SUMMER GARDEN ~ COMING INTO ITS OWN

The lavender is really at its best right now, after the bit of heat the last few days, and one solid day of refreshing rain last Sunday.

I love growing feverfew, it is not only a great herb, it also looks beautiful in the garden among the lavender and the marigolds.

And still the comfrey flowers, and it is visited constantly by the bumblebees. I noticed three different types of bumble bee today, this one a beauty, very light colouring, very fluffy, and large. As far as I know it is a carder bee, Bombus muscorum. The other two, a tiny type, and a regular one with two yellow bands, probably Bombus lucorum.

Among all the wild and garden flowers this summer I am still also growing some vegetables, and many herbs too of course. The large garlic was a succes this time, and the garden peas are doing real well.

This is the tall mullein plant of which I am growing a few this summer. The leaves are medicinal, but I have not used them so far.

This is just a little update at the end of this month of June, midsummer has just passed and I love the very early bright mornings, awaking at 4 o’clock very often while the first light appears in the Eastern sky, and the birds are singing, wonderful! And while the countries of continental Europe are scorching hot, we had a mellow feel to the day this afternoon with summer scents wafting up from the damp but warm earth, such a delight.

Henry James knew about these happy feelings when he said ““Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”

Are you enjoying a wonderful summer in nature?

LATE SUMMER COLOURS

It’s amazing how much colour and produce the garden has at this time of the year. Around here it is considered late summer and some days might really have the feel of autumn about them.
But that is not to say that there is less growth, lately we have had a few warm days, temperatures going up a high as 20C, delightful of course and naturally resulting in good growth. The leeks, kale and other winter vegetables that I planted out over the last few weeks have established themselves really well. I am also drying very many herbs and wild plants for winter use, and it gives me great satisfaction to do this.
Among the vegetables are the flowers which give plenty of variety in colour and beauty. Plenty of bumblebees visit especially the oregano and the wall flowers.
I’ve been infusing oils lately, the latest now is the hypericum perforatum, started that today, more flowers need to open over the next few days so I get enough to make a good infusion.
It is an interesting time of the year what with so much harvesting going on, granted in my garden it’s mainly herbs and wild foods this time due to having had a bad season, but that is also interesting in itself.
The slug and snail hunt is still on every night and it is helping to keep my vegetables safe, so worth the effort.
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Kale, onions, and some type of marrow – lovely patterns and colours.

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Bumblebee on a wallflower

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Two very favourite herbs, the St.John’s worth (hypericum perforatum), and the tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)  I seem to remember that my dad used to make us a pancake every spring time adding the leaves of the tansy, it was to protect us kids from worms.  Not sure if this was a regular herbal remedy, I think it was rather a traditional thing to do in the town where my dad is from (Diest in Belgium).  I remember the very peculiar taste, and enjoyed it.  (not saying it is safe to do this by the way, do your own research please.)

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Some sort of fly on the calendula flower, nice to have come across this today.

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My sprouts are growing very well, can’t wait to see the sprouts coming on the plants.  And a bumblebee on the oregano flowers.  Real nice to get them come into flower and so the insects can enjoy them too.