It’s been a while since my last post. I’ve enjoyed a lovely summer catching up with family and friends and having lots of fun. The garden is a friend that I have sadly neglected and I’ve been filled with guilt on returning from trips away. Weeds have been partying hard and the wisteria is overdue a prune. Despite neglect, the garden still has things to offer though. Here are my favourites from this week.
Sweetcorn F1 Hybrid ‘Swift’
Picked fresh from the garden and steamed or barbecued then smothered in top notch quality butter – sweetcorn has to be my favourite of the late summer veg patch. This year’s crop has been successful, despite the competition from weeds, and we’ll be sampling these beauties this weekend. You can tell the cobs are ripe when the little tassels at the top of the ears turn brown. Inside the kernals are a delicate yellow and assembled in straight neat rows like a military parade.
Tasty and beautiful – there’s nothing more you can ask of a tomato. This season has been tricky and there’s been lots of blight around to damage outdoor tomatoes. Luckily I had four plants growing in the greenhouse that have produced well, sheltered from blight.
This tomato is worthy of a display case in the V&A museum. It’s hard to capture on camera but the stripes are like gold paint delicately brushed on the rosy skins with a paintbrush. They’re perfect sliced in a cheese sarnie, or roasted in the oven or made into soup or pasta sauce. A tasty tomato for sure.
This plant is growing from a three year old tuber which was disappointing in year one, barely raised a smile last year but finally decided that 2021 was the year to put on a show. Begonias seem to be a plant that splits opinion but I think the leaves are great, the flowers exuberant in shape and clarity of colour and the overall structure of the plant pleasing. It’s late summer sunshine in a pot.
These are still growing really well a full two months after the first flower appeared. As you can see the string cordon support is finally leaning with the weight of flowers and pressure from the asparagus fronds behind but it’s certainly served its purpose. I can think of no better way to use this narrow strip along the edge of the asparagus bed and I’ve had so many bunches of the flowers, as have friends and neighbours.
Last week my horticultural society met for the very first time and we gave out two or three stems to each member as they left the hall. If only I could only bottle those smiles – everyone was so happy to be meeting up again after so long apart. The sweet peas were the cherry on the cake.
I bought four Singinnia tubers back in spring, not really knowing what to expect. They were crammed in amongst other plants in my greenhouse but this week I noticed the the first two are now in flower. I’ve brought them into the house to admire and also to give the leaves a chance to recover from their crush.
The flowers are very striking but I can’t decide if I really love them. The scale of the flowers just seem out of proportion somehow, like a slender supermodel with an overly large hairdo. Maybe once potted on, with a beefier structure of leaves, they’ll look better proportioned. Back in June I wrote that the name Sinningia sounded like that of a pharmaceutical company, and that I hoped the flowers would eclipse the incongruity of the name. Well they’ve certainly done that.
Here’s an example of a plant that greatly benefited from a repot into smart new hanging baskets. I featured these a few weeks ago when I wrote about the greenhouse in summer. They’ve greened up beautifully and I’m hoping for lots of flowers next year. For those of you that don’t know what these look like, here’s a picture of one in flower back in June.
This seasonal diary is part of a weekly link-up of garden bloggers from around the world, called Six on Saturday. For more information and links to other blogs crammed with gardening activity, check the blog of host The Propagator.