Wednesday, 20 July 2011

July Garden

Once again it's raining.
A typically English summer.

Cornflowers grown from seed

A fuschia already here when we moved in



a waterlily - only a few flowering now 

Nicotiana grown from seed

Cosmos grown from seed by my sister in law

The vegetable garden is benefitting from all the rain even if we are not

We have been harvesting lots of courgettes, which taste so incredibly different from those in the supermarket, so much sweeter and tastier.

One sneakily managed to achieve small marrow size before I spotted it - just a few days not checking, and this is what I found.......

The sweetcorn is growing tall, and now half of them have both silks and tassells - fingers crossed that they pollinate (I must confess to giving them a helping hand - I wonder whether it will work?)

The tomatoes are very slowly getting there - we've had lots of flowers for several months, and a few tomatoes are coming, but despite spraying the flowers to help them set and keeping the sideshoots pinched out, it seems to be very slow - I wonder whether we shall run out of time and end up with pots of green tomato chutney as opposed to red tomatoes for eating.

The greenhouse tomato plants aren't significantly more advanced than the outside ones in terms of number and size of actual tomatoes, but the plants are definitely taller and more vigorous.

Baby cucumbers from bought in plants, one planted in a grow bag and one direct into the ground - the growbag plant is more vigorous and has loads more baby cucumbers and flowers - its all a learning process

The first broad beans are ready, so we should taste those this week

The dwarf beans are just about big enough too, so later this week we should be eating those

More climbing french beans - the first ones have already been enjoyed

The grape vine along the back wall of the house is prolific, and has many bunches of grapes. I need to read up on what to do!

Last year, having just moved in, I did nothing to them and yet still had an incredible amount of ripened black grapes which I made into Grape Jelly. This turned out to be very good indeed.

The honeysuckle over the arch continues to bloom and smells wonderful as you walk under, and on a (rare)warm summers evening the fragrance reaches the terrace where we sit

The nasturtiums I grew from seed have gone rampant in the vegetable plot, keeping the black fly at bay


Haven't yet taken any pictures of whats happening in the front garden - maybe tomorrow if the weather improves, but I think more rain is forecast. 

Edited 21st July to add a few more pics:

The first dwarf beans picked this morning - surprisingly I think there are actually enough for a meal!

I grew so many tomato and pepper plants I had to resort to putting some in hanging baskets!
But they seem to be doing alright.

sweet pepper plant with tiny peppers forming

baby peppers on hanging basket plant

baby tomato on plant in hanging basket

And yes, it is lightly raining again here this morning!

Hope the weather is better where you are!


Don't forget to enter my Giveaway on the 11th July post - ends 31st July!!!



  1. Hello Gill:
    Your description, and pictures too, of all the good thing in your kitchen garden is making us yearn for all those wonderful, and seemingly very English, vegetables: beans [and particularly young broad beans], courgettes, and sweetcorn - all favourites of ours. As for Grape Jelly, it sounds absolutely delicious and rather Regency. Is it simple to make?

    But, in defence of all things Hungarian, the tomatoes, whether from the market or to be found in the local CBA [state run food shop], are, we consider, the best tasting of any anywhere. And always as good. Most likely the climate is well suited to growing them.

  2. Hello Jane and Lance
    Thanks for your comments!
    The grape jelly is straightforward if a little time consuming and fiddly due to having to strain the fruit through a jelly bag overnight, but like most things in life the effort is well worth the end result!
    I will try to post the recipe if I can find it!
    The Hungarian tomatoes sound wonderful - am rather envious!

  3. Gilly, Your garden is so lovely! I love the wonderfully scented honeysuckle. And the nasturtiums mixed in the vegetable plot.

  4. Hi Gilly and Logan....loved the garden tour...everything looks great...

    are you enjoying the summer ?
    teddy and i have been out in the garden watering this morning...he loves it so much !!!

    sending love,
    kary and teddy

  5. Hi Gill, am loving your grapevine! So productive as well. That's another one added to the 'things to grow when we have a smallholding' list...

  6. ah I feel better for that spectacular splash of colour! You really do have green fingers. I hope you don't mind but I gave your giveaway a shout out on my blog.

  7. What an amazing garden! My black thumbs won't allow us the luxury of our own fresh produce, unfortunately. I'll keep my fingers crossed that your tomatoes get their acts together as there's nothing quite like a vine-ripened tomato. The flowers are gorgeous as well. You certainly have a talent for nurturing things!

  8. It is looking really good! Your hard work is certainly bearing fruit

  9. What beautiful flowers and yummy vegetables!

  10. Your garden is so prolific! Hope you manage to get a good harvest on all your edibles and all the hard work pays off.
    Lisa x

  11. The pleasures of 'An English Country Garden'! Your photographs are fantastic and some of those blues (true blue flowers are so very hard to find, don't you think?) are stunning.

    Rest assured here in the Loire Valley we are having PLENTY of rain too.

  12. Your garden looks fantastic, even with the rain! Looks like you're going to have a great harvest! Have a wonderful week!


  13. Your garden is looking beautiful. It's nice to see all of your vegies as it's so cold here. I have just started germinating my peas and broad beans and am looking forward to warmer months so I can get many of the vegies you have growing in my garden too :)

  14. Your garden looks lovely. Your lucky to have tomotes i still only have lots of flowers on my plants last year i ended up making green tomatoe and apple chutney and it was lovely. dee x

  15. You're doing really well with all your veggies. Despite many flowers, both male and female, on my courgettes I haven't yet had a fruit reach maturity. Your beans are also ahead of mine, only just starting to flower here. Your tomatoes are at about the same stage as mine though, and they do usually all ripen before the end of summer. I hope we get some more decent weather though to help them along. I love your posy at the start of the post, simple garden flowers look so pretty.

  16. What profusion - there is nothing better than the harvest is there.... I do agree about courgettes, oh and beans, oh and nastutiums in salad, love the orange green combo!

    Sarah x

  17. Your flowers and vegetables look wonderful, Gill and so do your gorgeous photos of them! I love cornflowers and that intense blue is one of my favourites. Hope the sunshine comes back to your lovely garden this weekend.
    Helen x

  18. WoW! Your garden is just a riot of colour and how lovely to have all those nice veggies fresh from the soil.All the heavy rain has flattened my petunias..I'm hoping the Summer will return in August,so we can make the most of our garden after all our hardwork.Hope you have a lovely weekend. :0)

  19. That's it! What with your beautiful kitchen, lovely own room for crafts, and the most gorgeous, productive, beautiful garden...I'm definately moving in ;o)

    Love this post Gill, so beautiful. Your photographs are gorgeous, and it's good to see you getting on with your new camera.

    Take care and have a great weekend,
    Donna x

  20. Hi Gill,
    Your garden is doing so well, productive and beautiful! I am very envious of your lovely hydrangeas, I am not sure mine are even going to flower this year, they seemed to have a taken a real hammering in the cold winter, I love them in a vase too.
    My peas and beans are a bit behind yours but coming along nicely.
    Your grapevine is magnificent, I have thought about trying one but it would probably have to grow inside.x

  21. Hi Gill

    What a profusion of colour indeed. Just wonderful, your garden must be keeping you extremely busy. Those grapes look fab, do they mind the constant rain? I somehow imagined they may not, due to mould forming. Nonetheless, your grape jelly sounds interesting. Any chance you could post the recipe? My courgettes have been really slow to get going this year, only got flowers in the last couple of days. Blooming miserable here in Wiltshire again today, hard to believe it's July! Have a good day. Lesley x

  22. Hi Gill,

    Wow, I am impressed by the amount of flowers and vegetables you have in your garden and it all looks so good. I wish I could come over and have a look! My tomatoes are still green as well. I hope the sun will appear soon to make them red. I never had beans before. Are they easy to grow?

    Happy evening,

    Madelief x

  23. Beautiful photographs, beautiful garden. Thanks for the pictures.
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  24. It's all a perfect Eden Gilly!!! So wonderful...and your shots are the bee on the lavender and the honeysuckle, very frameworthy!!
    We still don't have summer's all been a tease up to now, but they say it should be here tomorrow! We'll see about that...I'm so ready!
    xo J~

  25. My heavens, you obviously live in Eden. :) Thanks for all the lovely "garden porn"; just magnificent,

  26. Wow your garden goodies are amazing! Don't you just love how an innocent courgette/zucchini turns into a whopper overnight. They are amazing. Can't wait to plant a load of these in a few months time when summer arrives. Have a lovely weekend!

  27. Hi Gill, what lovely photos, especially the beautiful cornflower, and the action shot of the bee on the lavender! I'm so impressed with all your vegetables too. You'll all be so healthy.
    PS Don't want to jinx it, but the sun is shining!!!!!!!!!
    Jane x

  28. Gosh you won't need to buy much in the way of veg at all in your houe! Fantastic! I love the tumbling peppers and tomatoes. Linda x


Thanks for visiting and for taking the time to leave a comment - I love to read them!
Gill x