Friday, 4 July 2008

Summer is here

It's what we all wait for, as gardeners. The time when the borders go mad, and flowers, fruit, vegetables, are growing at a rate we can sometimes hardly keep up with.

The rocket (arugula) has bolted. Well, I had a few bags of it in the meantime, so I shall pull it up (it gets bitter if you don't eat it before bolting) but it's difficult sometimes to incorporate rocket into everything, as it has a peppery taste, not to everyone's liking. I shall use the last bag I have, before I plant some more, to make a lovely risotto (with saffron and tomato. Yum).

The lettuce is so close to bolting I need to cut and cut and wash and dry - no big problem, because it is so beautiful and I shall offer some around the building, to those upstairs and even my friends at work! Planting, growing, sharing, what could be better?

Oh, and the potatoes are flowering too!

Apart from the stunning vegetables, the border is truly beautiful (even though the soil still distresses me). I could spend hours just sitting and watching. If I had hours to spend, sitting and watching and doing, I would. But mostly, when I come home from work, I prowl the sides, then I prowl the lawn, then if I'm feeling hearty I prowl the back mess (border) and think. But really, what bliss.

Then I have a sit and just look, smell, and look.

Heaven, eh?

Speaking of tomatoes, the winner so far in the tomato stakes, is the Marmande, in the middle. It's the tallest and most robust of the lot, and putting out lots of flowers.

But then, you might think the one to the right isn't looking all that hearty - I think so too - but it does actually have a tomato forming!! Wow! That one is the Beefsteak. Maybe it's shorter and stockier, in order to produce those big, round, fat, juicy, red tomatoes. Mmm.

Tonight when I got home I did do something practical - I'd tied up the tomatoes, again, and then watered them (little and often, remember!). It is a nice summer, better than last year I think, but still not the hot, sunny summer of the Midwest - still, musn't grumble. We have had a lovely week, with some short sharp showers on and off (well, of course, it is Wimbledon fortnight so what else can one expect?). But nothing that I feel really waters the garden. And so even though it might rain tomorrow, I have put the sprinkler over the vegetable patch for a short but thorough soaking.

And then I sat, and inhaled, again.


And a Hearty, Happy Fourth of July to my American readers!

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