Harvesting was the highlight last month, with kilos of onions, carrots, turnips beetroots, spinach, garlic, broad beans, aubergines, peas, tomatoes and salad delivered to the poultry shop and the Artisans Lounge in Ayr in return for generous donations. Care and Share received a tray of onions and bunches of parsley, most importantly the Gardening Leave kitchen is producing ever more imaginative recipes with all the lovely fresh ingredients. We are open to suggestions on cooking aubergines. On the subject of food we harvested elderflowers again this year and made a refreshing drink to accompany salad and burgers, cooked on the barbecue, when the sun eventually showed its face. The veterans made a squirrel proof cage for the strawberries , this prevented the squirrels eating the strawberries. However, it was not veteran-proof and not many made it to the table!
We continued to sow lettuce, carrots, radish mizuna, runner beans and cabbages to ensure beds remain full after harvesting.
In the stovehouse we have tomatoes, aubergines, chillies, cucumbers, peppers and Inca berries (Cape gooseberries) which thanks to Billy’s care and expertise are all thriving.
Wet weather allowed more time to be spent on woodwork and we were busy throughout July making a pallet garden and woodwork items for Ayr flower show…more on that subject next month.
The stovehouse border is full of colour albeit slightly unruly with all the rain, the sweet peas are beautiful and growing them in the autumn and planting out in a sheltered spot has really paid off this year and we cut bunches each week to take to the poultry shop.
The main event in July was our annual open day for Scotland Gardens. More than 100 visitors came and the sun shone showing off the terrace and raised beds full of vegetables to their best. Contributions of home baking were gratefully received and then eaten, thanks to Margaret Bean and Margaret Mills for her special shortbread. Guess the weight of the butternut squash proved a winner for the Middleton family but dad came up trumps with the correct weight, winning a wheelbarrow planter. It was a lovely day enjoyed by veterans, staff and visitors and we raised approximately £700. Thanks to everyone who helped .
Donations this month included: baking, pots, seeds, plants wood for kindling and a cooker for the GL kitchen.
Visitors to the garden this month were Jade Gillies who is taking on the CPN role in Chelsea, and spent a couple of days based at our Auchincruive site. Staff from Kier Mining group also visited to present a cheque for £2000 they had raised for Gardening Leave.
Victoria and Pam