2 Jul 2009

The best thing about summer . . .

. . . when we get one that is, is getting out in the garden and using it as an extension of the house.

The hot weather lately has made me thankful that I work from home, the house is relatively cool as we don’t get much sun direct into rooms and the thick stone walls of our old cottage ensure that the house stays relatively cool.

I love being able to work with the door to the garden open and my habit is to perch on a bench by the back door frequently during the day as I work, as it remains in shade until about 3pm and is right in the path of any breeze we get.

Please click any of the photos for a larger view.

The hot weather has brought the garden on in leaps and bounds in the last couple of weeks and going outside to peg some washing out just now, I was surprised at how much difference there was since yesterday morning. I’ve been watching the progress of some fuchsia buds about to open – a week ago they appeared as little cream/green bulges and they fattened and the colour developed as the days have passed. When I watered the garden last night, they were still all buds and this morning, several have already opened.

Please click on the photos for a better view – they look rather dark and fuzzy here on the page.

My favourite fruit is raspberries, so having a very limited garden, all of which is grown in pots, I have treated myself to a few pots of canes – in fact the very first one was a Christmas present from my husband – at which time, it was a black plastic bag of earth with a few sticks protruding.

They haven’t done so well over the last two summers and I cut a lot of them down to nothing and bought new ones too. I think perhaps that was more to do with the quality of the weather than the quality of the plants as they’ve thrived this year and as you can see, the fruit is plentiful and large.

I wonder how long those will last in the fridge today?

I am also trying growing tomatoes this year – two varieties – to see how they do. I have a decent showing of flowers and now some green tomatoes of various sizes;

A friend visited a couple of summers ago on a nice day and I suggested we take our drinks in the garden. His comment; “I knew you said you had a small garden, but I didn’t think it was this small!” It always irritates me when gardening programmes offer ideas for small gardens and modest budgets, both of which are usually substantially bigger than my own understanding of small.

Despite our circumstances not allowing us to spend much on the garden this year and the plans to develop one end of it to be scrapped for now, I think we made the tiny budget (£25 – not the £15K that Chelsea designated a modest budget for a garden) give quite a good showing by making the best of what we had and planting new things carefully in between.

Some of my favourite things didn’t even cost money. In the photograph above, there is a piece of driftwood. We found that recently propped against a wall in our favourite car park alongside Thirlmere in the Lake District. By it’s smoothness, it has been bobbing about in the lake for a while and someone either retrieved it for themselves but subsequently decided not to take it, or a it had been thrown for a dog. But we decided if they didn’t want it, we’d give it a home. I have lots of such pieces of driftwood in the garden – I love the lovely sculpture mother nature gives us to enjoy.

5 thoughts on “The best thing about summer . . .

  1. as they’re all in pots, give them a little liquid feed in the water every so often and they will really thank you for it :)

  2. Thank you. I especially love the more blousey double fuchsias – you get so much colour with them. The best value I’ve had was a tray of 10 tiny plants for £3.99 – with BOGOF – so I got 20 fuchsia plants for 4 quid. I wish I’d got more now.

    They’re now about the size the others were when I paid £1.49 each at the garden centre, so in a couple of weeks, those should flower too – they’re growing vigorously and look strong.

  3. what a lovely garden! it is like a wonderful garden room off the cottage – what a bonus. i love the fuschia pics too; i always think of them as such good ‘value for money’ plants because they just flower their hearts out for so long :)

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