July 2022 Update: Welcome To Summer!

It always feels like Spring takes FOREVER to get going, and then almost as soon as you can say “yes, this is Spring!” it’s the middle of Summer and all of the plans we had for Spring are out of the window!

Nothing Worth Doing Is Easy

This month has been a bit of a challenging one on the Back To The Good Life homestead.

We’ve made some good progress with the garden, most of the beds are full of vegetables, the garden table is full of tomato plants, there are dwarf french beans growing in troughs, and the fruit trees are even producing for us.

On the downside, we still haven’t got a patio installed properly yet. We did try doing it the DIY method but we both realised that patio laying isn’t in our skillset!

We decided to put the sofa onto the patio slabs that are just about down and to just lay the rest of the slabs on the ground while we find someone to come and help us or do it for us.

I am really pleased that the main bit of decking no longer exists and that we seem to have got a handle on the rodent issue for the moment, but it’s frustrating to still have a patio area that looks a bit like a building site still!

A Sad Loss In The Garden

a tiny baby frog swimming in pond water
Hopefully we managed to save a few frogs. We have our name down forsome frogspawn next year already.

We’ve also had a very sad time with our little tadpole friends.

Both of us have been watching our frogspawn hatch into little tadpoles, and we were incredibly excited to see little tiny frogs begin to appear. Sadly, the pond sprang a leak!

I managed to rescue most of the frogs and tadpoles with the help of a friend, but the heat of Britain’s hottest day meant that the tadpoles that were in a bucket while we fixed the pond didn’t make it.

We have still got some frogs, around 6 we think, and they’re now back into the pond with a new pond liner. We’ve popped in some big rocks and tried to make the pond more multi-levelled rather than just one deep tub like the previous owners had designed it (we think they had fish in there so that makes sense).

Welcoming In The Summer

a close up of a bumble bee on an allium flower
Apparently bumble bees really like allium flowers!

There is some positive news though! The bees are loving the flowers that we’ve planted this year!

We’ve tried to go for as many edible flowers as possible, we have pansies, nasturtiums, marigolds, dianthus, violas, and cornflowers. Hopefully, we will have enough grown and pressed to decorate our wedding cake next year!

We’re also just beginning to see the first of the summer fruits and veg really settling in. We have tomatoes growing, peppers, courgettes, more peas, the last of the broad beans, one solitary cucumber plant, beets, and turnips all poking through and doing well.

We’ve also been able to harvest some peas already as well as some broad beans, last year’s leeks, radishes and our lovely new potatoes!

Feelin’ Fruity

nearly ripe raspberries growing on a tree
We are really enjoying getting a few soft fruits from our plants even in the first year!

This year we invested in a few fruit trees too. Although they won’t be at their strongest for a few years, we’ve actually had a few little soft fruits off of them so far, which is really cool!

We have raspberries, blueberries, black currents, and strawberries from last year that we overwintered.

All of them have given us a little bit of fruit and we’re hoping that they will continue to thrive in pots for a few years until we can move into a bigger plot.

We have also got a gooseberry bush too, although there hasn’t been any fruit from that yet due to it playing host to caterpillars.

Planning Ahead for Winter

There is plenty of autumn and winter veg growing too, from squash plants to leeks, kale, spinach, and broccoli!

We’re hoping to keep all of this going and get as much food out of our little garden as possible!

That’s it from us for now, we hope you’re enjoying the warm weather and staying hydrated in your little gardens too.

Niki & G