Meán Fómhair sa ghairdín

'Blue' rose in front of window box with yellow petunias and royal blue lobelia. 


The wheel continues to turn.  We've passed Lúghnasa and the days are getting noticeably shorter.  Dublin doesn't get very cold and certainly doesn't experience extremes of weather but we're actually at the same latitude as Edmonton, Alberta.  Therefore, at the height of summer, the sky is still light at 23.00, goes a bit dark for four hours and then brightens again by 04.30.  At this time of year, I feel the darkness enveloping the earth like a warm, cosy blanket.

Although the days are shorter, we are still in the big growth season.  Peas might be done but the courgettes, cabbage, sweetcorn, tomatoes and carrots are just hitting their peak performance.

Baby courgettes

Cabbage

Sweet corn 

Tomatoes

A flurry of carrots bracketing the spring onions


I've had so much cabbage that this year I made both sauerkraut and kim chi and miraculously it worked! They are all now living in the 'fridge and probably won't last long due to being very tasty!  I have also juiced cabbage, kale and carrots to freeze and add to soups and stews throughout the winter.

Sauerkraut

Kim chi

Rainbow carrots

Freshly harvested cabbage

Top from left: juiced kale and carrots; bottom from left: juiced cabbage


I've also been cutting a lot of rosemary, pounding it into oblivion in the pestle & mortar with some sea salt and olive oil and adding it to homemade bread made from a homemade sourdough starter.

Rosemary picked from the garden to be used to make homemade rosemary & sea salt bread


The big jobs for me in the garden now are tying / propping plants up that tend to flop (lillies, asters, autumn fruit - blackberries & loganberries), weeding, and starting to think about structural jobs to do over the winter.  Our patio set needs to be stripped back and refinished and I really want this year to be the year I (finally) get comfortable with the drill and add trellising to the front of house (for wisteria) and back garden (climbing clematis).

Late lillies


The sunflowers have been glorious up until experiencing a wind storm which nearly blew them all over.  I've staked them for the moment and they should be able to right themselves, given the time.  One of the reasons you see old manor houses throughout the UK and Ireland with walled gardens isn't necessarily because they were concerned with security, rather walls offer shelter from wind & weather.

Giant yellow and orange sunflowers


The blackberries and apples are coming into season but are still quite sour.  But not in a bad way! I've only harvested the red apples so far, which have started to drop.  The green apples are still on the grow and I'm excited to see what they're like.

A crop of apples


That's really it, so far.  In addition to my own garden I've also been pinching elderberries from a tree down the road and am hoping to make elderberry syrup from it.

Its not too late to seed a quick crop of spinach or mixed salad greens.  The mixed lettuce I have in the front garden has started to shoot, so I'm probably not going to get much more from it and I've sown a couple lines of mixed leaves in the back garden which are now starting to come up and should give me fresh salad until the first frosts.


You can just see three sproutlings of mixed lettuce coming up 


Happy growing & enjoying the fruits of the season.

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