It’s time for another garden update! We are having a heatwave in the UK and the extra sunshine plus relatively dry spring has resulted in some gorgeous spring bulbs and epic roses. Our vegetable garden is also growing, albeit a bit slowly. Now that we no longer have the allotment, our focus has been on the raised bed and growing some veggies in containers. This is much more manageable and Lucy and I both say regularly that we don’t miss the allotment, so giving it up was the right decision. Come with me for a virtual walk in my June garden!
I mean, look at these fabulous blooms! This is the best year yet for our pink rose shrub. It is a bit leggy, but there are more blooms than previous years and we seem to have kept the aphids and black spot at bay. In autumn, I added a lot of compost to the soil, and I think that helped give the roses a boost.
Two plants that I’m pleased to say are still alive are the clematis, and the perpetual sweetpeas. My friend Alison gave me some sweetpea seeds from her cottage garden and I expected them to be munched by slugs. But look, dark purple blooms! These are the only bit of my English cottage garden plans that seem to have worked. The clematis had a bad year in 2022, but it’s managed to hang on. The blooms are smaller and not as vibrant, but it’s not dead!
As I mentioned above, our vegetable garden is certainly scaled down now that we don’t have the allotment. In the raised bed, I’ve planted leeks, beetroot, squash, spinach (went to seed in the heat) and peas (also struggling in the heat). The containers have tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, one sad pole bean, and lettuce/pak choy. Things are growing slowly, but maybe that is just due to the heat? Yes, I know I need to space the leeks out, give the bed a weed, and support the peas – a task for when it’s cooler.
Of course, we love to add a pop of colour with some annuals. Marigolds always seem to do well, and we got a fun mix of pink and yellow flowers for the containers by the front door. I think the tall pale pink flower might be a type of salvia, but I could be wrong. The violas have been going strong since spring!
Gardening at Work
Last but not least, I wanted to mention a great scheme being run by the University. My team and I took part in the Good Gardener Project and we planted some wildflower seeds outside our building. I’ll let you know how they get on!
Over the Summer
The next couple of months will mainly be about maintenance in the garden. We are keeping an eye on our large Acer, which has lots of dead branches, and we would like to plant some tall grasses. For now, I need to stay on top of the strawberry harvest so that the blackbird doesn’t get to them before I do!
For more gardening content see:
- Garden Update for 2023
- My Flower Show – A Tour of the Flowers in my Garden
- Flower Garden Update – Spring 2021