HIgh Summer and thinking ahead

We're basking in high summer. It's dry and arid and it's all too easy to have a little siesta under an apple tree. I find myself dreaming about autumn. I've just bought some twill culottes and a navy blue ribbed fisherman's sweater. I drink gin but I'm secretly thinking about red wine. There's salad and kale to be cut in the garden but I'm eying the ugly bulging Italian green pumpkins.

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Emotional health can often be a perfect balance of living in the moment. Learn from your mistakes and plan for tomorrow; but dwelling too much in the past or anticipating too far into the future will send you mad. But with a garden it pays to plan ahead. It's coming to August and that means it is nearly time to start sowing hardy annuals. These are seeds that start their growth in the autumn and will happily sit in the ground over the winter and then, when the spring comes and the soil starts to warm, they're already good to go. This means big, strong plants and earlier flowers. Everyone is a winner. 

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It's been five years since I created no dig beds in my flower field and it's given generously in all that time. This autumn, the field is getting a big boost with lorry and lorry loads of green waste compost. This means that this August, we'll be sowing hardy annuals into pots and trays until the ground is ready for them. If you want guaranteed early flowers and you're a bet-hedger, try a bit of both. I've put together a pack of my favourites for August sowing if you want to get on it now...