Summer in The Garden (Hello 2020!)

Sunflower in full bloom
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Hello summer, hello 2020!  I hope you all had a fabulous holiday season, whatever your seasons or celebrations. We’ve had a sensational summer break, enjoying some family time at home and working on the garden. 2020 has been a sizzler so far, and it’s been a challenge trying to help the garden survive and thrive. Join us for a look at our summer garden with our seasonal gardening update on what’s happening and growing (or not!) in our own home garden.

Berries growing and ripening on bramble canes

Growing and Giving

The edible garden is in full summer swing, with berries ripening, fruits forming, and veggies fattening up in the garden beds. I’ve been sharing our early harvest with our neighbours, dropping reused brown paper grocery bags of goodies and please “return for refill” kitchen containers of fresh berries. I really enjoy gardening, and it makes me happy to grow more than we need for our small household and share with others.

Seasonal Success Stories and Top Crops

Current standout performer is the loganberry, which is cranking out enough berries to be dropping off many refills. The blackberry looks to be prepping a similar harvest for a few weeks time, fingers crossed. Our strawberries have done well too, although our dogs are keen on strawberries, which cuts into the harvest. Hehe…

Dalmatian dog sniffing handful of ripe strawberries

The scallopini, zucchini, and cucumbers are all growing out of control, way faster than we can eat, preserve, freeze, share, or give away to friends and neighbours. For giggles, my husband challenged me to leave a few zucchini growing to see how big I could get them. They’re currently around the size of my leg from the knee down and still growing strong. I’ll take pictures and share soon in our Instagram stories. Unfortunately, with our sizzling summer weather, the battle with powdery mildew is also on with our curcubit plants. Bummer, but for now, they’re still producing well. Too well. Haha!

Shredded cucumber in food processor

Seasonal Failures and Flop Crops

The first semi-flop of the season has been the potatoes, which have been over baking in their potato pots. I finally gave in (mercy!) and harvested them – delicious, but a small crop. Our garlic also had to be harvested early due to the seemingly inevitable scourge of rust in our climate and proximity to potential spreading sources. To help, we planted early and were lucky to get a nice crop of lovely bulbs – fine for eating and not saved for planting.  Unfortunately, it also set in on our leeks, which I grow to bloom for the bees not for eating, and they were sacrificed as well.

The Battle of the Birds

The birds are having an absolute feast in the garden this year. They’ve been raiding the fruit trees, berries, grapes, ripening tomatoes, and even bravely venturing into the glasshouse for raiding. They’ve also been rifling through the bark mulches and throwing it all around the yard. Grr. They laugh in the face of decoy birds, reflective tape, our dogs, the neighbours’ cats, the hose, or loud shooing people. I’m pretty sure I saw one flip me the wing as I tried to scare it away. Sigh. I hate netting, but I may need to do so on the high value crops. Any suggestions?

Blooming and Bolting

Of course, everything wants to bolt and bloom this time of year. Sometimes I’ll pull the plant, sometimes I try and delay the inevitable with pruning, and sometimes I just let nature do her thing. Dill is one of the latter, and it’s currently blooming and seeding. Its growing next to my trellised gherkin cucumber right now, and anytime I brush past, it smells like pickles. How perfect! 
 
Dill plant in flower

Our Furfamily

Lastly, but most certainly not least, the dogs have been loving the dry weather, but hating the heat of the day (especially beautiful old Oli). We’ve been enjoying our adventures in the early mornings and, if cool enough, evenings. For our readers who love seeing the boys pop up here and on our social media from time to time, we’re beyond grateful to report that they are both doing well and that senior Oli is still enjoying life at a slow and steady pace. 

Elderly Dalmatian dog sitting in grassy meadow

From our family to yours, I wish you health, happiness, and all good things for the year ahead. Happy gardening (and garden planning for our wintery northern friends). See you again soon!

Summer in the Garden Update

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