Sunday, 30 May 2010

Thoughts on gardening

After a not bothering much for a few years, my old love of gardening has surfaced again and, since retirement, I now have the time. I won’t be too ambitious this year though, I want to get things cleared out and tamed for next; that’s when the fun starts. Question is what to grow?

Years ago I used to like big garish ornamentals like dahlias and gladioli but they don’t excite me any more, and you can’t eat them. Gradually I began to grow more and more veg until one year I was so sick of courgettes and runner beans I never want to see either again!

It’s not a very big garden but it’s enough for a small greenhouse, five plots of about 1 by 6 or 7m, a couple of smaller 2m plots, a little pond (which needs dredging) and a patio to enjoy it from. There are a couple of trees against the back fence with a buddleia, a blackcurrant bush and a honeysuckle underplanted with cyclamen, grape hyacinth, crocus and suchlike (I will be careful here till I work out what’s what).

At the moment I’m still clearing out grass and nettles but I have one plot planted with onions (looking good) and I hope to have another ready this week for French beans (I have lots of seedlings in pots in the greenhouse alongside the tomatoes and peppers). After that, planting slows down a bit this year. I want some herbs: thyme, sage, basil, oregano etc, I’ve got some mint and will plant garlic later on, but I’m really planning for next year.

Potatoes, carrots and parsnips are on the menu, and some broccoli. Strawberries and raspberries sure, but what else? I don’t just want to grow vegetables but flowers have to earn their place. I’ll throw in some nasturtiums and pot marigolds, because the yellow petals stand out in a salad, and borage, because the little blue flowers look so cool frozen in ice cubes in a summer drink, but then I’m running out of ideas.

I’m in an adventurous mood, I’ve even thought about having an asparagus bed.

Has anyone got any ideas for unusual, unexpected, tasty and productive fruit, veg or flowers? I would love some suggestions.


Cazzie!!! said...

Hey there, over here visiting you on account of The Loon :)
Hubby has just rekindled his love of gardening this past few months and has a marvellous veggie garden on the go. Actualy, he has several large veggie gardens to be precise.
He lovingly prepared the soil. Then he lovingly planted seeds into seedling pots. Some of the veggies have now been transplanted into the garden beds...and others are still developing in their little pots.
At night he brings in the capsicums and tomatoe seedlings so they do not get frost bit.
I watched him this morning as I hung out the washing, he truly loves being out there tendering the gardens and potting the seeds.

dave hambidge said...

Best of luck with this project Andy, reads well. I note no mention of spuds?

Andy Holroyd said...

Hi Cazzie, I was shifting pots in and out too a couple of weeks ago. For where I live (Yorkshire, UK) I always reckon that from mid May the frosts are past and plants can start to go out.

My tomatoes and peppers have been planted in the greenhouse for 2 weeks and are full of flowers. A few tiny tomatoes are already swelling.

Don't just watch your hubby either. Get out there yourself, I'm sure he will find you a job :)

Andy Holroyd said...

Thanks Dave.
Potatoes are on the list! I'm not sure what to grow yet but something earlyish (for the news), a maincrop (for mash and baking) and something unusual like pink fir apple.

dave hambidge said...

Sorry Andy, had the wrong glasses on! Those are the most diseased looking phallic shapes I've seen for a long time!

Andy Holroyd said...

But they taste fantastic!