Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Return To The Land.....Sort Of.

The new place comes with a small "garden", which is really an outdoor space, away from the house, down a short path, at the other end of the row of cottages.

On the plus side, although still quite compact, it's the largest one of the five, and is walled in on two sides, and fenced with a trellised grapevine on the other two. It's actually very secluded, and the grapes seem to be swelling nicely.

On the downside, as it's a rented property, for ease of maintenance the landlord has covered it with decking, and poured granite chippings around the edges. Any small strips of soil that there are, are completely overhung by mature shrubs, and so no good for the cultivation of vegetables (If you are one of the very few people reading this blog who are wondering why this is important - or indeed one of the few reading it at all - then go here, and my former vices will be revealed.)

But, nil desperandum, a couple of trips to the local DIY-cum-garden-centre, chauffeured by my good mate "The Barbarian", allowed me to get some containers. Just a few at least, just to get started.

It's too late in the year to plant anything of any great account, but salad stuffs do well all summer so I have been able to sow dinky amounts of lettuce, radishes, spring onions, beetroot, pak choi, carrots, and a pepper. I also took pity on the last two tomato plants they had. Even though I doubt there's time to get much of a crop from them, it cheers me up to see them trying.

So here is my veg plot at the moment then, although since taking this picture I have further augmented my acreage with a couple of grow-bags, and planted some golden hostas under the tree.

Growing on this small scale is all about successional sowing, and cramming as much as you can into the space. The high nutritional value of the compost, and the optimal container environment mean that you can plant stuff much closer together than you could get away with in open soil. Nonetheless, it does feel a bit like the sort of mini "sowing and growing" lessons they used to get you to do in primary school.........Perhaps I should also put some mustard and cress on the kitchen window sill.

But I took a deck chair, a book, and a beer down there for the first time this evening, and all things considered it's not too... Not too bad at all.


She Who Digs said...

Glad to see that you've managed to get your green fingers dirty and back into soil! Good Luck with the job hunting too.

Frankie @ Veg Plot said...

And it's sunny and dry as well - looks great!

Anonymous said...

It looks beautiful. I am going to look forward to your voyages in your new place, my old place.

Karen, old Northamptonian.

Allotment Lady said...

Well done you - and what a great little garden - you can certainly grow enough for yourself.

Matron said...

It's amazing what you can grow in containers if you really have to. I have some of those half barrels too, There is a container veggie-gardening exhibit at Wisley you might be interested to see.