It seems like ages since I last ‘sixed’ so it’s lovely to be dipping in and catching up on what everyone is up to in their gardens again. Unlike much of Europe, we haven’t been struggling with soaring temperatures or drought conditions here. In fact, unbelievable though it might sound for Spain, we rarely do; things bob along nicely in the mid-twenties with a good drop of rain every few days, the sun is warm and humidity high so everything is growing like stink. It’s that time of year where I’m happy to surrender any pretence at having the garden under control and just pootle about foraging vast quantities of veg for dinner and sniffing the flowers. Someone has to do it.
After much teasing, agapanthus ‘Northern Star’ has finally burst into a mass of blue gorgeousness. They are all pot grown and yet another year has passed where I’ve failed to get some into the ground; maybe one day, but for now I’m enjoying them every bit as much as the bumble bees.
The cucumbers have been unusually lacking in enthusiasm this year and we are normally snowed under with them by now so it’s good to see ‘Marketmore 76’ getting its act together at last.
No such lack of enthusiasm in the polytunnel. We re-covered it earlier this year as the original polythene was, quite honestly, complete and utter rubbish and had shredded in the winter storms to create a giant sieve. What a difference it’s made: the path has disappeared in the jungle of basil, the aubergines are setting fruit like there’s no tomorrow and we have more peppers and chillies than we know what to do with. There’s also cumin lurking in there somewhere . . . and possibly a feral sloth, too.
This is the time of year where the squash start heading off down the mountainside and there’s nothing to do but give them free rein and assess the damage in October. Despite having ample space on their custom-built terraces, they’ve already started involving themselves with each other as expertly demonstrated by ‘Speckled Hound’ and ‘Butterfly’ below.
I’ve been doing a lot of experimentation with green manure this year and so far, I’m a huge fan. Buckwheat grows very quickly and I’ve been sprinkling it about all over the place to dig in, also leaving some patches to flower (bees and hoverflies love it) and one patch to set seed – something many people warn against but I’m a lover of self-setters (the lemon balm, hollyhock and nasturtiums in the photo bear testament to that) so I’m happy to let it go. Anything’s better than weeds.
Quite how I can be in my fourth summer here and have previously completely missed the fact that we have a rather exotic beauty under the white hibiscus is anybody’s guess. I think it’s an angel’s trumpet (brugmansia) rather than datura but I’d be happy for an expert opinion on that one. Whichever, it’s putting on quite a show. Here’s to more startling discoveries in the future!
Time now to pop over to https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/ and see what other gardeners have been up to this week. 🙂