Lucy’s Garden Journal – June
21 Jun 2021
I’m not quite sure how we’re past June’s mid-way point already, but here we are, and I seem to have spent a lot of it watering the garden and reaping what I’d sewn. All my dahlias are in the ground, I’ve had my first lettuce of the season, and my flowers seem ever-so happy as I snip away to bring them indoors. A busy month, but a lovely one so far.
Though, before I jump in with photos and notes (do visit us on Instagram and tap the Homegrown highlight to see my photo diary in full), has anybody else suffered with lily beatles? I planted my first ones, and my mum warned me against doing so because of the beatles that would follow, and sure enough they have, in droves. Mine are riddled with the things and so it’ll be interesting to see if any survive without being munched…
Looking back to the start of June, I had a job taking down the last of my autumn brassicas. I was drastically running out of room in my companion planted beds as I’ve gone a little floral heavy, leaving very little room for all my vegetables. My Kale Black Magic was past eating anyway. It had become purely ornamental so it was time to bid it a fond farewell.
With the kale gone, it made way for my cucumbers and courgettes. I’ve done yellow and green like last year but have introduced a new character to the mix too – Cucumber Crystal Lemon. A lady at our local WI grew it last year and I thought it was delicious; it’s the circular, yellow sort. All of these I’ve grown from seed and am very excited to see them come good – hopefully.
That means my greenhouse is now largely empty other than for my tomatoes, which are very happy so long as they get their daily watering. I’m trying mini watermelons too, so they remain in the greenhouse, keeping warm. It’s another favourite of Alma’s – she’s already demolished all of the Alpine Strawberries I told you about back in April, so they better grow quickly!
Last month I wrote about being on allium watch too so I thought I’d show you a few that have started to come out. I’ve no idea how to pronounce allium nectaroscordum but it’s a lovely character that’s added sporadic height to our front pots – it’s the pink-coloured one in the bottom corner.
June has also seen the biggest floral I’ve ever grown (by far) in all its glory – the Himalayan foxtail lily. It’s taller than me! Amazingly, it’s self-supportive, but it won’t last too long and is starting to turn. The bees love it (as you can see from the photo) and anything that makes them happy makes me happy.
I’ve loved seeing all of my Aquilegia come out this month too. It’s such a nostalgic one for me; my grandma used to have so many varieties as it’s so simple to care for. It’s these multilayered species from the Barlow family that I’ve enjoyed growing the most. I always think they look a little like ice cream. They’re a lovely one to bring into the house. I did a bunch in the bedroom when my sister came to stay.
What with all of the sun and rain, sun and rain we had at the end of May and start of June, my crab apples have really come on. Eventually, as the espalier crab apple progresses, the bamboo frame will be removed and it’ll be on a more discreet wire.
I’ve talked about my Grace Alexander sweet peas a great deal as they were a well received gift from the R&W team last year. I sowed them indoors back in November and I’m just beginning to see the first signs of florals now. I particularly can’t wait to see the first Earl Grey variety in bloom. There’s a few jobs to do with sweet peas I’ve learnt. Rather than letting them grow where they want, it’s important to tie them in; it makes them more vase-worthy. The other thing I do with them is snip the tendrils. I love the look of them but I was told if you cut them, all the strength goes into the flower. I had such a great harvest last year that I’m just repeating what I learnt. The more you cut, the more you grow too, and seeing as they’re one of my favourites to have in the house, I’m out there snipping all the time!
The final photo I took one June evening following a heavy shower is that central one in the bottom row. Once it cleared and I headed up to check on things, it felt so incredibly calming. It’s hard to summarise really. Everything felt so fresh and like the garden was singing. It’s my favourite time to be here, when Alma has gone to bed and before I log back on for a little longer. I’ll have a tea in hand (wine ideally, but tea is a compromise) and love to hear everyone at the local pub chattering and laughing away. Glorious.