With all the excitement of a new garden, I’d nearly forgotten it was time for another Garden Share Collective. There are plans for the garden… I’ve drawn up a new design for the veggie patch. At the moment the borders are too big to be able to tend them without walking on the soil. The all new, shiny design should mean that there’s no more treading on the carefully composted and cultivated ground. So soon we’ll transform it from this – to a neat, organised and productive patch. Unfortunately, in my rush to get plants and seeds in the ground so that we can eat something from the garden this summer, some of the plants are now sitting right in the middle of future paths, but I can work around them for now. With all the hot, dry weather I was getting a bit sick and tired of carting the watering can around in an attempt to keep plants from wilting. The new priority became making space to get potted plants into the ground. And, on one of the wettest days we’ve had for some weeks, I’ve made some progress. A patch of lawn at the front of the house has become a border. Planted with herbs and nectar-rich perennials… from this to this – … ok, it doesn’t look like much at the moment. But what you’re looking at is food for next year’s bees and butterflies. The greenhouse windows you ask… hmmm, they’ll be cleaned soon enough. Even though they’re not the cleanest pieces of glass you’ve ever seen, the plants are doing fine. Cucumbers and tomatoes are ripening and making good salads. And outside the greenhouse there are lots of poppy seeds to save – some for sowing next year and even more to use in bread. We have chillies in abundance too. Black Hungarians, Hungarian hot wax, padron, jalapeno… and after a mix up of the chilli seeds when they were sown there are still a lot of unnamed chilli plants. Not all have been identified so far, but these are rocoto chillies grown from seeds sent by Emma Cooper in my Seedy Penpals parcel earlier this year. So far, we’ve added chillies to salads, pasta sauces, and potatoes baked with shallots and cream… and made chilli jam. What I need are more ideas for using chillies – anyone got any suggestions? Up in the orchard (and I’m still loving being able to say we have an orchard, despite the fact that I’m not sure that a small group of fruit trees really constitutes an orchard)… but yes, up in the orchard, there are ripe plums to pick and a tree heavily laden with cooking apples which are rapidly ripening. The plums (the ones that have ripened without being attacked brown rot) are good to eat straight from the tree and even better slow roasted and eaten with a big spoonful of Greek yoghurt and honey. Plum jam is next on the list, and then some plum chutney using this recipe from Fenland Lottie. And then we’re back to more plans. The ‘to do’ list for August has lots of plans on it already. Sowing winter lettuce, coriander, parsley, chervil and chicory for winter salad leaves and herbs. And then taking lots of lavender cuttings… the path from the gate to the front door is going to be lined with lavender plants eventually – all that’s needed is a whole load of lavender. In the veggie patch there’s still a lot of turf to take up to make the new beds, and then some of it will be laid again to make paths between them. How’s your garden looking in August?