Lavender tends to get over-watered here in the garden and ends up leggy and loose and then outgrows the space. It’s now re-planted in full sun in window boxes on the two balconies outside the sitting room windows. Centranthus ruber ‘Alba’ a perennial plant that tolerates drought and relies on nothing more than rain water to thrive is in the mix too.
A row of 3 m high Hydrangea aspera villosa are towering over the garden shed with a huge evergreen bay tree forming the backdrop. It’s lovely and will flower for weeks and I’ll save the flowers to spray silver for Christmas decorations.
Other hydrangeas are in bloom as the garden enters mid-summer. This is H. Madame Emile Mouillere which looks great in the bed but also makes a fabulous cut flower.
On the allotment the last sowing of beetroot has been made and lots of dwarf French beans sown directly in the ground. I never have huge success with this crop but I’m trying again and have put lots of spent coffee grounds over the bed to deter slugs. Strangely they ignore beetroot, flat-leaf parsley and fennel all sown directly in the ground and the emerging young leaves never get touched.
The Rainbow chard and Ruby chard is flowering so it’s been cut hard back to re-sprout and a new row of Swiss chard seeds sown to get more leaves in Autumn. This was it at its peak about six weeks ago.
Curly Kale is looking good and will stand in for leaves whilst the chard re-grows and there’s lots of summer Brocolli ‘Marathon’ producing florets now. Here it is steamed for 2 minutes and griddled for 5 minutes before adding to char-grilled courgettes in a salad dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, soya sauce, garlic and honey.
I wouldn’t normally pick Verbena bonariensis in quantity but I needed to move a few clumps when it grew to tall for the bed. Inevitably since it was 1.80 cm the brittle stems broke so I cut back Stipa tenuissima and alliums to put with it and it’s a meadow in a vase.