Jennifer’s Garden Diary (23rd July 2011)

An Occasional Garden Diary week ending 23rd July 2011

I love harvesting so am very happy at this time of year and into August and September, there is always something to be gathered.  Today I picked peas enough for quite generous helpings for myself and my grandson John. John is waiting for a job in a surf school and meanwhile is a great help to me, young and strong and well able for the jobs that are just too much for me.

When I came to live here I planted a few wild raspberry canes from the Castle Freke Woods.  Now 21 years later there are raspberries growing on every untamed part of the garden! Smaller than cultivated berries, but I think they taste better.

Jennifer's Pond

Jennifer's Pond

Loganberries are also an excellent crop this year and I have made jam from both and also blackcurrants.  In the wilder parts of the garden picking the raspberries is quite an adventure! And in the very wildest parts I see there will be a good crop of blackberries!

I am digging second early potatoes, Kestrel I think, fine and  sound and quite a good crop.  I also have a few cabbages, broad beans well over, but peas taking their place and the first of the courgettes. The loose-leaf lettuces are huge and runner beans just starting, these are the few I grew early indoors, those sown directly in soil will follow.

Thinking ahead I am sowing some Chard both Swiss Chard and some of the pretty coloured varieties, they have gone in after peas. I have finished planting leeks, such a lovely easy vegetable and a treat to eat all winter. Spring cabbage is coming up in seed trays.

I visited another remarkable garden on Sunday, this one is all the more remarkable because it belongs to a very busy priest, Fr Pat Fogarty PP of Knocknaheeny in Cork city. He has turned a patch of unproductive grass into a hugely productive vegetable garden; potatoes, carrots, parsnips, peas, enviable cabbages( that I find so difficult), beetroot, lettuces, beans. And since last winter little fruit trees which are hanging with apples and I saw one pear.

A great time of year for gardeners, when we are well rewarded for all our hard work — enjoy!