Saturday 18 August 2012


After such lovely weather last weekend it has been a return to unrelenting downpours and depressingly low light levels. No chance to enjoy the garden properly, just a quick dash up the path beneath a brolly or a short foray in wellington boots to gather a few flowers or vegetables. Most of my garden viewing is through a plate glass window.
Thank goodness for a greenhouse
where we can sit with greenery around us while the rain falls on the roof.
But the battered summer flowers cheer up once I've brought them into the house.
This is 'Heritage', an early David Austin rose.
I don't know the name of this rose, planted by a previous owner.
Some plants are thriving in all the rain.

The phlox are happy.

And the perennial sweet pea seems to rampage whatever the weather. 
(My annual sweet peas are a complete failure this year.)
Tomatoes, even in the greenhouse are scarce, simply not enough sun.
And to compound matters the larger varieties have got a bit of blossom end rot.
The vegetable garden is a mixture of success and failure.
The mange tout  crop is excellent. 'Carouby de Maussane' seed from The Herbary.

But I'm still waiting for the carrots and beetroot to fatten up. The fennel has gone to seed along with my first row of coriander which has cropped well. I shall gather the seed for both cooking and replanting. This year's organic seed was from The Herbary, 161, Chapel Street, Horningsham, Wiltshire and I've had a good success rate with all their supplies. (From the seed swap in spring.)
 I have a glut of broad beans.
They get added to everything!
Also spinach, which is responding well to endless rain.
Veg. curry, anyone?
It's a mixed story with the courgettes. The seeds came from the spring seed swap. 'Goldy' would obviously prefer to be growing in the Mediterranean (wouldn't we all!) But 'Eights Bells' is prolific, doing the courgette thing of growing to a silly size overnight. 
I cut one in half, put it in boiling water to soften, scoop out the flesh and combine it with breadcrumbs, chopped onion and garlic that had been cooked to soften in a little oil, add mature Cheddar and parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and a generous amount of Italian herbs. Bake 'til golden brown.

Lunch is ready.


  1. In spite of the relentless rain, your gardens are beautiful! Interesting, the contrast in weather. Here is the United States we have had record-breaking heat, with only occasional rain. Hope you get some sunny days soon. Kathy (Michigan, USA)

    1. Dear Kathy, Even rain sodden and overgrown there is a lot of pleasure to be found in the garden it's just that this year the downpours have been so prolonged and severe that I have been couped up in the house far more than I would have liked.

      But thank you for your hopes for sunny days - yesterday when the morning the mist lifted it was HOT!

  2. This year really has been a wash-out hasn't it, sometimes I wonder why we carry on trying to make beautiful gardens and produce our own veg when everything is against us - but we do, and the good generally outweighs the bad.

    1. I've never had a very tidy garden, Elaine, nor especially wanted one, I rather like 'teetering on the brink'. But this year, because of the weather, weeds have not just teetered but rampaged; ground elder taking over the borders, bindweed choking the raspberry canes, hedges growing overnight. I realize that I'm usually out and about all summer pulling up and sorting out so that things stay just about in check. Just at the moment I'm feeling rather defeated, as though it has all run away from me and I may never get back to being almost in control!

  3. Wonderful garden, even in the rain.

    1. Thank you, Doc. But imagine the frustration of not being able to be out there, grubbing about!

  4. It has rained a bit, hasn't it? Your garden still looks wonderful though, and it must be lovely to sit in that conservatory with a cup of tea and a good book while listening to the rain fall. It also looks like you are having some great success with the veg plot, and after reading this post of yours I'm hungry! Nice post, have a great week.

  5. 'Rained a bit' !! English understatement if ever I've heard it! The camera is kind to my garden because in reality it is looking rather ratty. The conservatory, although small, is one of the best additions that we have made to our house and we make good use of it from spring through to the end of autumn. We have to forget about it completely in the winter months as the sun is too low to penetrate our neighbour's trees.

  6. So much colour Rosemary, your garden is looking terrific! Pleased to see a healthy clump of Solidago flowering away, what a wonderful plant.

    1. Truth be told that goldenrod is a bit of a thug, I keep having to keep it in check. I'll be dividing it up again any day now to give some roots to friends.