I was never planning on becoming obsessed with growing my own fruit and veg, with becoming as eco-friendly as I can.
When we bought our house, I always wanted an outdoor space. It was a deal-breaker. No garden, no purchase. Boy, did we get lucky. Two outdoor spaces: one mostly shaded, the other in glorious sunshine almost all day long.
My first proper plant was from my mum. She bought the familial traditional new house gift of a magnolia, which I gratefully accepted and then panicked once a week or so when I realised that I hadn’t watered it.
So imagine my surprise when, within about six weeks of moving in, I willingly bought my first proper plant – a clematis.
It’s worth noting here that I’d never kept alive a bloody cactus, let alone two big plants that need much more attention than a succulent.
The back is being left to my mum. She’s going to start studying toward her garden design qualification – I’m the guinea pig.
But the front is mine and it’s blooming marvellous. At about 8ft wide and 20ft long, it’s not exactly the smallest space in the world, but it is a bit awkward to fill. The border is about 2ft wide so there’s not much space to put pots out!
The yews lining the fencing were there when we bought the place. Personally, I hate them. I’m periodically pulling them out so I can give them to my mum. I’m going to keep a few in, simply so that my wisteria, honeysuckle and clematis have something to hold on to.
My magnolia sits big and proud right by the door. It’s doing fantastically well out the front, getting bigger every time it rains. My honeysuckle has almost doubled in height since I bought it a RHS Malvern last month (it’s the same height as me at the moment!). The wisteria is also growing new shoots and starting to build out – no flowers on it this year, though I’m expecting big things in 2019/20.
The depth means you can grow almost anything in them. I’ve got three basils, two cauliflowers, a shiraz pea plant, a sweet pepper, some oregano and some fennel in there.
Realistically, that’s a bit too much to be in there as my caulis are getting a bit out of hand! I’m going to be popping the basil in some little pots that hook over a fence so that they have a bit more room to themselves!
Because you’re buying an elevated bed, that leaves room for activities underneath. I’ve got size strawberry plants in oval shaped planters which are doing relatively well underneath. Next year, I’ll plant them in to a bigger space so they can really take off.
I’ve also recently put some potatoes on the go a felt planter. They’ve even got a velcro flap so you can pull potatoes out from underneath, rather than the whole plant! Further down the garden, I’ve also got carrots and cauliflowers in them.
I’ve always wanted to grow my own lettuce. The stuff from the supermarket just doesn’t compare (although it is easier to get). I’m growing outside at the moment but am going to experiment growing it indoors throughout winter.
My greenhouse is my favourite bit. I won’t show you what I’ve got growing in there just yet, though! The smell reminds me so much of my childhood (and being shouted at for breaking the glass!). The exact greenhouse I use is this one and at £19.99, it’s an absolute steal.
And, as you’ll find out soon, I’ve been able to grow a ton of different things in there. The only downside is that it does have a plastic cover, so is not sustainable. That just means I’m going to have to use it to death!
I’m so excited about having my own homegrown pumpkins for halloween! These leafy babes have been cooking for almost three months now but are really shooting up at the moment. We sadly lost one earlier this week, but these two look like they’re going to be cracking.
I’m in the process of applying for an allotment, so I’ll soon be nattering away about how I’m preparing the ground for that. I’m also going to be investing in a composter soon. I saw HotBin Composting at RHS Malvern and they sound amazing, but I’m not sure if I’ll have enough other waste for it to create decent compost. Anyone got any thoughts?
In the meantime, tell me a bit about you in the comments! Have you grown any veg before? Is this something that you’re interested in?
And, if you have any questions about gardening/veg growing, drop them below and I’ll answer them in a sort of Frequently Asked Questions post!
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