P and A Gardening diary

August

08-02-2015
FOR MANY GARDENERS, August is arguably the best month of the year: certainly for those who have tended their vegetable plots, potagers and allotments faithfully over the Spring and early Summer. Why? The weather is warm, the days are still relatively long and for those of us who live in the countryside, the golden bales of hay glisten in the sunlight as the farmers go to work. In the hedgerows, there are plenty of blackberries ripening, promising lots of healthy fruit for foraging during the month…
In the vegetable garden we can clearly see the fruit of our labours, as tomatoes turn gradually from green to red, the deep purple aubergines grow in size each day, the vibrant orange tips of the carrots can be seen reaching out from the sandy soil and the glossy leaves of the beetroots promise a good crop.  Let’s also not forget the lettuce… August is a great time to grow this staple salad favourite, the luscious leaves are perfect for many summer meals in the garden.
August is also a busy month for harvesting your produce and therefore it’s always an especially active period for stocking up the freezer and larder with frozen foods, jams, preserves, pickles as well as dried fruit and herbs. The blackcurrant bushes were particularly prolific this Summer so there will be no shortage of delicious Blackcurrant Jam this Autumn and Winter in our household…
But it’s not just the vegetables that look stunning during August: if you have been fortunate to have had rain during the Summer months (yes… fortunate!), the garden borders and flower beds should be continuing to delight. This year we’ve grown Zinnias for the first time which are displaying their varied and colourful flowers, providing great cover for one of the beds – hopefully right through into September and early October.
One final thought. We all love the Summer, but the start of August is also a sign that Autumn is on its’ way… and consequently it is a good opportunity to think ahead and plan your garden for the year ahead. Once the growing season is complete, why not think about installing a polytunnel during the early Autumn or Winter? This will expand your growing season and allow you to continue to enjoy gardening even on relatively cold or damp days. We’re always happy to have a chat and talk through with you your ideas.
Have a great August.