Looking through the trees on a summers day

Ellen's August blog 2023

Ellen Mary provides an update on the cut flowers, beans and peas she was growing in her June vlog.

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Back in June my vlog showed you some of the cut flowers I was growing on the allotment and since it has been an incredible year for them, I thought I would update you on where the cut flower garden is at. It’s been cloudy, rainy, and windy here in Norfolk for most of July and into August which has impacted the growth on the allotment. Lots of foliage and not so much fruit and many green tomatoes still waiting for the sun!

All the beans and peas have thrived, most of the salads, an abundance of turnips, beetroot, and small courgettes but it’s not been a great year for carrots - at least on my plot it hasn’t been - which is unusual because they love sandy soil. Thankfully having the Rhino Greenhouse means I can move a few pots inside when they have simply had quite enough of the rain! The horseradish is fully enjoying the warmth of the greenhouse as are the micro greens and gherkins.

The cut flower patch has now really come into its own and to think they were all just small seeds a few months ago! I don’t think growing from seed will ever cease to amaze me. Even without much sun for weeks on end the Zinnias ‘Giant California Mix’ are bringing a stunning splash of colour and the row of dwarf Sunflower ‘Teddy Bear’ has been flowering away for weeks with many more buds ready to burst open. The Strawflowers have grown well this year and occasionally I’ve spotted the buds open but otherwise they are closed up just waiting for the sun to shine. The Dahlias woke up overnight! I have twelve varieties and every year the two that flower first are the trusted Dahlia ‘Kelvin Floodlight’ and ‘Myrtles Folly’. After which each of the others start to appear and fill the border with incredible colours, patterns and textures. Perhaps the star of the show now are the Giant Mongolian Sunflowers. I am a mere 5’4” but even with my arms stretched up as high as I can and on tip toes, I am still nowhere near touching the top. They are incredible! The last of the annuals to flower this year but well worth the wait.

The weather seems to be remaining a little grey for a few weeks but if you can get outside and enjoy what’s growing, harvest your crops and pop a few cut flowers in a vase - you can still bring yourself some sunshine.

Happy August gardening!

Ellen Mary
Instagram: @ellenmarygardening
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