Last year we moved to a new house in a small Cambridgeshire village. We moved house in June so by the time we were unpacked we only had a short time left to grow some vegetables and enjoy our new garden.
This year we have the chance to plan our new garden around what we have inherited and start to put down roots for the future.
I have always loved the idea of growing fruit in the garden and have been inspired watching programs on walled gardens with fruit trees growing as cordons.
(I love this Idea - and I'm going to 'steal' it for my shed - Deb)
My plan once I have painted the fences is to create some support with wires along the length of the fence and plant our grape vine that we have had in a pot for years, a cooking apple tree, an eating apple tree and a plum tree with around 6 foot space each along the sunniest side of our new garden.
We have been very lucky to inherit a sunny area at the front of the house that is perfect for a herb garden.
The previous owners had already graveled the whole area and planted many chives, fennel, lavender and some rosemary bushes along with other small bushes.
We have now started the process of swapping anything non-edible for other herbs we can use in cooking and for making teas.
So far we have removed some larger shrubs and added sage, mint and lemon balm and moved some of the lavender bushes to line the path to create a cottage style garden.
In the back garden I wanted to keep the lawn and seating areas already in place so our pet rabbits and guinea pigs had somewhere to play.
Around the outside of the lawn is another gravel area around 1.5 meters wide. In this area I have built a small raised bed around 1m by 2m in a corner and bought some large terracotta pots to put around the edge of the garden in summer with vegetables in when the raised bed is overflowing.
I really want to make the small raised bed and pots work for us and provide lots of fresh veg through the year so I have been busy planning the year out on paper with a rough guide to when I can plant out to get the maximum from the space.
I am going to use our window sills and pots to start off smaller seeds that can be transferred into place when space is free and have planted some early crops into the bed.
The first thing I did was plant 4 dwarf broad beans seeds in the raised bed on Valentines day. When we were younger we had an allotment and the retired gentleman with the plot next door swore by this date for sowing broad beans and judging by his results - who am I to argue!
Since then I have also planted leaks, peas, radishes, lettuce and some carrots in the raised bed backed up by kale, courgettes, more leeks & lettuce on the window sill inside. I am using The radishes around the slower growing seeds to use the space, they have taken better than i thought so we are now looking for ways to get radish in every meal!
My plan with this small space is to eat things young and regularly to keep a good supply of fresh veg going, the courgettes will mainly be in large pots and I will keep sowing in pots in succession so I have always got something growing to make use of the space. I am hoping to keep the year rolling by planting some veg over winter so we have something fresh early next year when it all starts again.
This year is really all about finding out what we can do in the space and trying some ideas, I'm sure some things will do well and others not so well but that is the excitement in growing your own.
I will let you know how we get on!
I'll tell you why I love this? I love the fact that everything is at home on their doorstep, that you can literally walk outside and pick your tea. The main reasons I have the plot are because I don't have the space at home and I know that if I did the dog would run ragged all through my veggies (they've already had my clematis this weekend!)! Please if you get the chance follow Johnathan on twitter and visit his website, so you can see how he's getting on. - Deb
Bye for now & happy planting! Xx