“A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken.” – James Dent
Let’s hope for a sunny August where we can throw open the doors and windows making the house and garden fully open to each other. Sure, there’s still some gardening jobs to be done but they involve no strenuous labour. Wandering around the garden deadheading faded blooms and cutting fresh ones to fill vases indoors can’t really be classed as chores. Plus, there’s all that eating to do of home-grown salad leaves, tomatoes, peas and more.
So, make a cool drink, pull up a chair and have a browse through our August catalogue.
Our top ten recommended tasks for August include:
- Order autumn and spring flowering bulbs. See below re our 2017 Bulb catalogue.
- Pruning your wisteria this month will not only tidy it up but will also divert its energy from producing tendrils to producing flower buds for next year.
- Buy bedding plants to brighten your autumn/winter garden.
- Prune any rambling roses that have finished flowering.
- Continue picking sweet peas and removing any seed heads. Also mulch, feed and water. They’ll be finished all too soon.
- Keep an eye on the level of water in your pond and top up from the hose when necessary. This will also help to oxygenate the water.
- Water, feed, deadhead. Water, feed, deadhead. And keep repeating.
- How about growing your own saffron? Now is the time by growing Saffron Crocus bulbs.
- Some hardy annuals can be sown now, direct in their flowering positions meaning early flowers next spring/summer.
- Salad leaves can be sown this month, in fact keep sowing and you’ll be eating salad all year round.
Our 2017 Bulb and Kitchen Garden Catalogues will be hitting your doormats in early August.
Bulb Catalogue – 72 pages of spring and autumn bulbs, winter bedding, perennials and shrubs. If like me you love Ranunculus then you’re in for a treat. The new Ranunculus Mirabelle Vert mix is simply stunning.
Kitchen Garden Catalogue – 16 pages of fruit, mushrooms, winter veg, garlic, onions, shallots plus equipment. The half price Onion, Garlic & Shallot Collection is not be missed!
Red and yellow ones, purple and green – whatever the colour your sweet peppers will now be ripe and ready to eat. Packed with nutrients and flavour they are a vital ingredient to many a summer dish.
Once picked peppers will store in the fridge for about a week. Don’t worry if the skins get a little wrinkled, they’ll still taste just great. Eat them raw in salad or as crunchy crudites with hummous and other dips. Stuff them with quinoa, tinned plum tomatoes and feta and roast or simply skewer them with other veg or meat for a tasty BBQ kebab.
If you are going to fry your peppers then do so long and slow. The Spanish dish “patatas a lo pobre” or “poor man’s potatoes” is made delicious by the intensely sweet, slow-fried red peppers. Alternatively, enjoy them on toast with some sliced mozzarella, torn basil leaves and a drizzle of pesto mixed with olive oil.
Best friends to sweet peppers are:
Onions Garlic Anchovies Sheep’s Cheese Eggs
Tomatoes Olives Olive Oil Paprika Basil
Oregano Aubergines Courgettes Goat’s Cheese Potatoes
To those of you with a few hens in the garden or on the allotment don’t forget that we now stock a full range of chicken keeping essentials. Plus a few tempting non-essentials! Please visit our website to view the range.
Although it’s summer and our gardens are (hopefully) full of colour, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be looking forward and staying 1 step ahead of the seasons. Once our summer displays have faded, it often leads to a bit of a lull in colour. A great way of filling this gap is by planting some autumn flowering bulbs to inject some interest back into our gardens as they days start to shorten. Colchicum, oxalis and cyclamens will all add a much needed boost of colour at a time when other blooms are fading.