My next step with the garden is to plan. And I have a few… I have to admit I was dreaming up ideas for our garden long before we moved in.
So here is a list of what I would like to achieve:
-Making the garden safe for our toddler is my top priority.
-We need to do some fence maintenance.
-Pruning and working out what we actually have in the garden. I think I am going to have to start a log book so I can remember. It’s a bit of a mystery until spring and then probably a until a full year has passed, but I’m trying to work it out. It’s a fairly established garden, which is nice as we can enjoy it already, but it does also mean it’s not a blank canvas and we need to work around some established plants or be brutal.
-Sorting and reorganising my allotment gear. Which has been put into our shed… in a bit of a crazy pile. (Moving an allotment is not an easy job!!) But the shed smells very authentic; just like my grandpas did.
-Working out a general plan for the space. Involving a greenhouse (this is realistically something for next year) and creating growing space for veg and flowers….
-Sorting out the soil. Whilst the garden has been cared for, it lacks the beautiful soil I achieved at the allotment. You don’t have to dig far to hit clay and rocks. Raised beds and lots of digging are on the agenda.
-A diy ‘mud kitchen’ for our toddler.
-Location for my hammock!! Although I have no idea where the bolts or actual hammock are since we moved!!
-A small child friendly wildlife pond. Bug hotel, nesting boxes and feeders.
-Pots and pots and pots for my dream container patio situation.
-I need to remove some brambles although I think they will be my new garden foe. I like the fruit, but the spikes less!
I’m also expanding my seed sourcing. Discovering chiltern seeds via an insta explore. Which has made me realise that we need proper garden plan as my ideas are running a bit wild. So I need to focus and I need to get going.
I’m feeling a little overwhelmed with the ‘garden’, but I think it’s a ‘jump in a crack on’ situation. Need to remind myself nothing is permanent and the learning has to start somewhere. I’m looking forward to the clocks changing as some evening gardening can start!
Hello, it’s been a while!
It’s been a busy few years; but having finally achieved the ultimate dream. Having our very own garden! If you follow my Instagram you will know that we said goodbye to my lovely allotment (as we moved areas). We also sold our flat and bought a house… funny how I focus on the allotment and garden. We are now ready to start the next part of our journey!
So the real task begins to ‘get to know’ the garden and to make it ours. I loved using this blog for every stage of my garden adventure from balcony-to my allotment -and now ‘grown up’ garden! Marking my ideas, thoughts, trials and tribulations!
My focus has shifted from my allotment for the past few years when our son arrived. And he became the ‘project’ and will obviously always be the ongoing master project! So the gardening and growing obsession has taken a bit of a back seat, but…. it has never stopped. Having started him at the allotment from a young age he is a good trainee in the making and is not afraid to get his little hands dirty! If only they made gardening gloves for 2 year olds!!
I love being outside and working hard to achieve a goal, it’s probably the challenge I enjoy the most. ‘Cheesy’ I know but I’m excited to see what we can achieve in our new garden.
The new, not new garden:
We looked and looked ….and looked for houses, and it was not easy to get our flat sold in the first place. But I think we got lucky and found a gem of a house with a good sized garden!
We have only been ‘in’ a few months, moving at the end of last year. Although we saw the garden in the middle of summer it had been hot and the garden was understandably a little neglected. But you can see it’s been loved and nurtured by the previous owners.
One of my favourite plants is a mature wisteria. Which has been trained over an arch. I have tried to give it an ‘over winter’ prune, without being to brutal. It would be great to get some advise please.
Now it is getting warmer we are starting to see the signs of spring. Lots of bulbs and shoots are popping up all over the garden. But at this stage my knowledge is seriously lacking on ‘garden’ plans. So I am trying a soft approach in some areas ; whilst I learn….combined with heavy handed approach in more forgiving areas of the garden. It’s not an easy balance. Also finding the time to really give the garden attention is really a challenge. I’m looking forward to lighter evenings and lots of bbqs!
We had a few in the garden!!! A rusty lawn roller, wheel barrow and various paving slabs, bricks and sand… not to mentions large pots were also left as garden treasure. Being an allotment scavenger at heart… this made me pretty happy! I now have 3 compost bins!!! Not to mention a gnome, mermaid and a duck garden ornament!! And a garden bench which has already been well used.
I’m on the train to work…
And it’s hot! (it’s hot on my train anyway) but it’s been sunny all weekend. It snuck past me as have been on a DIY mission! So I have an entire day of thinking…. What will have survived in the greenhouse!? Plant SOS mission after work!
The fairies must have seen me digging, and planning! As I have been offered lots of edging wood for my plot!
Super excited!!! (my inner scavenger is leaping with joy). So off I ran to collect the wood. I must have looked like the cat that got the cream! I certainly feel like it!
I got home on Monday with 1 hour before dark! I located the saw and got to work down at the plot cutting the planks to a more manageable size. It’s suprising hard work sawing these monsters, but I got a fair bit done! I want to keep the beds flexible rather than making fixed frames… Bit it might be a bit of a project to see what works! I’m so chuffed! 😁
Over the bank holiday weekend I have plans! And also curious how hard is it to make a bench or table out of scrap wood…
On Saturday I went to the plot on a potato mission…. Better late than never!
However I was confronted by this weedy walkway, and then stung by nettles. How do they grow so fast!? Enter ‘the spade of destruction’. I really do hate the weeds as they are a haven for pesky slugs and snails. (sorry slugs n snails)
In my mind I was thinking… Nooo must do the potatoes! However I find the plot leads you off like Alice in Wonderland.
I got back to my potatoes. And I fast realised what I probably already knew. Too many potatoes! Not enough space. And lots of path. This was my spacing test….
So the path had to go… And I pulled up the weed blocker. Then the feeling of “what have I done!!” started. This path has been down for 3 years…. Wonks n all.
It’s now Monday; I still ache and my palms feel bruised! But my very late early potatoes are in! And all but a small section of path remains!
Half way through ‘alice style’ I thought; oh let’s see what going on with the compost bin! This is my first 3 years and my first diy compost!! Exciting times! The soil under the path was pretty poor, so I mixed a bit in as I went. Hopefully it won’t damage my potatoes.
My plot has always been wonkey. So I also decided to make the potatoes raised. But it’s more a plateau! As my husband called it a paddy field plot! At this stage I realised next weekend would involve wooden board sourcing and installing.
This is my plot in overview… It desperately neds a good tidy and organise.
I was worried my greenhouse seeds might have been roasted alive these last few days!
So I escaped work and legged it to the plot for an inspection. 5 beds are full now. Strawberries, onion garlic, beans, raspberries.
Here are my tomatoes…after the pot on. I might have a few too many as I only need 12 plants!
And my borage, beetroot, lettuce is all cracking on.
Also I think we have a bird’s nest in our attic :)!
I made it down the plot on Easter Sunday! I had a good dig and got one potato bed all set. Just waiting to add the all important potatoes. I did some weeding; this time of year they pop up so fast! But I did have time to admire the welcome weeds…
I fixed a path (removing evil weeds that spread under our paths (when we first got the plot I recall how we thought this was asparagus!… Makes me laugh every time!). It’s one of those necessary but very boring jobs.
Finally finished organising my strawberries! I decided to remove the old aged plants at the end of the bed. And I went back on the Monday and put onions in. (I’m not sure they are exactly companion plants.. But a space is a space… Right?!)
On Monday I went back. And got the remaining onion and garlic in… Just one box left. I am searching for a suitable empty spot.
-Sweet peas. Ticking along after the re pot.
-sunflowers. In hiding still
-lettuce. Germinated… Just about
-cat mint… A few tiny seedlings have appeared
-lucky dip. Some little seedling have emerged… Still no ideas! I will have to post photos for help!
-Nasturtium. Germinated it’s virtually a weed… But a weed tgat
-tomatoes. Germinated and potted into larger pots
-My back up beans sprouted, and I popped them into the plot yesterday… I had dug up a few poor bean seeds by accident… But a few sown direct into the ground made it! Which was good news!!
Seeds at home:
-Cucumbers… I have about 4 growing away happily. I will move these out to the greenhouse soon!
-Chillies. Growing away happily. I’m going to keep half in the flat and half in the greenhouse as a mini experiment
-Courgette… Still no shows. This is the one veg I struggle to get going every year. I’m sure it should be easy!!?
-Soybeans. In hiding
-Caped gosberries. In hiding
And then I went home and scoffed lots of chocolate!
Break time on Saturday… And I came equiped with crisps and tea! I had a nice sit in my comfy chair in the greenhouse listening to the birds sing!
I have been digging the future potato bed….again. Removing the endless rubble. The bit I dug looked beautiful 🙂 hopefully it will be worth the hard work, with no funny shaped potatoes. This is my first year using this bed for potatoes. I have to say I’m very inspired by my plot neighbour. Since our first year he has been full of encouragement. He must have come down during last week, as I haven’t seen him this year. He is a stealth gardener! I don’t know how he does it. But it goes from a bit weedy to beautiful fine soil within days… I try to console myself that he has had the plot for a long time. So oneday mine might be like that too!
I took a mini break for the hard digging. And I peered into my caged outdoor seeds. I have been planning to dig this over again as the seeds didn’t take.
However. I peered closer (I got down to ground level, looking I’m sure like a nut case) And I spotted little shoots of green!! So I had tidy up… And hey presto we have baby spring onions!!
I can be very impatient with outside seeds. And this just reminds me to sit tight and wait sometimes! If I had time last week, I would have dug over. Lucky escape for these guys!
And this is my last few chilli seeds coming up (in mini prop at the flat) another story of patience!
I took my friend down to see the plot on Friday and we got treated to this beautiful sunset!
We got some grow bags and a few extra seeds! Now back to reality!
We have been away and so I had held back on seed planting. But this weekend I’m getting busy!!
I ran to the plot this morning. My greenhouse bits hadn’t been watered… In nearly… Eeeek!…2 weeks! I literally had a few minutes to water inspect and run for my train to work.
But I’m pleased and surprised to say the sweet peas have germinated! 😁 which makes me a very happy bunny! It’s a bit hit and miss… But I did plant far to many. Also not being watered in 2 weeks may have weeded out the weaklings! Needless to say I gave them a little water. It will be interesting to see what else appears. But they look to be sturdy little seedlings! And most importantly they grew!!
And my onions are garlic are also showing signs of life. Garlic is cracking along! But a little water will no doubt help 🙂
And super exciting news! My chilli peppers germinated (at home in mini greenhouse) again a bit hit and miss about 1/2. But chillies are a bit tricky and I did drop my pots on the floor!! So it’s a surprising anything made it!
My green ear was also excited to hear on the radio about Kew gardens setting up a new kitchen garden where the old kitchen garden was! It’s called ‘Kew on a plate’ I assume this was filmed last year so I can’t wait to see the garden this year… I might try and check it out first hand in a few months. The TV program starts on Monday BBC 2! And has the lovely Kate humble presenting! I might have to invest in a Kew pass… So I can perve on the veggie patch through the year!!
I’m having issues with posts from my phone again. So this is my 3rd attempt to post this…
So I had a quick ‘plot perv’ at the weekend.
– rhubarb and raspberrys from last week are still intact!
– greenhouse sweet peas are a no show. I will keep hopeful! It could be my seeds from last year are not the best.
– greenhouse onions are snoozing…still
-greenhouse garlic is shooting! It’s nice to see some green!
– outside seeds are a no show… Carrot, Spring onion, beans. Probably just a bit over keen… I will wait and see.
– we also visited the ‘chitting factory’ aka my parents house. The potatoes are having a nice sunbathing holiday! 😎
I am going to wait till mid March to get the bulk of my seeds sown.
I have also seen some great pop up grow bag beds; that I want to invest in. It should add growing space in my greenhouse and out on the plot… And it has handles! Port-a-plot!