A picture tells a thousand words

Cleome_100113-1010700
This gorgeous flower above is a Cleome … an amazing plant which also has thorns up its stem .. not one to handle without gloves. I have it in my garden as it is not only enjoyed by the bees, but it acts as a ‘trap crop’ for the green shield beetle which adores it. They flock to the plant leaving my tomatoes alone. The really good news is that I can grab them easily from here and drop them into a bucket of soapy water!

What is happening in our garden?

So what is happening in the Bonner garden? Lots actually. We have had some seriously hot weather lately … very different to last summer. In saying that, we have also had a couple of super windy days this week and yes my beans got hammered.

We have finally hauled out all the garlic and what a stunning crop. Amazing! It is happily drying in the garage. The leeks got hoisted out as they had gone woody and sadly my red onions had to exit the bed as some were starting to rot. Still got a super crop mind you.

So after removal, the bed was prepared for the next planting. Well rotted horse manure, planting mix, liberal lashings of rok solid (seaweed fert with basalt rock), wood ash and coffee grounds.
Into the bed went, habanero, geranium, salvia, parsley, celery, spinach, beetroot, sage, and more chili plants – called Fire. At the very end of the bed next to the sage I broadcast a mix of carrot -Touchon, Mini sweet and a purple heirloom variety, spring onions and radish .. plus a row of Welsh bunching onions. I used sand as the medium and then used a block of wood to firm down the seeds once cast. The important thing here is that the soil needs to be friable to allow the carrots to grow unheeded or they tend to grow deformed … hence the addition of the radishes. They are quick to germinate and while growing help to break up the soil. The other thing to remember is don’t use fresh manure, it needs to be aged or again your carrots may grow forked.

We have finally finished removing the garlic … so this space is now full of capsicum (Banana and Tequila varieties) and loads of other chili, geranium, salvia and a self seeded borage which I know is going to become a nuisance. Lots of mulch, close planting as chili likes it warm … it also loves being planted with geranium!

I mentioned before Christmas about the arrival of our hives and yes I was the one behind the camera. It amazed me how sedate they were … just not interested in us at all. Can’t really say I blame them.
The apiarist Ricki said that they smell fear which I guess means you may be more likely to get stung.
Good news? No stings and I even got to see the Queen bee!

Bees2_100113-1010648

 

Loads of colour ...

Loads of colour …

 

I always plant flowers in my garden. Why? Because I like colour … love it and so do the insects, good and bad mind you. Flowering plants can often be good companions too. The geranium here is one that I propagated a few years back, chili loves growing with it which is probably why I poked in a couple of pepper plants. Also sharing the used wine barrel is a self seeded foxglove. I just can’t pull things out!

Zinnia_100113-1010689

Zinnia, calendula and cleome growing with toms, spinach, sorrel and a host of other plants

Teddy bear

Teddy bear

This is a such a special plant. It is happily growing in one of my raised beds, a dwarf sunflower. The splash of purple next door is Painted sage …

Oh forgot to mention we ate our very first cucumber last week – Marketmore. Delicious!
That’s it from me. Happy gardening, and I promise to get back to regular posting too!

 

2 thoughts

  1. Fantastic blog Jules. I loved the Damson jam Bill made looking forward to receiving my jar soon with the peaches.

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