Sunday 1 July 2012

First day of the month: July 2012

1st July 2012

The front garden has grown up a lot since we last visited it, back at the beginning of May. June was missed as I was on holidays then and when I got back, work rather took over. And the greenery took over too.

In May, the view from the street was becoming lush, but now it is jungle-like.

Street view for passers-by

The Teasels are magnificant, with many side-shoots so lots of flowers and seed heads for the goldfinches. The white campion is also flowering well and the Heleniums in the centre bed amongst the obelisk are at full height and a few of them have started to flower. A few. The thing is, it's all very lush, but also all very GREEN.

The Heleniums have a mass of flower buds, but the lack of sun means not many have been tempted out.Some of the nasturtiums have also started flowering, but many more buds are staying closed.

When the nasturtiums do flower - lovely!

shy tomato plants, but the lettuce (bottom right) is doing well

The tomato plants have grown a little, and are about to form flowers. But unless we get more sun the chance of them turning into edible treats is small.

It's not all gloom and rain. Harvest-wise, I've harvested a couple of kilo's of broad beans and have just another another kilo to pick once they get big enough. I have been picking lettuce for a couple of months, and recently started picking strawberries. In fact it's going to be a good year for strawberries. We have already picked 1.3kg at the allotment, and that's barely touching the fruit that is there. They are a little tart this year, compared to last years super sweetness, and a friend and I have been wondering if this is due to a lack of sun to bring out the sugars?

Pear Beth

Thinking of future crops, I tied in my pears to develop their structure. Pear Beth is now onto it's 2nd espalier row, with Onward a bit behind with it's first.

Pear Onward

The front garden is south-facing garden and I have planted for a hot aspect. I am harvesting some crops, which is pretty good compared to how I've heard some gardeners are doing. And it's good to see that with the strawberries, which are planted under the pears, means I am getting a yield from that space whilst the pears are still growing.

There is room for improvement. I dislike the asphalt path leading to the front door and side of the house (below), but this is a massive job and an expense I cannot currently afford. So I've left along the hollyhocks, cowslips, aquilegias and geraniums that have self-seeded as they help soften the asphalt glare a bit.

View from side of house towards the street

Overall, despite the lack of colour to-date, I'm fairly pleased with the way the front garden is looking this summer. Let's hope the sun returns and the tomatoes and other plants can start to make the most of the south-facing advantage.