P and A Gardening diary

July

07-03-2015
JULY IS a month which I guess it is tempting for us gardeners to take things easier. For those with children, the summer holidays are almost here and many working people are planning their annual holiday away with family or friends, or simply deciding to spend time at home in the garden. The weather has also been hot although the recent thunderstorm did bring some temporary but welcome relief, refreshing the gardens and filling the water butts….  I came across a poem recently by the Russian poet Pasternak which described the month as “July, with summer air and thunder- He is our temporary guest”, which I thought was very appropriate. The sun has returned.
But there is still much that you can do in the greenhouse, polytunnel or garden. The days are still long and it is the ideal time to sow fast-growing crops, particularly salads. Don’t forget also to keep watering and feeding, especially those plants in pots and containers and make sure you have a look out for those pesky pests and weeds….
One of the enjoyable things about the vegetable garden during July is seeing plants such as courgettes and squash begin to establish themselves, with their bright yellow flowers creating a rich colour against the brown earth. Their flowers may also be used in cooking, so why not give them a try? One recipe that I found on-line was for stuffed courgette flowers with herbs and cheese which taste delicious… must try sometime.
July is a time of year when the fruit such as gooseberries and blackcurrants may be ready to give you a bountiful supply of produce. This year the blackcurrants have done especially well and we are looking forward to tasting the jam later. The verges in the countryside are also flowering with blackberries galore, so all in all we should be in for a bumper Summer.
Herbs are also a great plant to have in the garden in the Summer. Nothing beats fresh mint with new potatoes, or maybe you’d prefer the mint taken in a glass of Pimms… Thyme is another herb that thrives in July. It is colourful with the flowers attractive to bees and you can use the leaves in all kinds of different dishes. Great in the garden and on the dining table…
Enjoy the month and we hope that you get plenty of time to relax in the warm sunshine.