Lots of things have been happening this month in the garden! Joe filled up my new raised bed, and I've planted the first few things in it!
I've popped in some sweetcorn and society garlic plants that have been hanging around a little longer than they should have been, but I hope they'll be happy now. And I planted a mix of lettuce seed, some borlotto beans, walking onions, rainbow chard and a mix of carrots and spring onions. Now it's almost full and I want another one!
All the soil to fill this raised bed came from the weedy patch at the back of the garden. I've been battling against this weedy patch for 2 years, I've cleared the 5 foot nettles away twice, and scared away a family of mice who were hiding in the turf I'd piled up to compost. But I never quite managed to clear it. So I asked my husband and he did it in a morning. And raked it all flat. And made a little retaining wall from some bricks we keep digging up. He's too good!
You can see how it looked before in the background of this photo,
I'm going to cover the soil in the now un-weedy corner with some cardboard for a while to kill of any weeds, then it'll become a fruit tree and fruit bush area.
My other raised bed is doing amazing! Everything is productive, I've finally had courgettes, and I love my sunflower!
Our next big job is to get rid of the lawn. We're going to mow it short, then cover with newspaper or cardboard, then a thick layer of woodchips. We're happy we won't have to mow the lawn anymore (hurrah!). Next year when we have the pennies we'll get someone in to do the hard landscaping like the patio, path and maybe the fence. I know that whoever these future builders will be, they will stomp all over my garden, because the builders who put the fence up on the other side did exactly that and it was very upsetting and damaged my soil and plants. So I'll wait til that's over before turning my lawn into a garden!
I spent a long time pruning the weigela and clearing underneath, and I've planted a Japanese anemone and a rudbeckia underneath. I've had to buy a fair few plants this year, as most of my seedlings were eaten by slugs, but the garden is slowing filling up now.
Scuse the mess in my shed, but I just wanted to show you the result of my weed tea brewing. I put loads of nettles and weeds into a bucket with some water, accidentally left it for 6 weeks rather than 2 (it was super-duperly fermented and fizzy!), then put the liquid into bottles to dilute with water and use as fertiliser during the growing season. I got 3 bottles full, which is more than enough to last me the year, and I threw the solid bits into the bottom of my new raised bed for extra fertilisation.
Do you like my butterfly deterrents? Apparently cabbage white butterflies are territorial, so if they see another butterfly in your garden they'll go elsewhere. The internet says make a little cardboard butterfly, stick it in the ground on a stick, and it'll keep your cabbage safe. It really works too, there was a cabbage white landing on all my leafy greens, and as soon as I put these out it went away. Shame I was too late to save my cabbage - it's a caterpillar nursery, but hopefully this will save my chard.
The front garden looks a bit rubbishy to be honest, the gravel is so weedy. We completely look like the scruffy-gits of our road - hopefully one more month of saving up and we can start to get it sorted!
I'm quite happy with the back garden, in all it's work-in-progress glory. I keep reminding myself of several things - it's summer so the weeds Do grow faster than anything else and it will be hard to keep control of them, we're just setting the garden up and it will be hard to get it done, and the gardening is supposed to be relaxing so I'm not going to let the other two things get me down!
I've just noticed in the photo above, Joe's little face peeping out between the curtains of the upstairs window!
Here are some pretty flowers (and a few weeds in the background!)
How's your garden this month? Do you have any exciting gardening plans?