Sunday, 15 July 2012


After the wettest April to July period since records began back in 1910, my vegetable garden is looking pretty...well, pathetic really! Want to take a tour with me and see what's grown? Well I can tell you now for nowt, it's sod all!! Too wet, too cold and too flamin' miserable!

Here are my sweet peas - the grand total of 3ft tall and, after a couple of days of sunshine in amongst the rain, I've got ONE flower - it's the middle of July for heaven's sake and I've got one sweet pea flower!
Did you notice the salad bed behind the sweet peas? No? Hardly surprising as nothing has grown here except for 2 bolting spicey mixed leaves and a fine crop of radish tops - but no radish bottoms... as it were! :-(  I seeded and re-seeded about 8 rows of different salad crops and have now given up and am growing them in trays in my greenhouse.

Here are my runner beans. They should have romped up to the top of the frame by now and be full of flowers and beans, not skulking away down at the bottom with narey a flower in sight*sigh*
The potato tops in the background are coming into flower and look healthy enough, but I have no idea of the state of any spuds underneath them...if indeed there are any spuds underneath them!

And as for the peas......... :-(  I adore freshly picked peas, but I'll be very lucky to get any this year at the rate things are going - and the rate crops are rotting!

Can you spot the carrots and parsnips? No, neither can I! Actually, after 3 sowings of 3 rows of each I've got the princely sum of 2 carrots and 4 parsnips. What's happened to the rest of them? Drowned!

Spinach and kale...juuust about holding their own. But the leeks are struggling as the amount of rain we keep getting in each deluge fills the holes and lifts the leeks out. I've lost count of the number of times I've stuffed the leeks back into the holes...and have NO idea if any of them will stay there long enough to grow.

Sweetcorn, squashes, pumpkins and courgettes - many have rotted away and the rest are doing nothing much, so I don't hold out much hope of a crop here either. Last Born is quite happy about this as she really doesn't like courgettes ever since the first year I grew vegetables and grew 8 courgette plants...well I didn't know how many courgettes one plant could produce, did I? We all overdosed on courgettes that year! :-P

Anything that doesn't get drowned has a fair chance of being eaten by the huge slug and snail population that has grown because of the very wet weather. I accidentally trod on one yesterday - it was nearly as big as my foot and it was like squashing a sausage!

The things that are doing well are....the weeds! Yesterday I completely filled my large green bin with sticky weed and willow bay herb that I pulled up on the island at the front - miserable! ...and I haven't even touched a couple of other weed-filled areas yet :-(

Although one bed along the right hand boundary in the back garden (which has had absolutely No attention whatsoever since I did some planting there in late March) has flowered  well in spite of the weather - it obviously thrives on total neglect and lots and lots and lots of rain!

Another special thing that has planted itself in the garden (with a bit of help, obviously!) is my recently acquired sculpture,'Atmos' .......Atmos-sphere, geddit?!! Ah well, it made me laugh!
It was a present to me from me for a job well done recently - something that was so far out of my comfort zone that I could barely see it in the you just have to reward yourself after times like that don't you?!

It was made by Alex Moore from Moore Designs in West Sussex and I absolutely love it.Once I'd seen it - in a magazine if I remember rightly, but don't ask me which one, I just had to have it...a response that is most unusual for me except for with plants! And, yes, it IS meant to be rusty and, no, it's not just rusty from all the rain we've had! He makes them in shiny stainless steel too, but I didn't think that'd sit so well in my garden. It was made to order and delivered within a month - and with a phone call from Alex to check when I'd be in to take delivery. A very impressive personalised service.
Check out Alex's website for some other great ideas!

Another acquisition that cheers me up every time I look out of the kitchen window is Gerald, my Javanese wood carving. Why Gerald? That is First-Born's fault! I'd popped to Nottingham for the day to see her back in April and there was a craft market on....dangerous places, craft markets! Anyway, we both loved the carvings on one stall and I couldn't resist buying this one. I had a very interesting conversation with the stall holder about the village he supports by selling their produce, about the Suar hardwood they use and about various Javanese names that I could pick from. As we walked away, purchase completed, First-Born announced "Gerald. You should call him Gerald"!

You try remembering complicated Javanese names once Gerald is in your head!!!

Hope the weather's better where you are?!


Pondside said...

How lovely to see a post from you!
We are having the same weather as you. Rain, rain and more rain. Here it is mid-July and we had to where jackets out today as it was so cold and damp. Whatever happened to real summer?
I love your sculpture and your carving - I like to find bits and pieces like that for the garden as well, but have nothing as elegant as your Atmo!

Sue@G.L. Allotments said...

Well I feel for you but I have to say you have made me feel better. I thought we were struggling but compared to your plot ours is thriving - even though it isn't growing anything like as well as it should.

Woody Wilbury said...

It won't be any consolation but we're in Oslo at the moment and the weather is no better here. Back home tomorrow and I already know, from how it was before we went away, that the allotment is in an appalling state. It's the worst summer (well, in truth you couldn't dignify it with the name "summer", cos it ain't) I can ever remember - and being venerable now I can remember a lot!!!

The Idiot Gardener said...

Ha! I share your pain!

It's been a right arsehole of a year, and I have very little growing. Spinach and chard seem okay, but everything else is so behind it's untrue.

I've decided to spend the rest of the summer building stuff!

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Pondside, thanks - it's nice to be back. Sometimes life gets in the way of blogging!

Oh dear, I didn't realise it was bad for you as well.I had to put the heating on for an hour last night! Grim, isn't it?! :-( I'm still hoping for some proper summer days but then I'm an eternal optimist!

Glad you like my garden art. It's kind of taken me by surprise that I'm getting to like things like this in the garden ..I guess it's all down to buying Baaarney the sheep the other year - it rained a lot that summer too!

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Sue. It's bad when even our well draining garden is so wet! I'm glad that your plants are growing...there's still time for ours to have a growth spurt if it ever dries up and warms up!

Nutty Gnome said...

Ey up Woody - you being in Oslo is no consolation whatsoever!!! Hope you had a good time in the Swedish rain though?!
I'd forgotten it was meant to be summer!
Consolation drinks soon?

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi IG - at least with building stuff you get something tangible at the end of it!
Trouble is, it keeps raining that hard and for that long here that I can't even go and play at building things - well hacked off!

Brigitta Huegel said...

Dear Liz,
what a disappointment to toil and labour and then to get only 2 salad leaves and a monster slug! I feel with you - though of course you made me laugh too! This year it seems to be better to garden on a (recessed) balcony - my sweet peas and the runner beans flower. Even the newspaper had to admit that this 'summer' is not normal (in Germany they have the annoying habit to tell you that it was utterly fine, while you pour the rain out of your wellies).
I love your iron sculpture - yes, rusty is so very handsome in a garden!

Shady Gardener said...

We can commiserate - you with an overabundance of rain and me with an overabundance of heat and dry weather... our gardens look about the same. Sad. But, we're Tough and the Lord is good. He'll see us through this. :-)

Love the sphere and the carving. You are terrific. I need to come back soon to read all about your happenings - your tea house looks wonderful!!! Are you using it?

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Britta, you're right - I am disappointed with my veg this year...not their fault, obviously,but still disappointing!
After a few days of very hot weather the peas and beans are perking up - got a couple of climbing beans reaching the top of the bean frame now, so there is hope that I may get a small crop of goodies!
I love your description of you pouring water out of your wellies whilst the weathermen tell you it's make me laugh too :-D

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Shady. Our weather has been jolly hot for the past few days - don't know how long it'll last, but at least the plants have shot up!
I hope you get some rain soon - it sounds like it's been even tougher for all of you than for us least we're used to lots of rain in the UK!!!

Thank you for your lovely compliment Shady and I happen to think that you're pretty special too :-)

The tea house is amazing and it's in frequent use as my treatment room where I do reiki, reflexology and back massages. It's a fantastic place to work as it has a lovely, calm feel about it but, as someone said to me, the whole place was built with love and you can feel it in the air!

Casa Mariposa said...

I'll take some of your rain!! Bone dry here in the US. I love your garden art!!! I wish Alex delivered across the pond!

BilboWaggins said...

Morning Nutty, sorry it's taken me an age to toddle over here. Love the sculpture, is it going to have a permanent home or will it roll around the garden as the mood takes you :}

There's no getting away from it, this is a rubbish year for veggies, hope things improve a bit from now.

Anonymous said...

Lovely post. We are having the opposite problem here, very hot and dry. I have discovered that there are some plants that die when it is too hot no matter how much water you give them.

I love your Atmos piece... quite wonderful. I need one for my garden.

Kathryn/ said...

Dear heavens, Liz! The world is topsy turvy. The gardeners in Oklahoma, Texas, etc. are all down in the mouth with washed out gardens too full of hot sunshine and there you are drowning. Scary days! Love your round sculpture and Gerald is a treasure. So glad you had an Olympic Summer to round out the Rainy One. Your pic at top is lovely, btw. Hugs! Kathryn xoxo

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Casa, sorry about the very delayed response - the Olympics and stuff kind of got in the way ...a lot!!!

We've still got rain, but there are rumours of an Indian summer - I can but hope!

I'm glad you like Atmos, but I'm guessing it might work out expensive to ship as it's chuffin' heavy!

Nutty Gnome said...

Ey up Bilbo. Atmos seems to be developing a wandering habit - I suspect the foxes!

Veggies are still poor. The things that have grown best whilst we've been away are ....the weeds! :-(

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Kathryn, oh it has been a grotty summer here. It was n't too bad while we were on holiday, fortunately, but we had a massive storm which flooded part of town the other day again. There's talk of an Indian summer, but who can tell?

Atmos is great, I love it - I've never really gone for sculptural stuff in the garden before, but once I'd seen it in a magazine I had a really strong urge to have one - most unlike me!

The Olympics were great and I'm really looking forward to the Paralympics, which start tonight - another 11 days of awesome sporting achievements :-D
Hugs back xxx