J U L Y ☀️

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J U L Y ☀️

The first full month of summer!

Dates for this month; 8th Wimbledon women, 9th Wimbledon men and Sea Sunday, 12th battle of the Boyne (NI), 15th St Swithin’s day, 18th Al Hijra – Islamic new year (1445) begins at the sighting of the crescent moon, 23rd birthday of Haile Selassie (Rastafarian) and 26th begins the day of mourning at sundown (Tisha B’Av – Jewish)

Julys full moon falls on the 3rd (today) and it’s called the Wyrt (herb) moon or mead moon and this months full moon marks the first of four super moons of this year.

Daylight hours will start to shorten more towards the end of the month (but let’s ignore that for now)

In the garden I’m finding more and more things that can be harvested, the pumpkins are growing rapidly now as well as many other things. Most tomato plants have got fruit on so it’s now up to me to keep them watered and happy. The tiki hut hat will have to go back on soon.

There have been little pockets of rain and mizzle but it’s still extremely dry.


Pockets of sunshine ☀️

Both the greenhouse as the kitchen garden are sprinkled with Calendula flowers. Mostly planted this year (specially the greenhouse) and a lot of self seeded as well. I love everything about calendula and the goals is to get to a point in my gardening to not have to sow them – maybe only for the greenhouse. I haven’t yet, but I will start soon with harvesting the flowers in the morning, ready for drying and infusing almond oil in prep for Calendula cream. (having said that, I still need to make last years batch 🤦‍♀️) Calendula ticks all of my five requirements for a flower in the garden, it’s rather special I think. It’s medicinal, edible, a companion, good for pollinators and you can dye with it! Both for fabrics as use it as a ‘poor man’s saffron’ and colour food. Isn’t that cool?! I’m growing 12 varieties this year and the 5 pictured are; snow princess, sherbet fizz, pacific beauty apricot, oopsy daisy & strawberry blonde. Many more are yet to flowers and I look forward to a basket full of the various colours.


Squash and Melons 🍉

This year I’ve gone big on summer squash, pumpkins, cucumbers, luffa and watermelon! So far I’ve got my first hand pollinated watermelon, have harvested my first patty pan squash with the next 3-4 on the way, the uchiki kuri pumpkins are growing like mad anthe two plants are the first of the four pumpkin plants to reach the top of the tunnel! 🙌🤩 Makes me so happy to see it seems to be working. The Crown Prince pumpkin seems to have been pollinated too and the 3 sister bed is growing like mad! It’s becoming a massive tangle of pumpkin vines, climbing beans and big leafed corn. The sunflowers and hollyhocks in the same bed seem happy too and I’ve already spotted the first flower buds on some of the hollyhock, it’s exciting as mostly those plants wait till the second year to flower (I’ve been lucky so far that they’ve flowered in their first year)


Wild & floppy

The rest of the garden is being left to its own devices and its going proper wild. Among the mess are bright red raspberries, the last few strawberries (severely neglected this year) and the beginnings on blackberries – a plant I had given up on since it never really produced well in previous years. The hedge has taken a hit in the dry weather and I’m going to have to start watering them I think. In happier news, the Queen Anne’s Lace is still going strong in producing masses of flowers but the recent strong winds have blown most of them over. I have made tempura fritters out some of the blooms and they are so tasty! (recipe to follow). I will be making that again for sure as well as venture in making a jelly out of the flowers. They are so surprisingly tasty! Most edible flowers don’t taste of much or are bitter. Not QAL, she’s like a lemony carrot 😋 – so good.

I pulled the garlic a week before the solstice so I could plant up the boxes out front. I think I’m doing them in grow bags this year. The harvest was quite disappointing compared to my first time growing them last year. You win some, you lose some. These will be peeled and I’ll freeze the cloves whole, ready for use as & when.


More but less

Everything is going for it, putting out bright green leaves, colourful blooms, fruits and vines. I love how full everything is starting to look and it also gives me a good idea of what I want from the garden next year. Less of some things (like sowing loads of flowers with dust for seeds – safe to say they’ve all died sadly 😔) and more of others, stick to things I know what to expect from, have space for, know how to handle and what I like eating and looking at. It seems so simple but having virtually no limits on what you can buy for seeds, something even borders seem to be phased by, it becomes increasingly overwhelming.

To want it all and more. Sometimes, less is more.

Happy July!