What a difference the sun makes!
I was going to do a Patch from Scratch update at the end of the month, but having enjoyed such a glorious, inspiring weekend in the garden I’m going to do it now.
Suddenly, everything is growing, and fast. I can’t decide what’s growing faster, baby Lewis or the veg plants.
The speedy growing process is largely thanks to my greenhouse (which I have already waxed lyrical about), and with regular temperatures of above 20 degrees, everything is kicking on just fine.
Peas and Wigwams
Last week I planted out two heritage peas, Essex Star and Golden Sweet sugar snap, both of which were started in the greenhouse.
The Golden Sweet is growing up a wigwam and will be followed by some Telegraph heritage peas in the next week. I’m really happy with the look of the wigwams. I love structures on a plot, I think they bring interest and really lift the outlook. Hopefully, they’ll prove as good for growing as they are for aesthetics.
Harvests and Gooseberry Bushes
I’ve made two harvests now, rhubarb and container-grown mixed salad leaves, which again I started in the greenhouse before moving outside. The broad beans will probably be next, although the gooseberry bush looks like it is gearing up for a bumper crop.
The Challenges of Downsizing
Downsizing from an allotment to my back garden is certainly a big change, but I’m discovering some funny and interesting things as I go along.
Firstly, I’m quickly realising that one of the problems with a small growing area is getting around without stumbling over everything. Having less space almost requires a few handily placed grab rails to avoid any haphazard falls! Sometimes, as I’m ducking under fruit trees and stepping over tightly packed seedlings, I resemble a participator in a game of limbo rather than a gardener!
I’m also learning that you always find more little growing spaces than you first accounted for. To being with, this is a challenge, but it has soon developed into a sense of creativity, evaluating how to get the most from every available nook and cranny, and sowing in areas that you never noticed. I’ve sown lettuces around the bottom of the fruit trees (pictured below), for example. This is a great space for quick, shallow-rooted crops that would otherwise be wasted.
I’m quite proud of my pea structure (in the same pictures, below), using an old guard of some sort I found behind the shed. It fits perfectly between a post for my squash netting and the trunk of the plum tree.
I Love Garden String
Garden string has become my new favourite gardening utensil, and I’ve used the bargain £1 ball for building my wigwams as well as marking off areas where seeds are sown. With little space to wander around freely, it’s very handy to know where I’m treading!
Raspberries, Lettuce, and Beets
The Autumn Bliss raspberry canes are also offering lots of encouragement for the future too. 7 out of 11 are shooting from the bottom after I dug up and moved them from the allotment. I’m not sure whether transplanting raspberries is generally a good thing to do, but the survival rate here is promising.
Amongst the peas and broadies, I’ve also got some butterhead lettuce transplanted and beets, mixed salad, and radishes are sown into the ground. Suddenly, there is life on the plot and the whole space feels energised.
I’ve had a wonderful couple of days outside, and I currently feel really productive. I have this powerful, rousing feeling that I’m creating something special. I’m sure all gardeners share this emotion, and it’s one that leaves me high as a kite on this lovely Sunday evening.