Western Isles Gardening
August Garden Page.
There is a warm wind blowing so I know it is summer and despite the rain and wind that has battered the flower heads down to the ground, the garden is still full of colour and things to eat. How does it do that? Some days I look out and despair as the wind rocks the plants and day after day the rain comes down and then the sun comes out, even if it is just for a little while and hope is restored as I tie and tether things upright again.
After all that sunshine in May we have certainly had our fair share of rain over the last couple of months. Some plants like beetroot have begun to bolt. The kohl Rabi haven’t done well either although they have produced a few meals. The tomatoes are still green but I live in hopes of a few red ones and I am still hoping for at least one tiny aubergine and perhaps a pepper or two, though the flowers seem to be rotting off before the fruit can set.
As I sit and look out at the front garden the darkening rain clouds give the perfect backdrop to the red rowanberries. The rowan tree is about four years old. I grew it from seed and this is the first year it has had berries.
August the first is upon us and it is Lammas, the time of the Harvest and abundance and thanks giving that our efforts despite the challenges of the Hebridean weather have provided us with a feast of colour and food. The onions are about ready to be lifted and ripened off, the first crop of potatoes are coming out of the ground and my dinner plate is filled every night with an array of steamed vegetables.
There is plenty still to do in the garden. It is a good time to take half ripe cuttings of shrubs, gather herbs for drying, bend down onion tops, sow spring cabbages, gather any seeds and sow them for next year, gather in blackcurrants and any other fruits ready before the birds do it for you.
For early flowering next year sow larkspur and lupins. It’s not too late to sow lettuce in a cold frame or greenhouse as well as parsley and cress.
I hope we all see a bit more sun this month. Happy harvest to you all.
Local horticultural groups or gardener's clubs can add details of meetings etc to the garden page - email webmaster.
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...