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  • Writer's picturegardengateproject

Lush ferns, early potatoes & a bug hotel

As summer arrives and we head into June, the garden is looking particularly fresh, green and lush following such a cool and latterly damp spring. Our herb garden and herbaceous perennial beds of anemone, hemerocallis, iris, sedum, and stachys have benefitted from the enthusiastic attentions of some of our recently joined volunteers, and are looking particularly sharp and tidy.

Unfurling fern frond

Whilst our shaded areas, planted with a mix of ferns, foxgloves and martagon lilies, are really thriving and starting to look well established several years after planting. This year’s wallflowers, which enjoyed a tremendous final flush of flowers, have now been uprooted and composted. The tulips have been deadheaded to stop seed production and ensure the nutrients from the leaves return to the bulbs. In their place we’re busy planting out summer bedding, with dahlias set to brighten the ends of vegetable beds and cosmos, marigolds and other annuals in containers and any spare gaps to maintain our bright display of flowers through the season.

The vegetable garden really starts to get going this month. Whilst finishing off the last of the asparagus, it’ll soon be time to look towards the early potatoes for cropping once the plants set flower.

Early potatoes

Before long, the broad beans will be plumping up and ready to eat. The rows of elephant garlic are already looking really impressive, but will have to wait until their leaves yellow and dry out in the sunshine to be harvested. Netted peas have raced to cover their supportive sticks, whilst runner beans are entwining themselves up their poles, and the courgette plants are sinking their roots deep into their well manured planting holes. In the fruit corner, our raspberry canes and blackcurrant bushes have responded particularly well to a judicious pruning and should deliver a bumper crop either this year or next.

Appreciating all of these wonders of the garden, reminds us just how important the balance of nature is to sustaining the processes that underpin it.

Ed putting up his bug hotel

With this in mind, we refrain from using pesticides and other chemicals around the garden in order to benefit from an abundance of insects, organisms and other wildlife. To this end, and with some guidance from Jeff, Ed has made a fantastic five star bug hotel for them to make a home in, so they can continue pollinating the garden to boost our harvest and breaking down decaying matter in the on-going cycle of life.

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