in the garden – June 2013

herbs and flowers
herbs and flowers mixed together by the back door

This month I am linking up with Lizzie of Strayed from the Table for The Garden Share Collective.  The aim is to create a community of bloggers who share their vegetable patches, container gardens and the herbs they grow on their window sills.

Where our vegetable garden is situated used to be a very bumpy grassed area, known as The Tennis Court even though tennis hadn’t been played there for twenty years. It seemed unreasonable that this dark and damp place, on the north side of the house, was where the children played while the vegetable garden basked in sunshine on the sunny south side of the house so, we built a new wall across the middle of the tennis court, grassed over the original vegetable garden and started a new vegetable patch. I grow my herbs mixed in with flowers on the sunny south side.

The raised beds, contained by railway sleepers, have made weeding a far more manageable task than the previously daunting prospect of tackling long rows in a large, traditional vegetable bed.

garden plan 2013

Each January, we make a plan for sowing that’s pinned up by the back door. We don’t stick to it rigidly, but at least it’s a guide and when Bill gets busy on the farm and abandons the vegebables, at least I can work out what he’s sown and not hoe them out thinking they’re weeds. Sometimes we even remember to write up the varieties.


runner beans

This spring was wet and cold so we got off to a late start. Experience has taught me that seeds sown into our cold, clay soil never come to much so it’s always better to wait for some spring warmth. Consequently, our runner beans and climbing French beans are still at ground level (and also because pigeons keep pecking the leaves). The theory of tying the canes in the middle is that the beans are more accessible than by using the more traditional tepee like structure, but I’m not sure how well it will work.

successional sowing of beetroot and carrots

Successional sowings of beetroot, carrots, salad crops and sugar snap peas have been made. You can see the different sowing dates of the carrots and beetroot in the photo above.

Runner beans, climbing French beans, lettuce, tomatoes, parsley that were sown in pots under cover have been planted out

swiss chard seedlings, potatoes behind

We sowed chard (above), fennel, dill, runner and climbing beans and in the greenhouse are growing basil next to the tomatoes because I love the smell when I open the greenhouse door in the mornings.

Less successfully, the leeks have germinated very poorly and all but one of the squash  died off. Cold, wet weather coupled with general apathy meant that we also have a few unopened packets of seeds.



We’ve finished cutting asparagus – we generally cut from St George’s Day until Derby Day and then let the asparagus grow up before cutting down in the autumn.

Rhubarb is still growing well but is eaten with rather less enthusiasm than previously.


Gooseberries are almost ready

Cherries are growing under a net (over a cage made with scaffold poles that you can see behind the runner bean bed) and we have a few that are just turning red. We’re hoping that the netting will stop the birds eating more cherries than we do.

next month

We’ll sow more peas and hope to pick the first of the beetroot, carrots and peas together with gooseberries, cherries, raspberries, loganberries, the first of the new potatoes and salad leaves.

tomato plants

I need to remember to water the tomatoes in the greenhouse, keep tying them up and to sideshoot them. This year I’m growing Super Marmande, Golden Sunrise, Ailsa Craig and Gardener’s Delight. There were too many plants for the greenhouse so the surplus were planted in the vegetable garden.

globe artichokesI may harvest the globe artichokes poking up amongst the alchemilla mollis and feverfew or I might just leave them in situ because they look so handsome.

Happy gardening.

26 thoughts on “in the garden – June 2013

  1. Love your blog, haven’t commented before but have been looking in for some time. I am a big garden enthusiast and love your garden photo’s. I am sure your beans will do really well, we all worry too much and plant things out far too early. My beans are now in flower but they were late being planted so don’t despair. Look forward to more garden photo’s. THANK YOU

  2. Gorgeous artichoke pic.
    My beans are the same. I had to sow them three times to get anywhere and I’m convinced it’s the weather. A bit of warmth and the last lot came up no problem. Having raised beds really does make a difference to ease of use.

    1. Glad I’m not the only one who struggles. I sowed the last lot of beans yesterday, though the seeds were way out of date so I’m not convinced they’ll come to anything.

  3. Gorgeous post, Anne! I love that you make a plan – we go out, look at the bed that needs planting, and say, “so what do we have to plant?”. We’ve been quite disorganised of late! Can’t say we’ve ever had much luck with teepees, we now use a homemade A-frame which has chicken wire on one side.

    1. If I’d known in January that I was going to photograph it, I’d have been more careful with my spelling on the plan and wouldn’t have used the back of an envelope.

  4. Your garden is wonderful, so orderly, I can’t wait to do the same to mine. Long rows fighting off the grass is never fun. Those artichokes looks so beautiful no wonder you don’t want to eat them.

  5. Hi Anne, I’m visiting from the collective this morning 🙂 Your garden is looking very productive, its funny to see you growing some of the same things in opposite seasons to me. Cheers, Liz

  6. it’s funny, you like my avocados, and I lust after your gooseberries. I tried to grow them in my garden but it’s just too hot for them. My dad used to grow them in Scotland and mum made gooseberry fool and I would have really liked to to that too!

    1. I must admit that while the rest of the family love gooseberries, I’m not that bothered by them. Of course, if I lived where I couldn’t grow them then I’d want them.

  7. Hi Ann, I’m visiting from the collective and am so pleased to be introduced to your blog, it’s lovely. Beautiful photos, your artichokes look gorgeous with the Alchemilla, I have grown some and am trying to decide where to plant them out, I may have to pinch that idea! I had a peak over at your farm site too, I’m an Essex girl too, I grew up in Tollesbury. We are in Worcestershire now, which I love, but I do miss the sea and the big sky!

    1. Another Essex girl! Welcome back to Essex. The artichokes and alchemilla were a happy accident as the alchemilla has self seeded everywhere and I love the way the water collects on the leaves so much that I’m loathe to ever pull it out.

  8. Your garden looks wonderful Anne, love that photo of the artichokes, lady’s mantle and feverfew. I’m just getting some asparagus growing, have a long wait, so have plant envy looking at yours – and I do like the idea of tying the bean canes in the middle.

  9. Love your garden Anne, I wish mine were so orderly and productive. We struggle with clay soil too, but you seem to be managing much better than we are. Your raised beds are wonderful; I have admired the view from your kitchen window in previous posts 🙂

    1. The raised beds mean we can put lots of compost in and lighten our soil a bit. Looking over the vegetable garden from the kitchen window is a great incentive to keep it orderly!

  10. I love looking at vegetables that we cannot even contemplate planting for fear of failure!!! That artichoke is indeed a work of art. I may just flash your plan towards my husband – he keeps making noises of making note of what is planted where….

  11. Your gooseberries, elderflowers, flowers and all green goodies are delightful. We hear a lot about elderflowers from your region, they are certainly beautiful. What a lovely garden you have, so neat and orderly. Cheers Merryn@merrynsmenu

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