here to see how people are battling the weather in other parts of the world.


  1. Congrats on your beautiful garden...and so far harvest. We have had a crappy start to the summer too- rained out. I absolutely love your flowers swoon...so pretty.
    Enjoy that carrot!....hehe.

  2. Gosh, your garden is so impressive! We are waiting for ours to produce anything...

  3. Thanks for stopping by my blog! We too have a few anxious carrot pickers around here. They are so sweet though!

  4. Your garden looks gorgeous! Especially those chives!

  5. We had a carrot just like that yesterday. So great to let the kids check on progress.
    I was worried that I was failing miserably with my courgette plant - I am happy to blame the weather.

    1. Nope, they're just not doing their thing yet are they. But there's still time. I was thinking you might know how to cook and eat a cardoon, the good local quine that you are! No?

  6. I also had to pull a carrot to see what they were doing. My daughter planted purple carrots, and they are actually producing. So exciting! We mainly have greens and peas right now (and of course rhubarb) in Maine in the US. Eventually we will get a lot of stuff coming in, at least I hope so! We have a very short growing season, so I am hoping for a sunny and warm July!

  7. What a fun garden. Love that last shot of that carrot!!! How fun to see its progress!

  8. popping over from Ginny. Garden looks good, it's been an off year here (USA) too, nearly lost all our potatoes due to drowning!

  9. They grow acres of cardoon in Morocco and eat the stalks. Very tasty.In my naivete and about non-existent Arabic I thought they were artichokes and gave my artichoke stalks a try.No ,not the same at all. Not hideous but something you'd eat if the cupboard was bare and were desperate for vegetable matter. While they are related ,they each have their own strengths, like cousins and sister are wont to have.


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