The Changing Seasons ~ July 2020


The last day of July and it’s HOT! And rather a shock to the system. For much of the month, the Edge has been cloud-bound with low light and at times even chilly. Every now and then I’ve grown confused and thought it must be September. The wheat in Townsend Meadow is already looking overdone. (So soon!). The vegetable plots seem confused too. Many plants, especially the climbing beans, seem to have gone into a trance – as if they’ve given up before they’ve hardly begun. But then it’s a sign of the times, if not the status quo – confusion.

And at least the potatoes and onions have remained steadfast and productive. There should be tomatoes soon too. August also comes with fresh cultivating possibilities. I’ve been preparing to sow Chinese greens, endives, spinach and Swiss chard for the autumn and winter. Maybe some carrots too – the stubby little Paris Market variety, which can be sown late. And then when the potatoes are harvested it will be time to sow over-wintering green manures: mustard, annual rye and field beans. So the round of soil nurturing continues. It’s all part of a process of extending gratitude for keeping us Farrells, (friends and neighbours too) well nourished. We seem to be keeping the insect world pretty well fed too.

Now for scenes from the gardening fronts. On both sides of our garden fence the yellow helianthus and golden rod are bursting forth among the hot reds, pinks and purples. It’s a gaudy scene, and though I don’t care for the colour of the pink phlox, in the present heat wave it smells wonderful – a sweet warm meadowy scent. Meanwhile up at the allotment, the communal fruit trees are already showing signs of prodigious production, and I’ve brought bundles of very fine onions home to dry:

The Changing Seasons: July 2020

46 thoughts on “The Changing Seasons ~ July 2020

  1. I envy you your green veggie fingers! I might attempt growing some spinach – it worked over the winter months one year so I might be lucky. I need to make some space in one of the raised beds though.

  2. It has been hot here, but finally there is a break in the heat. I just found a recipe using Swiss chard with orzo and scallops that is on my list of things to try.

  3. I love that first shot Tish: it totally captures the feeling of summer. It does sound like it’s been an odd month for you too, but hopefully Ausust will bring calmer times and more goodies to harvest. As always, I am inspired by your gardening endeavours. Apart from picking citrus and assorted greens (chard, cavolo nero), I did nothing in the garden this past month.

  4. You must have been born with green fingers, Tish! Always plants and fruit and vegetables growing – and growing abundantly. Beautiful to look at and wonderful treats on your table.

  5. Last month we moved away from our home in California to take up permanent residence at the old house in New Mexico. When we left, our gardens remained behind, Tomatoes, carrots, cilantro, courgette, plums, and apples, now belong to the new homeowner. No gardens yet in NM except the grapes and figs. I haven’t been successful at keeping the birds out of the grapes. Got any tips?

    1. It’s so hard to leave a lovely garden behind, and especially the tomatoes and cilantro! As to the grapes, some kind of cage/netting is probably the only answer, unless they will respond to a bird scaring device. The problem with the latter, birds can get used to them, and the humans find them irritating.

  6. I always drool over your garden of abundance Tish. I know Swiss Chard as silver beet and it is one of the veggies that grow very well in my garden and the bugs seem to leave it alone. I’ve seen the photos of the hordes swarming onto your beaches in the hot weather. It sounds more like an Australian summer. I hope you have air conditioning.

  7. blessings abound in your garden, Tish! all growing beautifully and yielding so abundantly. awesome colors both the flowers and veggies! 🙂 🙂

  8. Tish, you have a Garden of Eden. Just lovely … those plums, remember my grandma’s Victoria plums. She made wine from them together with black currant. And ever Christmas it was served. Your garden is very liked hers. In the shed, she had a pig every year too … that didn’t have a chance to survive Christmas, so sad. She always planed onions in between the rows of carrots, beans and lettuces … it kept the maggot away. Just wonderful. The nicest part of my childhood, except losing the pig every Christmas. Thanks for sharing your world.

    1. Such a vivid comment, Viveka. I love the sound of plum and black currant wine. I haven’t ventured into brewing much, though have made strawberry vodka and creme de cassis. Your granda knew her onions (and her carrots) planting them in neighbouring rows like that. So sorry about the pig though.

      1. Tish … like red about the vodka. I’m a vodka girl. *smile Yes, my grandma knew her garden very well, loved to harvest with her. Yes, the pig so sad. She sent me away to friends when it was time. I was so upset every Christmas, but I didn’t really mind eating it. *smile – still like my pork meat. But after seen the movie about Babe … I didn’t have bacon for quite a while.

      2. A vodka girl, eh. I’m quite keen on it myself – especially in a Bloody Mary! Also like damson vodka, a sort of liqueur where you soak damsons and sugar in vodka for a few months. And as for pigs, the trouble is they are so very appealing and especially when you know them personally. But it doesn’t stop us eating pork either.

      3. Damsons … I never heard of … but Google tells me that it’s a plum and I have eaten, we have it over here. You know our snaps is made from Vodka, we drink it straight from the freezer … thick as oil. A shot makes you feel very warm and fuzzy inside. We Sweden always have it in the freezer .. ready to go. *smile Pigs are really a very social creatures … and very clean … love the piglets, so cute. Filthy pigs .. all down to the owner. I love pork. Not that keen on beef.

      4. I wondered afterwards if you’d know what damsons were. They are about a third the size of plums and a very rich flavour. We also have wild ones – sloes – the size of peas – that are also good as sloe gin or vodka. Chilled snaps ready to go sounds an inviting option just now. (Note to self: stop listening to BBC ‘news’)

    1. I have to say that in current bonkers times having veggies on hand is one of the few things that come with unequivocal pleasure – a few slugs the only issue.

  9. I loved this peek at your side of the world and life. Your garden looks beautiful. And how lovely to have a garden and to be able to grow your own flowers and food. I recently went to a farmer’s market in the city, where I realized how little I know about what foods and fruits are in season. But it was fun to meet and learn of new produce too, and good to support local food.

    1. I think farmers’ markets are so important. Nothing like local, in-season produce and a chance to talk with the people who grew it. Thank you for following my blog 🙂

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