Sunday, February 5, 2017

Summer garden snaps

My garden was woefully neglected over the past month and a half because I spent most of my time away from home at our beach house. Fortunately it has survived thanks to a good helping of mulch on the soil. Today I wanted to share photos of some of my favourite plants, many of which are new to my garden this year.

I grew borage from seed because I'd heard bees love it. Every time I visit my borage plants I find bees in the flowers and do a happy dance. Bees = life.
Borage for the bees.

Our small blueberry trees are covered and should be ripening soon.

I've never grown comfrey before, so didn't realise how big it grew. It's dwarfing my dwarf peach tree, but I just rip off big leaves from time to time and drape them around the base of my fruit trees as a nutritious mulch. On my list of things to learn is how to make comfrey compost tea.

We've been getting loads of tomatoes of all sizes, so we've been eating a bowlful of cherry tomatoes with dinner each night and I've been having tomatoes and basil pesto on toast for breakfast. Freshly picked tomatoes are delicious.
Cherry tomatoes.

I grew meadowfoam from seed because I wanted to experiment with growing medicinal flowers in the garden. Even though it's an annual, I'm under good authority that it seeds well and should pop up again around the place.

This oregano lived in a pot for years and years, but never did very well. Now that I've planted it out in my herb garden, it is thriving, spreading and flowering. I've been picking the leaves to flavour our dinners as I love the taste of fresh oregano. The bees love the flowers too, so that's another win.

The plant that seems to be doing the best in my garden is spinach. I've been using it in smoothies and dinners, but there's so much of it I really need to harvest, blanch and freeze it before it goes to seed.
Spinach going nuts. 

I grew several swan plants from seed to provide food for monarch butterflies and they are finally getting established, although they're taking their sweet time. Luckily they are a perennial plant, so now that I've got them in the garden, they should stay for many years. They also drop lots of seeds so hopefully more little swan plants will pop up around the place in years to come. I'm dreaming of a garden filled with flowers, bees and butterflies.
Swan plant. 

There's not much to see in the following photo yet, but this week I cleared out this garden and planted various seeds - things like basil, beetroot, carrots and beans that I had left over and which haven't done too well in any of my other gardens this summer. I laid this metal grid over the raised bed to try and prevent my cat from using the garden as his personal toilet. So far it seems to be working. I also used the grid to determine where I would sprinkle my seeds - inspired by my readings about square metre gardening.

How are your gardens fairing in this heat? What homegrown goodies have you been eating?

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