Wednesday, 5 August 2009

barbecue summer

Phlox, snaps, achilleas, gypsophila, bupleurum, amaranths, clarkia, veronica, alliums, catanache, scabious, rudbeckias, crocosmias, sanguisorbas, sweet williams, ammis, cornflowers, dahlias, eryngiums, cosmos, persicaria, solidagos, asters, veronicastrums, monardas, campanulas, heleniums, nicotiana, calendulas, scabious, daisies..... So many lovely flowers, so much rain, so many bowed wet heads. Last summer was wet. The summer before was wet. I could really do with a bit of dry weather, please! It is a little disheartening because it is difficult to pick. When flowers are saturated they won't last. I grow a number of very large headed phlox maculata varieties, these have suffered badly as the heads are heavy, even the tough achilleas are rather bashed about, but I think this is more the wind than the rain. I must have the latest cosmos in Britain, but if we get some sun I'll have it very late this year

So yesterday, rather than watching the downpours, we - me and my current WWOOFer Pat who's helping this week - took time out to go to a nursery and fantasise about sunny futures in gardens full of lovely things. I stocked up on some shrubs for foliage. I wouldn't normally even consider buying these at this time of year but the Dingle wholesale nursery is very reliable so plants are cared for well in their pots, and the ground is so, um, damp, that it's fine for planting. I don't think they are going to die of drought or scorched leaves! Today if the rain continues it means we can't even get on to the docks in the drier part of the field as I'm growing on clay and it really doesn't help to be continually trodden on when saturated, so it's time to strip back some landscape fabric and do some planting. It has now been three weeks since we have been able to strim or mow so you can imagine it's looking rather wild down these parts!

At 78 fit and active years old Pat is my oldest WWOOFer so far. By about 50 years. And by far the best to date. She is brilliant, very interesting to chat with, never stops, and knows her weeds. She reminded me about salad burnet - I had rather wondered how sanguisorbas had ended up so widely scattered and so varied, then remembered they are the same family, I grow some lovely ornamental varieties as I love their little foxtails waving about in the gardens and in bouquets, but I can't say I would ever be much of a convert to the taste of salad burnet leaves. But it's good to realise how many weeds are edible, specially when I look at the vegetable beds which have not been tended much, there are veg there but you have to search quite hard for some of them this year. I hope I'l do better next year. And that next year it will rain gently in the evenings and leave perfect days.......

1 comment:

  1. I wish I could give you my cosmos. They come up from scattered seeds and push out the pansies! I'm sorry it is so rainy. Any weddings coming up?