Real Men Sow

A Change of Plan – Starting From the Back Door

Posted on by in somerset with 1 Comment

‘Start from your back door,’ Alys Fowler wrote in the first chapter of her lovely book, The Thrifty Gardener. Nearly four months in to our new lives in Somerset, I’m taking her advice.

Initially, I had planned to clear the back of the garden in our new house to create a new veg patch, ready for our first summer as Somerset residents. This was going to be the first garden job, and I began clearing over Christmas. Recently, however, I’ve had a change of plan.

The intention is still to clear the back of the garden for a veg patch, but there’s more work there than I anticipated, and if I don’t have a rejig, I’ll never get a seed in the ground this summer. So, I’m going to use this space around the patio instead to begin with, as well as this space outside the back door.

patio

Of course, they need clearing too, but there are ready made beds underneath, so if I’m focused with my growing and reduce what I sow, I can use the patio beds for my favourite crops whilst I spend the summer creating my new veg patch in time for the 2018 season.

Life is busy at the mo, settling into a new job and trying to fix up the house, so I really need some extra time to build my dream veg patch. This change of plan will give me that, as well as providing me with a new challenge using the patio beds. I’ve always loved gardens on different levels, so I’m excited to see what we can create.

The first step has involved ripping out a load of dead and overgrown hawthorn and cover plants outside the back door.

bed

Excuse the recycling and rubbish bin. It was wet and I was still in my pyjamas.

Here we’re going to create a herb garden, so we can just nip out the back door and grab some herbs for dinner. In a nice twist of fate, there is a spearmint reappearing for spring, giving us our first herb for the bed before we’ve really got going.

‘Hopelessly Optimistic With Time’
I feel like I introduce changes in plans a lot – I’m sure my wife would say that has something to do with me being hopelessly optimistic with time, but allotments, gardens and growing food are ever evolving things. I’ve learnt that they have to adapt around our life situations and the amount of time we can dedicate, but this constant refinement is without doubt a challenge that adds an intriguing extra layer of interest.

Over the past few years I’ve really enjoyed growing less in a smaller garden space, rather than an allotment, and for this summer at least I’m going to be growing even less in an even smaller space.

I’ve refined my growing list to suspend everything but my favourite and most productive crops, such as tomatoes, courgettes, mangetout and outdoor cues and we’ll soon be away – that said, I’m not sure I can resist a few broadies. Spring is in the air and my seed sowing fingers are twitching!

Sign up to receive a RMS weekly bite size summary, featuring all posts from the previous seven days, hints and tips and other interesting snippets from the world of veg growing.

One Comment

  1. LizApril 22, 2017 at 1:13 pmReply

    I love the look of the terracing, so much fun to plant. Also like the place for the kids to “work.”

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.

About Real Men Sow

meIn 2007, I took on a redundant allotment plot with my gardening-mad mum Jan. As all good mums do, she went along with it, but I don’t think she held out much hope.

However, three years on, and she now lets me do stuff without watching over my shoulder, so I must be doing something right. [ read more ]

Buy My Book on Amazon!

me

Sign Here for Updates!

Sign up to receive a regular RMS bite size summary, featuring all recent posts, hints and tips and other interesting snippets from the world of veg growing.

Allotment Cakes for the Weekend

  • Allotment Cakes for the Weekend #14 – Courgette, Lime and Coconut Cake
  • Allotment Cakes for the Weekend #13 – Jamie Oliver’s Squash Muffins
  • An Allotment Cake for the Weekend #12 – Lemon Curd & Blueberry Loaf Cake
  • An Allotment Cake For the Weekend #11 – Apple and Cinnamon Flapjacks
  • An Allotment Cake For the Weekend #10 – Fresh Ginger and Apple Cake
  • Good Food Magazine Marrow and Pecan Cake
  • A Rhubarbey Roundup, and Whatever Happened to Allotment Cakes for the Weekend?
  • (Not) An Allotment Cake for the Weekend #7 Rhubarb Crumble Ice Cream

Saving £500 a year!

During 2011, I kept a diary of how much money I save from growing my own fruit and vegetables. After totalling all my outgoings, I saved approximately £500 over the year. I made a spreadsheet to calculate these savings - it’s nothing too complicated, as I’m no Excel guru, but hopefully someone else will find it as useful (and strangely fun) as me. For more info, visit my Money Saving Experiment page by clicking here.

Archive

The Veggy Social

As Featured In…

Flickr Stream