My Gardening

Join Me in My Ever Developing Hungarian Garden – July

July has arrived in Hungary along with soaring temperatures and thirsty plants. Watering is a twice a day affair otherwise the poor plants suffer from dehydration. We had talked about dripper system for the vegetable plot this year but it never materialised.

The wheelbarrow is a favourite spot for this bird…always on the look-out for our dog Haley!

At the front of our house we have giant sunflowers creating a beautiful display and an eager feeding ground for these friendly finches. Lifting the blinds in the morning this is what I see, a great way to start my day. I do believe these are greenfinches?

We have regular butterflies and a multitude of other insects visiting the garden. The cricket sat for ages on the garden chair and the butterfly lazily sunned itself whilst I took photos.

The first of our second generation peppers began to flower late June progressing onto larger specimens early July. These are of the spicy variety and when harvested will be preserved in jars. All our peppers were given a layer of cow manure at the beginning of the season, I’m hoping for great results.

When we moved to Hungary we inherited a well, fully functional if you have a pump, the water is way down. This is our third summer here and have encouraged the plants surrounding the well to grow randomly. This beautiful yellow plant is a blast of colour to brighten this corner. I have no idea of it’s name but it makes FABULOUS dried flower arrangements.

Inheriting a garden is always exciting, each year something else pops up that you had no idea was there. This year the “Well Garden” has acquired a young walnut tree that we did not plant but want to encourage it to grow, it’s doing very well at the moment. The tree at the front is a prolific flowering pink and white Hibiscus….it will be flowering very soon. Over the well is rampant forsythia, stunning flowers in the spring. It will need tidying up before the winter.

We had a very sturdy loft ladder made of very solid wood and wanted to incorporate it into the well garden somehow. Due to a “lost in translation moment” with our Hungarian gardener he took it upon himself to chop out the steps. Not what we wanted….oh dear! We rescued a few steps and will keep adding plants to fill the gaps. It will come to life next year…the gardener has been forgiven. 😀

“The Well Garden”

We live in sunflower country and most gardens have at least a few adorning their gardens, we are no exception. This spectacularly tall sunflower display is ALL self seeded from last year, travelling from the front of the house, I suspect the wind and the birds helped this process. Haley our dog sitting regally like she owned the place!!

Miss Haley Husky, in HER garden.💜

There are 2 sorts of cherries on the trees here in Hungary, sour and sweet. We prefer the sweet ones to eat straight off the tree or you can collect them and make jams if you have any remaining….we didn’t!

We have 2 sweetcorn patches, the first one the corn is already visible and should be ready for cropping probably next week. We planted another bed about 4 weeks later for continuous corn throughout the summer months. Our favourite way to eat them is straight from the plant and onto the BBQ! Delicious!

Not everything has been successful in our garden and we nearly lost our watermelons…or should I say they just did not grow, we were going to pull them out but suddenly the other day these yellow flowers appeared….could this be the start of a watermelon? I will keep you updated.


The tomatoes all over the garden are doing amazingly well, they guzzle water constantly and there are flowers everywhere. Won’t be long before we have a bumper crop. For the first time this year we experimented with crushed egg shells, adding them to the hole before planting the seedlings, to see if it improved the tomatoes growth and production. So far so good. It is supposed to add extra calcium where needed, I have heard mixed reactions about this method. Best that we try it first before making a judgement.


Our raised bed full of peppers is coming on very well and you can see in the buckets on the ground, potatoes. We tried to grow potatoes previously but they were all attacked by a beetle and we lost the lot. This year we are trying the recycling bucket method.

Other experiments we are trying this year. From seed, tomatoes raised in hollowed egg shells, then transferred to the ground….after crushing the shells gently around them before planting them out. The other tall plant is from seed, a pomegranate. I have already prepared the ground ready for planting and will go in the ground this evening.

This is a third year rose, bought in Hungary and thriving well. It had a bout of greenfly early on but now clear. Underneath the rose is our marigold bed. I planted 6 varieties of marigold in the hope of plenty of colour. We are getting there, the smaller ones have flowered now just waiting for the larger ones to explode, should be any day now.

I love petunias and was fortunate to have been given a few last year from a neighbour. She warned me they would self seed everywhere and have a second wave of flowering later in the year. She was right, I hope they do the same this year, they are so cheerful.

This is the front of the house, looking onto the road. As you see the sunflowers are healthy and strong but unfortunately for poor Haley block her important view of the street. It was a good look out for her passing doggie friends!


Much as I adore Haley, our Husky, she is a major nuisance in the garden. Digging is her game and she is good at it. We have areas in the garden she is “allowed to dig” which generally works OK. However on this occasion my cordoned off new sunflower patch got the “Haley Digging” treatment and she managed to kill one of my 10 new plants. In the first picture you will also notice another suspicious hole…she was guarding it so I would not fill it in! Naughty girl!

My lovely Hibiscus just about to burst into flower in the “Well Garden”


This is the bottom third of our garden, the buildings you see on the left is the neighbours house. We have planted 8 walnut trees which will eventually give us our “Walnut Corner” and a great screen with the neighbours.

There are numerous bare patches on the “lawn”…that’s what I call it but Eric refers to this area as the side garden! The bare patches are when the garden was a building site with piles of concrete, rubble and stones everywhere. We removed the rubble and prepared the patches for grass seed, that was 10 days ago.

Now the new grass is popping through and will hopefully give a good green covering in the coming weeks. I am always hopeful 😁

Our neighbours wall… a fascinating place for “dog sniffing”! The house has been empty for the last 3 years and this half finished extension is housing some sort of animal that has been driving Haley crazy! It could be foxes as we have seen them in the garden or rabbits, cats, lizards or even mice. She spends hours sniffing and watching, crazy girl!!

Sat on our verandah I looked up and this is what I saw…a vibrant blue sky with puff balls of cotton wool clouds. Just gorgeous!🧡

Now as the evening approaches the sun goes to sleep and the moon gently comes out ready to do the whole cycle again tomorrow. Every day nature has something new to offer us it’s wonderful to be able to appreciate it here in our adopted country of Hungary.

My Gardening

My Developing May Garden in Hungary

Progress with Photos

Our Garden Last Year

Our poor veggie garden did not get much attention last year as Eric and I had various health issues meaning it became neglected and very overgrown. It looked a very sorry sight over the winter. As soon as the milder weather came in April I was determined to get things back in order and have a productive working vegetable garden once again. The weeds were about 6 ft high so we flattened them down ready to burn to clear space to make growing areas.

Time to Dig and Plant

Once the weeds had been burnt I could make a clear planting plan. The weather had been cold at night through April, too cold to put young seedlings into the ground. We had been scanning the weather forecast for days trying to calculate when it would be best to plant them out. Now, finally after masses of digging and the risk of cold temperatures at night gone, planting could begin.

We had lots of old bricks lying around the garden so I made a shallow wall to protect the cucumbers. Our dog, Haley is an expect digger so hopefully it will deter her from going there! We planted 2 sorts of cucumber….mini ones for pickling and preserving and large ones for salads. The aim is for them to make use of the fence to climb up.

We live in watermelon country and have bought HUGE melons in the past so thought we would give them a go this year. Eric made a frame from left over wood and then covered the frame with clear plastic. We shall watch the local farmers and wait to remove it when they do.

Spicy Paprika Peppers planted out in a raised bed

These are peppers, grown from seeds collected from our favourite Hungarian Paprika Pepper inside until they were big enough to plant out. They will be small red and spicy, planted in a raised flower bed to make it easy to water and eventually pick them.

The tomatoes have been given the Haley treatment…roped to prevent her running over the plot. Tomatoes grow well in Hungary and are very productive and bear lots of fruits. The unattractive poles (taken from an old swimming pool) are ideal, they are hollow and deep watering is achievable by putting the hose into the tubes! This year I have used crushed egg shells under each plant to help their calcium levels and to ward off Blossom End Rot.

One of our flower beds had been overtaken with mint and it was time to take action. I cleared as deeply as I could the invasive roots and put a few in a pot. We use mint regularly in salads so need an endless supply. I will not be planting it into a flowerbed this year as the potted version is doing fine. The lilac sprout was taken from an existing tree and is doing well in this pot. Once I have decided where its permanent home will be I shall plant it out.

I treated myself to a Black-Eyed Susan and hung it in the verandah, this is the view from inside, isn’t it stunning? The bees love it too.

We have a top garden that is full of blossom trees looking beautiful in the spring. The top garden is a future project, once we have sorted the lower gardens.

Wooden Leftovers

My clever husband decided to make a couple of window boxes from wood left over from our verandah. I had been asking him for ages for something to house my geraniums in and to add a bit of colour to our newly decorated home. I was extremely pleased with the results fitting on the windowsills perfectly. He also made a bird box for the resident bird population. We love to sit with our morning coffee and watch their activity.

The bird box made from leftover wood housed in the eaves of our well

We have fruit trees in our vegetable plot, almond, apple and cherry and just recently added some raspberry canes. I hope to add a plum tree at the end of this season.

I shall be updating the garden progress regularly and show you other parts of our massive garden. I hope you have enjoyed my start to the busy growing season…lots of work and weeding ahead.

Do you have a large garden, what do you use it for, I would be interested to know?