The longest day has passed and although the diminishing daylight isn’t yet very apparent (unless you are a very early riser) it all-too- soon will be.
Before we know where we are we’ll be lamenting the transition into autumn and back to winter. This means that now is the time of year for even the keenest gardeners to take a break and enjoy your gardens.
Put down your fork and trowel for a day or two and take the time to look at your garden, sit in it and enjoy the fruits of your labours.
If you’re not that keen on gardening and have let things slide a bit a day or two longer won’t make any difference now: the major growth spurt for the year is over.
Don’t forget to look upwards too: some of the most beautiful sights in our gardens are way off the ground.
In my garden right now the most glorious flowers are the rambler roses.
In my garden the most glorious flowers are the rambler roses
Fillipes Kiftsgate is weighing down the top of a huge hawthorn tree with massive trusses of highly fragrant creamy-white flowers, which the rustic trellis and the roof of the workshop are both smothered in the pink and red flowers of American Pillar and Dorothy Perkins.
Meanwhile at the side of the house the fence is dripping with the hot-air- balloon flowers of Abutillon Megapotamicum and the house wall is almost invisible under masses of Passiflora Incense flowers.
Treat yourself to afternoon tea in your garden.
If, like me, you find it almost impossible to sit and do nothing in your garden then watering and picking fruit crops should be top of your list of tasks this month.
Blackcurrants are now just about ripe, as are red currents, and gooseberries are well on the way and will be ready to pick. My gooseberries were planted in 1929 and I still get at least a stone of fruit off them every year.
Both make super jam, and gooseberries also make wonderful chutney, cake and pie. Currants and gooseberries also freeze very well (and if you pick them on a dry day you can put them in the freezer direct from the garden, laid out on baking trays, and as soon as they are frozen tip into freezer bags or Tupperware type containers to make storage in the freezer easier). Or maybe like me you just like to stew the gooseberries and eat them straight away, perhaps served with a little Alpen or similar museli-style cerial.
My garden, on Ansell Road, Ecclesall, is open to the public under the National Gardens Scheme on Sunday July 30, noon to 6 pm.
Visit www.ngs.org.uk for more information.