Greenfingers - July 2016

Here’s a novelty – I’m writing this outside in the garden! The weather has finally warmed up, so let’s hope this is the start of a pleasant summer. The plant growth which had been held back by the low temperatures is catching up fast, and on the positive side, the strawberries (in the greenhouse) and rhubarb look great, but the cold and wet Spring has not agreed with the Gladiolus murielea which appear to have rotted. These were in a pot which should have been kept under cover until the shoots first appeared.

During an enjoyable stroll through the allotments a few days ago, I noted the satisfying results of many hours of work and how few were in need of attention. I was amused by some beech pea-stick supports which were sprouting. Twigs just grow for some people!

The meadow patch under the hedge looks rather different this second year, with everything much taller than last, and the balance of plants has changed. There are more tall grasses, oxeye daisies, campion (red and white), and some sort of mallow, but we’ll see how it progresses during Gardenthe summer. It still needs managing, with nettles and bindweed continuing their offensive, but we feel it offers a more satisfactory boundary edge than the previous border.

Jobs for the next couple of months are to find time to sit and relax with the scents, sounds and look of the garden, and when pressed, keep on top of the weeds, removing dead flower heads to extend the flowering season, and enjoy the produce from the greenhouse and vegetable patch. And bear in mind the Minchinhampton Gardening Club Show on 10th September, when all kinds of produce can be exhibited and many prizes won. Schedules are available.

Jupiter will have a visitor on July 4th when NASA’s Juno spacecraft should arrive in orbit after a 5 year transfer, and again in the news, when, on the evening of August 27th, a very close conjunction between Jupiter and Venus will take place, best viewed shortly after sunset. The Persied meteor shower should be at its peak in the early hours of August 12th.

Pete Smith