Welcome to ‘In A Vase On Monday’ when I am linking up with Cathy at Rambling In The Garden to join her challenge to fill a vase for the house from the garden every week.
This week I have my first summer posy to share with you. The roses and perennials are just starting to show their faces and I have managed to find enough to fill a small jam jar. The vegetable garden is also starting to look more productive and the chickens are laying well, so in the spirit of the abundant garden to which I aspire I have added todays pickings to my photos as props!
Along with my flowers today I was able to find a handful of strawberries, a few pods of broad beans, plenty of asparagus and 3 eggs.
The rose I have used is climbing rose Crown Princess Margareta, a David Austin rose. She is a beautiful apricot orange shade with a strong fruity scent. I have planted it in both the climbing and bush form in the garden and it is performing very well for a young rose (planted in the early spring last year).
This has been the best year yet for my asparagus. The season started early, before the end of April, and I have barely been able to keep up with the rate of growth of the spears. We can carry on harvesting until mid June and then the beds will be left to form ferns, which will be cut back in November. I know that asparagus purists will be horrified, but throughout the summer months I plan to grow my sunflowers between the asparagus plants. Being tall they will flower above the height of the ferns and hopefully the ferns will act as a support to the long sunflower stems. I also have self seeded foxgloves growing amongst the asparagus – as long as they are not growing to close to the asparagus it seems to grow without any problem. Being such a flower lover I hate to waste any growing space, so I am always looking for ways to inter crop my flowers and vegetables.
I was delighted to see the first scabious flowers today. The large flower is scabiosa caucasia perfecta and the smaller ones are scabiosa ‘Butterfly Blue’. Both are a lovely shade of lavender blue.
I cannot remember harvesting strawberries in May before. I know these are an early variety, but mid June is when I would expect them. I need to take the net off the tunnel and pack some straw under the plants quickly as the strawberries are ripening on the soil. It is best not to wash strawberries so the straw helps to keep them clean.
I have added a couple of clematis blooms and some stems of catmint and salvia to the posy to increase the blue and mauve shades – very much in the spirit of Chelsea this year!
I have some large plants of catmint (this one is nepeta ‘Blue Cloud’) growing in my borders – it is a magnet for the bees and butterflies. I really liked the way a number of the Chelsea designers had literally dotted it through their borders this year, so in the autumn I intend to lift the large clumps and divide them into very small plants. I can then dot them through my borders for a similar effect. A word of warning though – catmint can be quite a thug, so be prepared to lift and split plants regularly if you plan to add them to your borders in this way.
Nowadays I always harvest the broad beans whilst they are still small. In my early days of vegetable growing I would leave the crops far too long before harvesting and often ended up with tasteless woody produce as a result. Now everything is picked at the earliest opportunity and I enjoy my produce far more as a result.
I hope you have enjoyed todays medley of garden produce and that you will pop over to Cathy’s blog to see what she and the others have found from their gardens to put in a vase this week.