Summer gardening has begun

Well the summer has arrived early and although there has been next to no rain the plants are doing very well.  Have noticed that  all the alliums finished a bit early and a lot of foxgloves are nearly over, probably because it has been so hot, they are setting their seed earlier than usual.  All my veg is now in, I decided to hold back on putting my runner beans out too early as last year there was a frost in mid May so I only put them out 2 weeks a go, they will catch up I am sure, but will suffer if we continue to have little rain.

Have decided to try out the straw bale planting technique, so far the cucumbers I put in them are struggling and the butternut squash and runner beans look a bit starved of nutrients.  It is difficult to keep the bales wet, but the plants roots will be warm and will prob make their way down into the soil beneath.  Straw bale planting seems to be very popular in America, it is a quick way of having a raised bed system at a low cost.  I shall report back further in the season to see if it works or not.

Have enclosed a lovely photo of wonderful garden flowers that can be used in a vase, ‘Nicotiana’, ‘Zinnia’, ‘Osteospernum’ and ‘Menthus’.  I always grow ‘Cosmea’ too as it has such a long growing season, right up to Oct/Nov, and you just keep dead heading them to keep them flowering.