Growing Awareness - Summer is coming in

28th May, 2019
by Julian | 3 Min Read
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Welcome to the latest garden news-post with our Apprentice Gardener Amy Cairns

Working outside is a treat - especially at Sharpham

It feels like summer really has come in; the seed grows and the meadow blooms, and the wood springs anew!

Working outdoors is a real treat at this time of year and it’s an especial privilege to experience the season in the gardens at Sharpham.

We’ve had a busy time lately getting all the veggies in the ground, keeping on top of weeds and ever-increasing lawn mowing. So we’ve been extremely grateful to our garden volunteers who’ve lent a helping hand over the past weeks:

Our regular Tuesday volunteers have been keeping the garden spruced with some pond-clearing, bed prep, path clearing and weeding in the glasshouse - fantastic! If you are interested in joining our merry band of volunteers, sign up for our Tuesday sessions via email here.

We are also lucky enough to have an enthusiastic cohort of learners currently doing their residency in sustainable horticulture at Schumacher College who are joining us each week as volunteers in the garden. Our latest work day was focused on turning the glasshouse over from winter salads to tomatoes, cucumbers and chillies. We added manure, comfrey leaves and fresh compost to the beds, secured planting lines, laid out irrigation and planted up the beds with a whole range of heritage tomato varieties.

A group of horticulture students from South Devon College also joined us for a work day and to gain some valuable experience towards their qualification. We worked on preparing and planting up a new lavender hedge, which we plan to harvest for our range of dried herbal teas for retreatants and prepping and edging a cut flower bed.

School Farm CSA joined us from Dartington with their Practical Horticulture students for another great day working in the gardens. We made great steps towards clearing the old orangery in the Sharpham woodlands, stripping away ivy, weeds and overhanging shrubs to open up the space as an inviting spot to sit and contemplate. The plan is to plant citrus-scented plants in this area to keep up with the orangery theme.

A huge thank you to all our groups of volunteers - we couldn’t have done it without you!

What’s happening in the June garden

In the Walled Garden the hungry gap is finally at an end as the first vegetable harvests are soon ready - we have broad beans, chard, spinach, radish, peas, lettuce and mustard leaves, beetroot and garlic almost ready to pick.

We’re also busy getting later crops into the ground that have been brought on in the glasshouse - courgette, squash, runner beans and kale will all be planted out. It is also a good time to get your second sowings of quick crops done for a succession of delicious vegetables like beetroot all through the summer and into autumn.

June is also the month for that loveliest of flowers, the rose, and the borders and walls at Sharpham are blooming with creams, pinks, reds and yellows.

If your roses at home are afflicted by any sap-sucking pests like greenfly and aphid, simply make up an ecological soapy solution and spray the plant to dislodge unwelcome visitors. Don’t forget to spray the underside of leaves as well as the upper surfaces.

Find out more about Sharpham's gardens here