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An onion can make people cry

"An onion can make people cry but there's never been a vegetable that can make people laugh." - Will Rogers

I’m not sure I agree with that. I’ve had many a laugh at a strange shaped vegetable. Some of our veg in the garden can be an odd shape. Usually because of erratic watering or it’s being forced to change direction because of overcrowding. The first of our Rainbow Carrots are a good example. These two seem to be having a cuddle.

If you follow the idea of companion planting, alliums (plants like onions, garlic and leeks) should be planted with carrots as they confuse the carrot fly. I assume it’s the smell. Alliums also deter slugs and keep fungal infections at bay so they are a useful group of veg.

Talking of allium, as well as onions, we are growing a few leeks in the veg garden now. We are using it as a winter vegetable. In order to whiten the stems of the leek you wrap it in cardboard to stop the sun from getting to it. I found some 2 inch wide sections of plastic piping in a skip and have used these instead as an experiment. Hopefully they won’t grow wider than 2 inches.

There is still plenty more to pick in the veg garden. Although the last of the peas have been pulled up and more carrots sown in their place. The potatoes have now all been taken out of their tub now too. I’ve been leaving things for people to take on the table in the garden, so if you see anything you fancy, help yourself.

The garden is having lots of visitors this summer. More than ever. It’s fun to see them hunting for the hidden dinosaurs. I’ve only found 5 myself. A lot of people are just coming to look at all the plants we have in flower. We have several new volunteers helping with watering, weeding and deadheading, which is great as it’s a busy time. Some just come on the Friday morning 10am-12 session and others just pop in and do a bit when they are passing. It’s also lovely to see so many local people getting involved.

In the spring we were donated a pot of very unhappy bamboo, which had roots so matted that we had to saw it apart. It’s now in 5 pots, some of which are in the garden. Hopefully the roots are getting over the trauma of being split as I’ve noticed a few new shoots now. I’ve read that they need a lot of water though, so they probably haven’t liked our recent weather. Everyone has warned us not to plant them in the ground because they spread so much. So, like nearly everything we grow, they are in containers.

Flora, one of our suffragette scarecrows, lost her head last weekend. So we have decided to replace it with a photo of the suffragette she was named after, Flora Drummond. If you want to know more about her, I have put a few Flora facts in the frame nearby.

This month our garden birds can look a bit rough. It’s the time of year that they moult and grow new feathers. We have made a bird area towards the end of the garden to attract more birds and to help the birds that live nearby. As well as a bird feeder, we have been leaving them water to bathe in. This will help them look a lot smarter when their new feathers arrive.

The Blooming Old Gardener

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