The sunshine of late July beckoned us to the woodlands and with it being such a busy month in the garden too, I am a little behind on my garden diary.
I signed off in June with the sight of our onion crop harvested and drying on the raised beds. Soon after, the garlic was gathered up, dried in the open air and plaited. I wove in little handles so that they could be hung up for storage.
Within days, the weather changed and lightning storms were forecast. We eagerly anticipated the rain’s arrival, which would bring an end to the stifling humidity of water-saturated air. Little speckled showers came and went.
Then, one evening, we saw the oncoming storm and headed to the fields to watch. I have never seen such a clear divide between a summer sky and the swirling mass of darkness across the horizon.
It rained for several days and as the dry ground was replenished, we watched our resident snail venture out for a daytime drink at the stream.
The garden itself, which had been on the cusp of a new harvest, suddenly burst into life.
Our first radish crop of the year was followed a few days later, by the season’s first lettuces.
The rhubarb was moved as part of the winter garden re-design and is thriving in its new placement by the stream. As tasty as it looks, I am letting the rhubarb have a year to settle before I start cropping again next year.
After just four weeks, the onion beds were full to bursting with broccoli, courgette and pumpkins plants, all pushing up against the protective bird netting. Last year our courgettes were destroyed by snails before they even grew their first full leaves. This year I kept the seedlings on my kitchen windowsill, then surrounded them with a copper mesh and gravel when I transplanted them into the raised beds. So far, so good.
A peek under the netting revealed newly formed pumpkin buds. It is amazing to think how quickly they will grow between now and October.
Just as we reached the start August, the hollyhocks burst into flower. The little trumpets that announce the height of summer.
The flurry of work is now done. August, for me, is the month of enjoying the garden, of long summer days that merge into beautiful evenings.