By Nick Condron
As we welcome June and the start of summer, the incredible hard work of our team has really got our garden looking its best and overflowing with all sorts of interesting plants to appreciate and intriguing corners to explore.
Our smaller polytunnel is transforming into a West African-style vegetable garden, with our dried gourds of yesteryear decoratively suspended above. The extra warmth is ideal for growing the okra, peppers, aubergines and climbing Malabar spinach that have been planted on either side of the central path. We’ve also planted up some extra deep containers with Nigerian honey beans, and have some recently germinated peanut plants ready to go in. It promises to provide us with some delicious and nutritious ingredients for our soups and stews.
Beyond these vegetables, at the far end, we’ve created a thriving dry succulent garden consisting of the varieties we sell as pot plants on open days. Here, they’ve begun to intermingle and, as they flower, create the effect of an enchanting desert landscape in miniature, befitting the heat.
Just outside the polytunnel we’ve planted an orange canoe, vertically in the ground, to create an eye-catching sculpture with a difference. Whilst nearby, the sculpted dead hedge that we made in the winter has now integrated into its surroundings, and is providing hiding places and nesting habitats for all sorts of creatures, as well as food for insects.
In the vegetable beds, our fava beans are in full bloom ahead of a bumper crop and our runner beans have been planted beside their kindly donated, metal mesh panel supports. Beside a bed of young beetroot seedlings we’ve planted out our everlasting flowers, helichrysum and statice, which will be dried at the end of the season to be included in decorations for autumn and Christmas.
The sweet peas that went in a few weeks ago have grown really well and are already halfway up their support frame. Nearby, our imperial dahlia is racing towards the sky against the sunflowers planted around it.
We’re also planting up the wooden box containers that are mounted up on the green railings around our pizza hut. The colour scheme is bright green, purple and white, and the planting will include golden creeping Jenny, variegated spider plants, purple heart tradescantia and white pelargoniums. It should be quite a show!
So, a great deal going on and much more to look forward to. If you’d like to take a look around for yourself, you’ll be most welcome to join us for our National Garden Scheme Open Day on Saturday 1st July, 2-5pm. Plenty of tea, cake, and other homemade refreshments will be available and it promises to be a great afternoon.