Western Isles Gardening
May Garden Page
Beltane, the first day of summer and a time of feverish activity in the garden and all across nature. The birds are nesting, animals giving birth and all around us new life sprouting from the land.
In years gone by this time of year would have been celebrated with ritual by blessing the land and fertilizing the soil and enjoying the fresh new shoots of edible foods after the long hardships of winter. Now because we have supermarkets and yearlong access to food I think we take for granted the abundance and forget to nurture nature and give thanks by replenishing the soil with wholesome natural fertilizers.
I have already begun with my mulching with the first of the grass clippings. It has kept the soil moist throughout this heat wave we have been having, encouraging the worms and feeding the soil.
It is traditionally a time of spring-cleaning, getting rid of the clutter, which is as important in the garden as it is in the home. Cutting back and clearing out the dead growth to give room to the new life bursting out of bud.
We all feel the sap rising, a spring in our step as the days lengthen and become warmer and we become to pick the first of our produce. I love it when I get the first of my herbs for the salads and the first of my vegetables for dinner.
The greenhouse is bursting at the seams with seedlings and young plants. It is a constant cycle of sowing, transplanting and hardening off and finally planting out.
It is always a worry here in the Western sles when the wee plants are ready to go out. We cast a wary eye on the sky and the barometer and hope for a few fine days while the plants get a hold in the ground.
The run up from now until Summer Solstice 21st June is a frantic whirl of activity of getting the majority of the crops in before the slow countdown of the declining sun. It is a short season here normally starting later and finishing earlier than further south. It will be interesting to see what global warming holds for us northerners in the future.
May your carrots be free of carrot fly and your cabbages free of root fly and your onions tasty and plump!!
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...