Normally around this time of year, many of us would be taking holidays abroad but, with restricted travel, the staycation has become this year’s holiday destination.

As the country gradually opens back up and with a return to some form of normality it is amazing how much there actually is to do locally.

The NGS (National Garden Scheme) is a great way to see gardens local to you. You can fi nd the little booklets in our centres with gardens that are open and the dates of opening, and visiting can give you some inspiration for your own garden.

There are also some magnifi cent stately homes in our neck of the woods that are well worth a visit. Burghley House and Boughton House to name just a couple. Many have spectacular gardens that we may well miss whilst on a beach abroad.

The July and August vegetable gardens are the months your hard work will be rewarded with (hopefully) an abundance of crops. In July, potatoes, raspberries, strawberries and runner beans; in August, carrots, globe artichokes, cucumbers and courgettes should be available.

Courgettes are a particular favourite of mine. They are easy to grow, give a nice coloured fl ower ahead of the crop and last year mine gave an abundance of courgettes. I was gifting them to anyone that would take them in the offi ce.

Did you know that the artichoke is one of the oldest foods known to humans and is actually from the thistle family. The edible part being the buds before they come into bloom. There are over 140 varieties of artichoke, but commercially only around 40 varieties are grown, with the most popular countries for growing being France, Italy and Spain.

They are eaten by steaming or boiling the fl ower buds, removing when tender and cutting each leaf and sucking out the juicy fl esh. The heart of the bud is also edible. They are certainly an alternative to many of our staple vegetables and worth trying for something different. If not grown for eating the plants will open and fl ower producing and violet blue fl ower that can be up to 6 inches diameter.

The months of July and August can be some of the driest so watering is a must. Consider saving water during the wetter months with a water butt or similar. Best to water early morning or late evening if you can. On my allotment there is no running water so looking around there are some very ingenious ways of collecting water.

Summer lawns – it’s worth raising the cutting height on the lawnmover during August; this will help the lawn from going brown. One fi nal thought is that the weed will always keep trying to win over. Pick a few of the weeds each time you are in the garden to avoid it becoming a chore.

Enjoy the summer and see you next time!

Finedon Road Burton Latimer NN15 5QA

01536 722635

OPEN HOURS: Mon-Sat: 9am - 6pm Sun: Open for browsing - 10am Tills open - 10.30am - 4.30pm

Only minutes from J10 off the A14 and midway between Kettering and Wellingborough

Elton Walled Garden Elton PE8 6SH

01832 343104

OPEN HOURS: Mon-Sat: 9am - 6pm Sun: 10am - 5pm

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Bosworth's July & August Gardens 2021Bosworth's July & August Gardens 2021