July is a great month in the kitchen garden. There is so much to enjoy. I love picking Sweet Pea posies every day, and the more you pick, the more flowers will grow. My house smells divine, there's Sweet Pea posies in the living room, kitchen, conservatory, bathroom, study, hallway and bedrooms. Utter bliss!
And there's so much more. It's great fun to harvest healthy home grown food from the kitchen garden. Everything is grown organically and has been given enough time to grow as mother nature intended it. A normal growing period means lots of flavour. My tomatoes really smell and taste like tomatoes, unlike those watery balls you buy in the supermarket.
And I grow a lot of tomatoes: pomedori, cherry tomatoes, Cherokee, yellow tomatoes and Marmande. In fact there are so many tomatoes growing in my Victorian greenhouse and outside in my garden, that I can be Lady Bountiful and give lots of tomatoes away to family and friends.
This year I'm growing black sweet peppers in my greenhouse. Aren't they beautiful? Can't wait to use them in a salad, it will look and taste great!
This month I've harvested all the garlic, the last of the Red Duke of York potatoes, the last white currants, the first tomatoes plus lots of herbs and Sweet Peas as shown in the first pic of this post.
I was very happy to harvest my Opal plums. There weren't all that many as this was the very first year that my plum tree bore fruit, but oh, how lovely and sweet they tasted! Delicious!
And there is so much to look forward to. Soon I'll be able to harvest the first blackberries
and elderberries. And that means it's jam making time!
Since early June I've been harvesting sugar snaps and this month I will continue harvesting them. The rocket salad is growing away like there's no tomorrow, I've been harvesting rocket since May and will go on harvesting it until the end of October.
The strawberries are ripening and will soon be ready for picking. This will be the third crop this year. I love strawberries and can never have enough of them.
The basil is almost ready too. Can't wait to harvest it and turn it into pesto, purple pesto! How wonderful is that? That's the fun thing of growing your own veggies, herbs and fruit; you don't have to make do with the ordinary stuff but can go for the sometimes very extraordinary varieties, such as black peppers and purple basil.
There are always loads of herbs to be found in my garden, both in the potager and in my borders. This year the fennel decided to grow 7 feet tall. I use fennel in the kitchen but in bouquets too. Your bouquets smell delicious when you add a few sprigs of fennel.
In the black pots in the background the french purple potatoes are almost ready for harvesting. Can't wait to see those potatoes on my plate! The red cabbages are growing merrily away, even though their leaves are a bit slug damaged.
It looks like there will be quite a few pumpkins to harvest in the autumn. The pumpkins in my 3 sisters bed are growing like mad. All that rain is doing some good I suppose. I love pumpkin pie and soup, such wonderful comfort food on a cold and bleak winter's day.
The corn in my 3 sisters bed is doing great too. If you look closely you'll see the beans winding round the stem of the corn. The beans are sister number 3, the corn and pumpkins (squash) being sister number 1 and 2.
I'm tickled pink with my 2 new apple trees. This is their first year in my potager and look, both of them bear fruit. Isn't that just simple marvellous? I wonder how those apples will taste!
Another fruity first this year, apart from the plums and apples, are the grapes that grow over the pergola. There's a white grape and a blue one. They will be ready for harvest in September/October.
The walnuts will be ready for harvest in October/November. The walnut tree is laden with fruits and the branches are hanging low because of the weight they bear. It won't be such a prolific harvest as last year, but still a very good one.
There's no liberty in gardening. The wo/man who undertakes a garden is relentlessly pursued. S/he felicitates her/himself that, when s/he gets it once planted, s/he will have a season of rest and of enjoyment in the sprouting and growing of her/his seeds. It is a green anticipation. S/he has planted a seed that will keep her/him awake at nights.
Charles Dudley Warner, My Summer in the Garden, 1871