June is here! The weather in Scotland has been beautiful since I returned home from South Africa, completely making up for the long winter that’s now beyond a distant memory. I came home to a garden of surprises and seedlings bursting from the potting shed. So Andrew and I spent the last long weekend in May planting out, taking stock of the hundreds of new blooms and basking in the sunshine. I’ve been photographing the borders and blooms weekly in an effort to try and catalogue what we have. The lovely gardening community over on Instagram have been wonderful at helping me put names to everything.
In the kitchen garden, I planted out the brassica’s and made a temporary mesh frame to protect them from the cabbage white butterfly, so far so good. I added a row of leeks to the bed to also act as a deterrent based on the onion smell. Andrew built a new raised bed we got from Quickcrop and we filled it up with a planter soil mix from Garden Solutions. They are a local soil supplier to Edinburgh and the surrounding areas, and the best I’ve found by far for pre-mixed compost, manure and top soil.
I didn’t harden off any plants before popping them out, as it was a very warm week, mid 20s during the day and double digits at night. I only added cloches to the courgettes over night for the first couple, as a bit of extra protection from the wind.
The potatoes are growing like weeds. I’ve earthed them up twice since I’ve been home. I learned last week that potatoes and spinach don’t compete for nutrients and can be planted together if you’re tight on space. So I added the ones I started from seed into the potato bed. I’ll let you know how it goes.
In other news, I sowed carrots in the onion bed so they could each mask each others scent as a pest deterrent; and marigolds in a pot by the courgettes to help with pollination.
For hanging baskets this year, I wanted to stick with one colour and flower variety to make an impact rather than the more common thriller, filler and spiller combination. The problem came in when I got to the garden centre and found so many gorgeous varieties of petunia, and lobelia that in the end went with a mix of two. I added a slow release seaweed and poultry manure fertiliser to the baskets before potting up 5 plugs in each 14 inch basket. The baskets were from Dobbies, and a bargain at only £5.99 each!
The french beans and radishes took a huge growth spurt in a week. I bought the french beans as plugs from the nursery, as I didn’t get a chance to start off any seeds, so not sure of the variety. I had to pinch out the base leaves as they got a little fried in the potting shed one day. The radishes are the long scarlet variety, the ones made famous by Beatrix Potter in Peter Rabbit. Side note: I was obsessed with Beatrix Potter growing up! At age 10, my bedroom was floor to ceiling Beatrix Potter, from the wallpaper, to the curtains and the bed spread. …I’m so looking forward to harvesting these, I’d say only a couple of weeks to go!
Anyway, here are some views of the garden at the end of May.
I never got a chance to give you a tour of the beautiful gardens in South Africa, so I leave you with a picture diary of some of the best bits. How’s your garden coming along? Let me know in the comments below. x