This is not a description of my garden not my home-made biscuits. So I am going to whisper this we’ve hardly had any rain for almost 3 months. I’m not sure what constitutes a drought, but my garden and the surrounding machair are parched. Now I know people on the big island have a surfeit of the natural wet stuff, but please can you share just a little, my plants need more than 5mm a month!
In the vegetable garden it is impossible to get carrot seed to germinate and the peas and beans are really suffering. Perversely brassicas are doing well and I’m about to harvest the first cauliflowers, small but perfectly formed, and some impressive Chinese cabbage. I’m still nurturing my tomatoes and I’ve just about got the aphids under control. Although we have plenty of sunshine, the nights are cold, consequently the growth rate is slow. The first tiny green fruits have appeared on the tomatoes, peppers and mini cucumbers, so if you don’t mind I’d like to keep the sunshine a little longer.
In the cottage garden, my grass patch (by no stretch of the imagination could it be called a lawn) is very brown and crispy and has just signed its own execution warrant. I have plans but as yet no vision!
It has been a struggle to keep the new plants alive and there have been casualties. Predictably it is our good old native plants and their selected progeny which are the survivors. Vipers bugloss (Echium vulgare), sea holly (Eryngium maritimum), sea poppy (Glaucium flavum), achillea, wild marjoram (Origanum vulgare) and meadow clary (Salvia pratensis) are the backbone of my borders in June and July aided and abetted by some immigrants – knipofias, assorted alliums and galtonias. So within the haze of blue there is the odd strident splash of orange!
However the best is yet to come – do I harvest the buds or do I resist the temptation to eat baby artichokes and let them flower?