Runcation (noun) – an obsolete word meaning the act of weeding by hand. On the 1st of June, runcation appeared in my email inbox, as the Oxford English Dictionary’s word of the day. It’s from the Latin verb rucare and is not a RUNcation, a vacation for those addicted to jogging or training for marathons – something I came across when doing an internet search on the word. I thought it a prophetic noun to start the month in the garden – particularly as I finally got around to weeding the fruit tree border with its underplanting of alpine strawberries (and dandelions, grasses, plantains, buttercups, chickweed…holly and sycamore seedlings…etc.).
The slugs have also been active as you can see in the large holes made in the rhubarb leaves. One morning I spotted a snail at eye level inching its way up the tall fennel stalks. The rosemary is a prime spot for an insect that lives in what is colloquially known as cuckoo spit – seen in the image below to the right. And, of course, spiders both large and small abound – some of which are beneficial and others that tend to spread diseases.
Okay, all the negatives out of the way, I can concentrate on the positives. The first and foremost positive being the berries and other fruit forming.
It looks like the black currants, incongruently placed in the herb bed, might be the first fruit to be harvested. That is, other than the rhubarb – a curiosity classed as both fruit and vegetable. I don’t usually get many black currants, but they make a fantastic jelly and are a perfect addition to my lemon barley water.
And, I’ve found a rather swish solution to guarding the strawberries: stylish wire cloches rimmed with copper.
Remember those cuttings I took from the lavender and some of the other herbs? A few have rooted and were ready for potting up as you can see below – oregano, lavender and sage. They’re hardening off before they’ll be slotted back into the garden.
The lavender hedge alongside the currant and gooseberry bed is coming into bloom. I harvest the buds to dry – both for cooking and scenting. This year, I’m also attempting lavender essential oil by steeping the buds in alcohol.
Tasks to be done:
- Fill in the spaces underplanting the fruit trees – one suggestion was to plant borage, a self seeding annual with blue flowers that attracts those pollenating bees.
- Trim the grape vine and harvest the leaves and tender shoots.
- Continue the battle with slugs and snails.
- Decant and use the lavender essential oil as an air freshener.
- Begin harvesting the berries!
|Around My Edible Garden is my monthly diary entry detailing what is happening in my garden this past month, part of the Garden Share Collective (GSC), maintained by Lizzie@strayedtable. A chronological listing of my garden blog posts is listed Diaries in the Menu bar.|