It is a busy time in the garden and we are starting to get some return for the effort put in. I dug up some early potatoes which are a welcome edition. They were showing signs of blight and should have been in the ground a bit longer but rather than spray I just dug them up as they were earlies the main crop seem to be fine and healthy.
The broad beans have started producing as well and there is a fine crop. I planted a dwarf version this year and they seem to be cropping as well as the regular ones. I love broad beans just slightly cooked in a knob of butter, I don’t think the rest of the family appreciate them as much as I do so I get to enjoy them more myself.
Both the garlic and the shallots are nearly ready for picking and I hope to make quite a few jars of pickled onions this year one of my favourite treats but the pickle has to be just right and James and I intend to get the recipe right this year.
Kate and Suki made a lovely rhubarb crumble this week and the plants are looking very well on the old compost heap. They are sharing the space with a couple of courgette plants and we had a few of them in with the rocket pesto that Kate makes and I adore. Kate was also making focaccia nothing quite like freshly baked bread from the oven.
Kate made a batch of bread, pesto and elderflower cordial last Sunday when we went over to Tim’s place near Bantry from his annual rounders match. We didn’t get to go last year so made a special effort this year. He used to be a bee keeper but can turn his hand to most things. He has a youtube blog called way out west which I find very entertaining and would definitely recommend I’m playing volleyball in his latest!
I’ve been picking the raspberries from the secret garden, they don’t manage to make their way into the house as I eat them as I pick, I love raspberries. The blackcurrants have also started to ripen and the mistle thrush and her offspring have been helping themselves. Thankfully we grow so many blackcurrant bushes we can afford to let the birds help themselves. I hope to make some cordial when we have a few more collected.
There is some good colour in the garden at the moment the main square bed has pinks, snapdragons, geum and a few others flowering and the dahlias have started flowering in the old veg bed. James’s rose has a stunning show of flowers on it this year and seems to have benefitted from a good load of horse muck earlier on in the year. The pink and purple buddleias are flowering but I haven’t seen that many butterflies yet. It is very windy today so maybe when the wind drops and the air warms up we might get some more winged visitors. I have a large bed of candytuft and Californian poppies in the big field and I have been planting out some of the thinning around the rest of the garden. I am hoping to establish a few flower beds in the big field even though I don’t really have suitable shelter so i am just planting out annuals at the moment.
The iris down by the stream is producing some lovely flowers but like the foxgloves by the stream the wind is not helping much, I will have to consider making some kind of wind break if I am going to establish anything of similar height.
The internet and phone reception has been out for nearly a week now so I don’t know when I will get to post this on my blog. I am quite enjoying the change but it is proving very awkward for trying to arrange work schedules for the kids. Yesterday Suki finally joined the rest of us on our summer holidays as she finished school. We were talking about projects for the summer and her three main tasks are to climb the mountain to the east of us, to take a boat out to Sherkin Island, just off the south coast from here and to do some fishing down the road off the pier. They all sound doable and as James also fancies doing some fishing as well that sounds like a good plan.
One of my plans is to finish off the painting on the barn wall, just need to get some more green and yellow paint and have a nice sunny day.