This is, without doubt, my favourite time of year. Late spring – early summer. A period of about 6 weeks, from mid May through to late June. Why? Let me give you a list.
- The nights are drawing out, the days getting longer, heading towards the summer solstice. Which mean extra time for all that gardening, or just sitting out and enjoying the garden.
- The weather starts to improve. We might get the odd rainy day, but in a gardeners world, that’s okay, so long as it isn’t a day you’d planned on doing much in the garden! We have to get some housework done at some point, so that’s what the rainy days are for. That and planning.
- Further to point 2, there is still a freshness in the air. The heavy humidity of July and August hasn’t arrived just yet. So there’s no excuse not to crack on with some essential gardening tasks, of which there are many at this time of year.
- My garden always looks it’s best at this time of year. From the late narcissus and tulips of early May, to forget-me-nots and aquilegias in mid May, and the first foxgloves and clematis opening in June. By mid July most flowers have gone over and there are gaps everywhere. There are flowers that come later, but somehow the garden never looks quite as pretty as it does right now.
- The allotment fills up and starts to really take shape. Once the potatoes are up and the tender crops have been planted, the plot looks full of great potential. Again by late July I have gaps where the over wintered onions and garlic have come out, the early potatoes are in stages of being dug up with the tops dying down, the tomatoes have no doubt caught blight, and there’s rust and mildew running amok. Past experience talking there!
- The ‘firsts’ of the growing season are coming thick and fast. First asparagus, broad beans, and then the first strawberries. By late summer you’re over-run with too many courgettes and are scouring the internet for cucumber recipes, but early summer is when everything is very welcome and just tastes so amazing!
- The house starts to fill up with vases of cut flowers from the plot, such as these Sweet Williams I bought home yesterday.
- We get a second bank holiday of the month, giving me time to catch up with my journal.
What do you love about this time of year?