Monday, 9 March 2015
I have been dreaming of creating a potager in the back garden similar to Alys Fowler's back garden full of vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers. In years gone by, I have grown vegetables with some success in amongst the flower beds, so with a smallish plot to work with, this seems like the most sensible option. A few years ago, we spent some real money on the garden after we'd had the conservatory put up and it certainly looked lovely initially, but after one year where the garden sat under several inches of water for several weeks, the huge oak trees at the bottom of the garden casting too much shade and two naughty free range chickens, scratching up everything they could, the garden has suffered rather!!
It's ripe for a new plan - having created a more permanent chicken run, I can turn my hand to creating space in the flower beds, three small raised vegetable beds and lots of pots to grow a good range of vegetables this year. We already have two apple trees, a pear tree and loganberries trained along one fence. I'd like to add, two blueberry bushes in pots and a head of rhubarb (I had planted one, but it rotted off in the flood) and some autumn raspberry canes. I'd quite like to try some strawberry plants, but I don't seem to be very successful. I had looked at growing them in a gutter, screwed to the fence???
I've planted potatoes in bags and plan to add another three bags in the next week. In the conservatory, I have tiny seedlings of butternut squash, chillies, Romano peppers, runner beans, basil and coriander, along with some sweet peas.
I have garlic in the garden already and will add shallots and onions soon too, along with some broad beans in the borders.
I'd also like to grow sugar snaps, mangetout, courgettes, outdoor cucumber, pattypan squash, radishes, salad leaves, pea shoots and rocket, spinach, sprouting broccoli
I already have mint, chives, Rosemary and sage in the garden, but need to replace my thyme and oregano plants. I'm also going to try some dill as I love it with potato salad.
I know it's a little ambitious, but I shall give it a go and let you all know my progress!
I'll need to clear some more space in the flower borders by ditching a few of my less loved plants and then set up supports for the beans, peas and Raspberry canes. My pots are all full of spring bulbs at the moment, but as soon as they're over, I'll turf out the bulbs and heel them in somewhere at the back of a border to plant again next year.