Thursday 28 June 2018

The garden year in words and pictures

Sitting contemplating my garden recently (as you do), it struck me how different it looks in each month of the year, and I thought it might be amusing to try to summarise the state of the garden in a single word for each month, and illustrate it with a single photo. Here goes...

January - Composting. Emptying the compost bins and putting the compost into containers for later use.

February - Chitting. Seed potato tubers in egg-boxes, chitting (sprouting) on the windowsills.

March - Waking. Rhubarb plants "waking up" after their hibernation.

April - Sowing. This is the month in which most of my seed-sowing is done.

May - Planting. This is the month in which I do most of my planting of seedlings like these brassicas and beans.

June - Lifting. June is the month in which I start lifting potatoes - usually container-grown ones like these "Juliette" ones.

July - Growing. The raised beds are full of swelling vegetables. Not prime harvesting time yet, but looking after the veg carefully now will pay dividends later.

August - Harvesting. This is the month in which the harvests are most abundant.

September - Preserving. The late Summer harvest is dried, pickled and pureed to preserve it for Winter use.

October - Turning. Like when the leaves turn from green to red, yellow and orange.

November - Protecting. The cloches are deployed to provide protection for over-Wintering plants like lettuces and chicory.

December - Planning. A very pleasurable activity during the depths of Winter - planning garden projects and what to grow in the forthcoming year.

One of the chief attractions of gardening as a hobby is its infinite variations. Although the gardening year usually follows a general pattern, no two years are the same, and the challenges presented by weather, pests, diseases and the vagaries of plants themselves are different every time! I think the ever-growing effect of Climate Change is probably the biggest challenge of the lot, because it brings us increasingly unpredictable and often extreme weather. Old gardening books sometimes tell us precisely when to sow each different type of vegetable, but these days I think it is unwise to rely on such advice. Instead one has to develop a "feel" for the conditions - and more than ever before - trust to luck!


  1. To be honest I think old gardening books didn’t take account of varying conditions which was an issue even back then. Martyn was doing some weather research for his blog and the three recorded hottest June’s were all in the 1800s. Of the top seven only one was later than the 1800s with some in the 1700s. The only one so far in our lifetime in the top seven was 1976 which came in at 4th.

  2. Nicely done, Mark! A delightful recap. Just love your blog.


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