Our garden: August 2014

We’ve reached the point we’ve been waiting for since the beginning of the year – eating our hard work. We are regularly tucking into salad, herbs and dwarf beans with the rest not far behind. The birds have disappeared (anyone else noticed this?) and have been replaced by new living things – mainly caterpillars and aphids. The front is looking great but in desperate need of some proper rain rather than the sort that just gives you frizzy hair.

Yellow wild flowers

We ate our first homegrown tomato this week. It was from the yellow cherry tomato plant we picked up for 50p at a garden centre closing down sale. Scott’s family came over for dinner (for a whole meal, not just to sample the tomato) and I cut it into 4 so we all tasted the first one of the season 🙂

Yellow cherry tomato

The runner beans are growing tall and have out-grown the fence. The bees like them and if these flowers didn’t produce beans I’d pick them to put in the house, they’re so bright.

Runner bean flowers against sky

It has been a week of pests. Some greedy little slug(s) has munched not one, but four of the big plum tomatoes. I was pretty cross and uttered something that rhymed with brother trucker. My neighbour probably thinks I have Tourettes.

Slug bite in tomato

And while we’re on the subject of pests, a plague of cabbage moth caterpillars has descended on the kale. I’ve been pretty hot on removing the eggs but I obviously didn’t get all of them. The green ones are from the curly kale and I found nearly 40 in 2 days. The beast on the left is what has been eating the kale nero. After being outsmarted by a caterpillar for a couple of weeks, I got him at last.

Green caterpillars in pot

We were given a few chilli plants and I thought they were all the same type until I spotted these purple ones. I’m not sure what type they are or if they will stay purple, but they are nice to look at for now.

Purple chillies

The hyssop is flowering and surprisingly is blue and white – I’ve only ever seen it in one colour before. If you are looking for plants to attract bees add hyssop to your list, they love it.

White and blue hyssop

The flowers on this Painted Sage are actually coloured leaves rather than normal flowers with petals. I picked it up at the Farmers’ Market but have never seen it for sale anywhere else.

Purple flowering sage

I’m still getting lots of flowers from the garden each week.

Mixed flower posie

The sweet peas are setting pods. I’ve been removing them and cutting plenty of flowers to try and encourage it to continue flowering for a bit longer. I picked all of these in one evening. I don’t want sweet pea season to end 🙁

Pale purple and white sweet peas

Next time I blog about the garden I should have some runner beans to show you and hopefully a tomato or two. I’ll be happy if we get a few ripe ones but if we don’t, green tomatoes make fantastic chutney. We win either way.

27 Comments

  1. Oh, I don’t want sweet pea season to end either! Yours look bountiful. You’re right about the birds, and yes, we’ve plenty of caterpillars and aphids now. Glad you’re enjoying the fruits of your labour 🙂

    • We’ve got two sweet peas – one has gone berserk and the other has only produced a few flowers. I suppose it won’t be too much longer and the birds will be back to draining the feeder 🙂

  2. oh Gemma how wonderful to be eating out of your garden!! beware of tomato hornworms, they will devour a whole plant! and i know all about frizzy hair…

    • After you saying that I’ve been out and had a look. I don’t think it’s a hornworm but I did find a couple of other caterpillars. Thanks for the tip!

    • Ours are nearly done but I am ferociously deadheading to try and tease the last bit of life out of them 🙂

  3. I’ve decided to try sweet peas next year because I just love the colours and smells. Yours look great. And I share your feelings about garden pests too 🙂

    • Do, they’re lovely! I had two this year but I’m tempted to buy a few more and put them in larger pots next year.

  4. Now I know this is out of character for me but that purple chilli looks like a Vampire variety – I saw some on Victorias blog last week. I can’t quite believe I knew something garden related!

    Loving the hyssop – and the sweet peas naturally. Nomz on the ‘mato, we had our first one this week too and loved it, the others have followed suit and all seem to be turning colour at last *huzzah*

    Thanks for joining in again by trucker-swearing friend! x

    • Haha! You know lots of gardening related *things*. I saw them in her blog too, didn’t realise I have purple ones at the time because they were only just flowering. Glad to hear your tomatoes are ripening, our are being really slow. Maybe I should go out and sing (squalk) to them!

  5. Gemma, you have such a lovely garden. That caterpillar is by far the biggest one I have ever seen! Beautiful photos. x

    • Same here! Felt a bit ‘erk’ when I saw it. Doesn’t look very nice either, not like the plump green ones.

  6. Oh wow, I utterly love the flowers, just beautiful. I am determined to grow more for cut flowers in the house next year. Those sweet peas are to die for, I love the colours x Congrats on all the bountiful goodies from the garden – and I can certainly sympathise with the brother tucking pests, as I have had to pull up all my Brassicas 🙁 Definitely putting netting over them next year! Love the purple chili too! Interested to hear how it eats 🙂 x

    • Thanks Emma! I want to plant more cut flowers next year – including extra sweet peas! Sorry to hear about your Brassicas 🙁 I’ll keep my fingers crossed for next year.

  7. Lovely update! Your garden isn’t dissimilar to ours, what with your tomatoes, runner beans and pest problem! I adore sweet peas- they are on my list of flowers to add to the garden over the next year, although I’m not sure whether or not there is a good time to plant them?

    • Hi Becky, I think I planted mine mid to late Spring – but they were young plants. Seed can be sown October to March.

  8. So lovely to be able to be eating from your garden, love the look of that little cherry tomato 🙂 Your cut flowers are beautiful, I adore sweet peas. #HDYGG

  9. Sooo pretty. I love the cut flowers and sweet peas, our sweet peas are over as we went away and forgot to water them (damn) Love the tiny tomato

    • Ours are nearly done too but I’m trying to keep them going for a bit longer!

  10. The deer don’t leave enough produce for the cabbage moths to be a problem here…

    I’m going to see about some hyssop and painted sage. I have a lot of red/yellow/orange/pink going on, so I’m always looking for something that’s more toward blue to balance things out a little. 🙂

    Stopping in from How Does Your Garden Grow!

    • I’m the opposite, hadn’t realised how many blue and purple plants we had, now balancing it out with yellows and oranges. Cheeky deer!

  11. Those sweetpeas are just gorgeous! Actually all the flowers are rather lovely, I shall have a look in to the two you recommend, I feel we need to add some extra colour!
    I too have noticed many of the birds have left us although we seem to have a new gang of sparrows visiting us, and urgh the slugs and snails just wont quit.

    • There are a lot of slugs about this year. I think we’ve got caterpillars worse than slugs. I’m trying to contain the aphids to the front garden :-/ Good luck with the sweet peas!

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