Next, the cucumbers. Two years ago, I planted a couple of seedlings at the top of my upper retaining wall, on the West side of our house, and they were a huge success, trailing down the wall and onto the grass, and bearing a crisp, sweet cucumber nearly every second day! Then last year, I tried the same thing with cukes and squashes, and was completely disappointed, they couldn't even make their way to trail over the edge of the wall, and I only got one small squash. I suspect the soil, which at that location, is a thin layer of topsoil on top of gravel and clay (backfill to the wall), had lost its nutrients. As an indicator, the hydrangea down the wall had blue flowers, whereas the others in my garden were a vibrant pink.
I also planted in some more seedlings of Cardoon. Last year, I planted one in the front (shady) garden, which didn't get very big, but seems to be taking off this year (although quite covered in black aphids!!).