Here I am after, again, a long silence. The long silence has nothing to do with giving up, but starting a garden and keeping it alive with this dry weather hasn’t been a walk in the park. So I have put all my efforts in the garden and a bit less in writing about it. But we are now end of May and I thought it might be a good moment to give a little update.
The vegetable garden
Growing my own veggies is something I have always wanted to do. And what a learning curve this has been ! The main lesson I learned is that growing cauliflower, broccoli or kohlrabi without an insect net is a big mistake. The cabbage fly has wiped out already large part of those crops… lesson learned. On the good side I seem to keep other pests under control until now. Had lots of radish, salads and even a first striped beetroot. The onion, carrots and paprikas are doing great and even the physalis are starting to make a lot of fruit. In the greenhouse I have a bit of an issue trying to control my tomatoes (yes started too late to take out the suckers ). But the eggplant, cucumber and chilli pepper seem to thrive. I am well aware this might be undone in no time, but let’s focus on the positive things 🙂 Gardening without pesticides is a challenge, but one well worth it.
We also had quite a good harvest of strawberries, I tried different kinds to see which work and which don’t. Seems they all are doing fine. Red currants are turning red now, so that will be the next thing to pick. The old cherry tree in the back of the garden is packed with fruit and they are starting to turn red…can’t wait to taste them. Hopefully the birds leave some for us. Our peach tree has also fruit this year. He had a bit of curling disease, but the damage stayed under control. The apple trees are doing fine and the walnut tree is full of nuts. Cassis and blueberries were less of a succes. The blueberry plant seems to have catched a pest and the new shoots and berries dried out completely.
The prairie garden
In a previous post I told you about the prairie garden we planted. Although in need of some rai, it is doing quite well. Knautia, Campanula, Salvia, Astrantia and Geranium already bring some color. The verbena is eager to show it’s purple flowers, hoovering gently above all the rest. There is still a lot of bare soil to see, so weeding is still quite a work. Next year I think it will already look quite different.
The shadow garden
At the north side of the house we are creating a nice shaded garden. The different kind of ferns, hosta and other shade loving plants are doing fine. Even with this dry weather the soil keeps nice and moist at that side of the house. The Japanese maples and some mossy stones give it a bit of a fairytale look. You might not even notice it is only planted a few months ago.
The swimming pond
The most used part of the garden this month must be the natural swimming pond. The water is crystal clear and has heated up to a lovely 24° C, just by the sun. The plants have grown a lot and earlier this year we had quite some algae. Now the algae have gone, it seems the plants are suffering a bit. I suppose the downside of the crystal clear water is that the plants lack a bit of nutritiens. Water beetles have found their way to the pond, and also many kinds of dragonflies love to hang around. It’s great to swim in natural water, without all the chlorine, and at the same time attract wildlife. The swallows love to dive straight towards the water to drink… it’s like having an airshow every day.
So this was a small update on the garden. Feel free to comment or ask questions and soon I will be back with more.