Sunday, 27 June 2010

Summer in the Garden

I bought this peony a few years ago and it's the first time it has flowered. The flower is a very deep pink, deeper than it looks in the photo, and it has five flowers, which is amazing given it has done nothing for the last few years. This peony is in a large pot, with small narcissi and grape hyacinths round the edge, so it provides interest for a few months. I have a peony in the garden but it rarely flowers due to the poor soil and dryness, so I decided to pamper this one in rich potting compost - it's certainly paid off!
In the vegetable garden, my daily labours in watering are now beginning to pay off. It's amazing how much growth plants put on after a water - here are the peas, lots of pods growing now.
And here are the broad beans, which had stopped growing a week ago and have now ballooned in a few days. The weather forecast sometimes shows showers ahead, but they then disappear from the forecast, so there's no prospect of serious rain for the next two weeks, meaning my watering schedule will have to continue for now.
The cabbages have grown well, but then started to show damage. I could see it wasn't slugs, so examined the leaves to see if it was early cabbage white caterpillars, but couldn't see any of those though I have seen one butterfly visiting my cabbages. So my conclusion is woodpigeons - the cabbages are now securely netted and the woodpigeons will have to find something else for their tea!
Not a lot of produce from the garden yet with the cold spring, just spring onions, lettuce and the first strawberries, which are delicious.
Finally, here is my old rose which is magnificent this year. I'd like to say there was a secret to getting so many flowers, but I think the weather has most to do with it, not me. It is a very old bush, all I do is cut out one or two large old stems out each year to encourage it to renew itself, water it when it gets very dry and hey presto! Beautiful scented roses, some of which come into the house - the scent of roses is the epitome of summer for me.
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