August garden days

It’s time for a little update of the garden! We’ve had an unusual summer in terms of the weather. Lots of rain and little sunshine or heat. Some parts of Belgium had to deal with an extreme flood and there’s so much damage. Our climate is really changing due to the global warming and it has already huge effects.

It’s so heartbreaking to read about it and I hope that this little place on this beautiful earth that I call my garden, can be a safe, natural and healthy place for plants, animals and humans. That I can contribute to a healthier and more sustainable way of life.

Today is the warmest day so far with 29 degrees and a partly cloudy sky. So let me take you on a little round in my garden… We start in the veggie garden where everything still looks green; such a difference with last year when there was the heat waves and drought.

Although some vegetables aren’t growing so well, others really do. Like these delicious yellow wax beans for example.

I’ve tried a new recipe with the kohlrabi which we all loved. The fennel was roasted in the oven with other vegetables and is one of my favourite summer dinners!

This year’s harvest of garlic wasn’t so big as usual and the onions were very small (and already eaten!). But still there’s nothing better than fresh roasted garlic from the garden.

Some veggies really loved this colder and rainy weather; palm cabbage, lettuce and Swiss chard. It’s a challenge to find a new recipe every week to use the chard!

A basketful of happiness! The first zucchini, strangely shaped carrots, persil and cute, prickly olive cucumbers.

As I try to grow something new every year, I’ve planted these sweet potatoes. And they are slowly covering the soil with their entwining leaves. I’m some kind of curious to see if the potatoes are growing but I’ll have to wait until October to harvest them.

We’ve harvest a lot of raspberries although not as much as last year. Our pantry is already filled with jars of homemade jam and syrups. I’ve made syrups of jostaberries and blackcurrants. Unfortunately I was too late for the aronia berry; I noticed they were already ripe but I wanted to wait a little longer and when we came back from a weekend away the birds have had a delicious feast. And all the berries were gone, as the possibility to make this healthy syrup for the winter days.

Apples, blackberries and prunes are ripening… soon to be enjoyed. I garden ecologically so I don’t use pesticides or other harmful products in the garden. But our prunes suffer from a disease and even though I’ve used a pheromone trap, the tree hasn’t restored its healthy balance. It will take some years, I know. I just hope we can enjoy some of the prunes and use them in cakes and pies.

On the rainy and grey days, the sunflowers were really tiny suns for me! I enjoyed their bright and happy yellow colors so much. I never buy yellow, red or orange flowers for the garden but I gladly make an exception for the sunflowers (and for the marigolds and nasturtium who come back every year). They really deserve a place in every natural garden don’t you think?!

As we continue our way in the garden, we arrive at the flower beds. At this time in August purple and pink hues are the main colors in the garden.

View on my studio and its terrace which is now covered with grapes and giving us the perfect cool shade.

The different buddleja’s we have in the garden are so inviting to all kind of butterflies! It’s quite fascinating to watch all these beautiful butterflies for some time.

Hemp agrimony, echinacea, wild fennel, pink yarrow are making a perfect color palette which I daily enjoy. And it’s the first year I’ve tried dahlia’s. Unfortunately only 2 plants of the 5 I’ve planted are blooming. But I will try again next year!

Bee friendly globe thistle and pink persicaria are a lovely colourful combination.

And what would summer be without picking flowers and arranging flower bouquets?! I love making a new bouquet every week for our home and studio. It’s one of those slow pleasures that gives so much joy!

The wildflower meadow in our garden is getting more beautiful and divers every year. The wild carrot, wild thistle and corn flower look so lovely in combination with the dried grasses. And they attract many insects and butterflies, which is wonderful to make our garden even more natural and balanced.

At last I wanted to share some scented lathyrus. It’s the first time I’ve been sowing the annuals. Although many of the tiny seedlings didn’t survive the transition to the garden so I have bought some special species on the garden fair in Hex. And they are doing great! Every day I have to stand still and smell their sweet fragrance! They are such a delight!

I hope you are also enjoying these August days and that the beauty of your garden and nature may nurture you!

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