Western Isles Gardening
It is June and although the weather hasn’t been at it’s best it is in fact midsummer. The time of the longest day, a night of twilight when at midnight I can still see across the croft and if I was so inclined could read a book without a light.
I always find this time of year a little confusing because my mind says, midsummer, and the garden should be far more advanced because from here on, the sun begins its decline to the autumn. But then I look around me at what is growing in the wild and realize that there are numerous wild flowers yet to come and so I settle back into the Hebridean summer knowing the garden will flourish in abundance despite the occasional gales and rain.
Once midsummer is upon us there is a sudden surge of growth with the increase of light and the air becomes heady with the perfume of the blossoming machair.
The activity in the greenhouse begins to slow down as a lot of the sowing is done apart from the successional plants and biennials for next year and we get more of a chance to sit back and bask in our efforts (well, weather permitting of course).
I have had a bad case of greenfly in the greenhouse and not wanting to use chemicals I made a concoction of crushed garlic, mint leaves and lavender essential oil, brought it to the boil and left it to brew for a while before adding cold water and straining into a garden sprayer. I took off what greenfly I could first with my fingers then sprayed the lot twice a day for two days and so far it looks like it has worked. I shall continue the spraying periodically though in the hopes of keeping them at bay.
I have had to resow my first lot of carrots. I don’t know whether it was dud seed or whether after the initial burst of good weather it was too cold and then too wet for germination. The second lot I sowed seems to be coming up fine.
The last of the summer greens have been sown and the garden is filling up nicely with cabbages, broccoli, peas, cauliflower, spinach, swede and broad beans. The dwarf French beans are staying in the greenhouse along with the aubergine I sowed in February, and still very small, I don’t hold out much hope for them giving me any fruit. I shall let you know how it goes!
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Peaches, grapes, tomatoes and other salad crops are
grown on The Poly Croft on the Isle of Lewis
Visit the web site for growing tips and location details of the most North Westerly vineyard in the UK...