Saturday found me thoughtful and quiet: perhaps the result of a restless night listening to the wind. Up and outside early, I struggled for a while to apply myself to anything. Instead, I pottered in the garden, sometimes transferring seedlings from the greenhouse or outside staging to spaces in the borders, sometimes pulling out errant weeds, and sometimes just sitting on the bench with a cup of tea, dipping in and out of a book or looking across the borders, almost watching them grow.
It was a hot day with fierce dry winds blasting across the garden constantly. The bench nestled beneath the trees provided welcome shade and shelter until mid-afternoon, while the roar of the wind through the branches above was almost deafening.
I planted out bulb fennel and celeriac seedlings, while King of the Hill tied up the broad beans; columns of black and white flowers holding promise of the harvest to come. Late in the day, I spotted scapes forming on the hardneck garlic, which I snipped off and took into the house. Generous chopped handfuls were cooked for a few minutes and stirred into pasta with chilli, lemon juice and tuna; a fiery but delicious dish.
We’re continuing to harvest loose leaf lettuce, curly cress, spinach, red frills mustard and watercress from the greenhouse and small polytunnel, along with giant crimson radishes, keeping us in daily salads. The first British tomatoes are available to buy now, although our plants are still a month or more from bearing fruit, as are the cucumbers which have not begun to flower yet.
Despite the tempestuous winds this month, the peach tree is covered with fuzzy green fruit, which will need thinning soon to allow some to develop to full size. Green fruit are also fattening on strawberries and raspberry canes, while the squash and courgette plants have transferred happily from greenhouse to garden, and the first courgette flowers are just thinking about opening.
The landscape sparkles in the sun, and fulsome hawthorn blossom tumbles through the hedgerows and adorns the tree at the bottom of our garden. The cats disappear from dawn to dusk, and sometimes late into the night, dropping by from time to time to roll in the dry dust and chase each other through the garden.
Sunday brought slightly cooler sunshine, the winds eased and I felt slightly more ‘myself’. The garlic scapes featured in the kitchen again as the weekend drew to a close, with a visit from friends and the first barbecue of the season, sitting out together until the evening sunshine crept off the back garden and the temperature dropped. We shared the last of the ice cream made from last year’s strawberries, just in time for the new season to begin.
I could get used to days like these…