The Garden – 2010

The snow has gone, the days are warming up so it must be time for us to start our 2010 garden. After watching last night’s new series called Edible Garden, which is hosted by Alys Fowler, it would seem Hubs & I have been ahead of the trend.

In our tiny garden everything is grown in pots, hanging baskets or in the two small raised beds down the edge. As space is limited there are a few rules as to what  we plant 1) it has to be edible or useful 2) colourful  fruit/veg or flowers. Hubs very much concentrates on the fruit & veg and I do the herbs. First I must point out that Hubs & I are not exactly experienced with gardening. We’re the kind of chuck-it-in-and-see-what-happens type of gardeners. Every year we learn lessons and try not to make the same mistakes the following year. If your interested here are the links to The Garden – 2008 , The Garden – 2009 and the much toiled over Falstaff Sprouts.

The lessons we’ve learnt over the years:

  • Squashes – triffids in disguise. They quickly take over a small garden.
  • Globe artichokes – pretty but take up far too much room in a small garden for the amount you yield.
  • Rhubarb – impossible to kill. Shame I don’t like the stuff.
  • Brassicas – we are obsessed with planting them even though they can be  pain thanks to pests. Hubs is always on Caterpillar Watch when we are planting these.

I love flowers and until now the only flowers had been on the veg/fruit plants or herbs but thanks to being influenced by Masterchef & James Wong I’m planning to grow edible flowers alongside my herbs. I’m starting with borage & marigolds. Borage – quite plain and simply I want to try it in Pimms. Marigolds – for various reasons from edible, medicinal and also companion planting as it helps to keep away aphids. Without realising it we already do quite a bit of companion planting. Chives for aphids & blackspot in roses; Basil for flies & mosquitos, Rosemary & Sage for cabbage moths, bean beetles and carrot flies. To be honest I’m not sure if it works but given we haven’t had to use any pesticides on the garden may be a good sign.

The rest of the garden plans include:

To start quite a few of the seeds off we plant them in little biodegradable newspaper pots made with the ingenious paper potter . Not only is it a great way of recycling, the pots are gratis thanks to the amount of free newspapers we get through the letterbox. These little seeds are then germinated on either the windowsill or little greenhouses we managed to pick up in Ikea. Hubs also has got plans to build some fancy cloches to help protect some of our plants once they are in the ground.

The thing I love most about gardening is the experimenting and seeing all the wildlife it brings to the garden. Nothing beats the satisfaction of eating delicious fruit or veg straight from your own garden.

Post Author: Jules

Freelance food geek who's passionate about food education.

0 thoughts on “The Garden – 2010

    katie

    (April 8, 2010 - 1:24 pm)

    Ahhh so cute!

    I’ve gone a bit gardening mad, I killed everything I planted last year but this year is looking up! My windowsill is currently host to 3 types of peppers, baby lettuce, tomatoes, pumpkins, strawberries, garlic and an array of herbs.

    I’m getting them potted in the garden next week. So excited!

    Have you ever grown any kind of a fruit bush in a pot? I’m desperate for a berry bush but I don’t know if it would survive in a pot.

    Katie xox

    thefairyandthefeltmaker

    (April 8, 2010 - 1:29 pm)

    Your photos are soooooooooo cool!

    stef

    (April 8, 2010 - 1:44 pm)

    Hello,

    I like this post on edible plants and flowers and I was wondering if you have any suggestions for cocktails with edible flower decorations?
    I’ve just written a post on flower ice cubes on my blog on wedding ideas and I would like to write something else…

    Thank you

    Stefania

      Jules

      (April 8, 2010 - 2:01 pm)

      Pimms cocktail would be my first suggestion as Borage flowers not only look pretty in it, but also taste nice.

      Hibiscus flowers that have been preserved in syrup (I’ve seen them for sale in Lakeland) can make beautiful looking cocktails.

      Other ideas include rose martini, elderflower fizz and lavender vodka cocktail.

      Here is a list of the flowers that you can eat and what they taste like. http://homecooking.about.com/library/weekly/blflowers.htm One flower I would not put in cocktails are chive flowers. Pretty flowers but have an incredibly pungent onion taste!

    Ann

    (April 8, 2010 - 5:45 pm)

    I started out chuck-it-in-and-see and to be honest I’ve only got a teeny bit better over the 17 years I’ve been gardening! Like you, it has to be edible or useful – flowers for colour tend to be tagetes – and fortunately most herbs have lovely flowers.

    I’m all for companion planting and, like you, I can’t say for certain it works but with garlic, chives, rosemary, tagetes and the like mixed in with the veg, we haven’t had any problems….yet…

    Mind you, does anyone know what to do about red ants?! My veg patch seems over run with them.

      Jules

      (April 8, 2010 - 8:20 pm)

      Good to see we’re not the only ones who throw it all in!
      We haven’t had problems with ants. I have heard about coffee being used with ants, but I don’t know if this is just black ants. Slugs & caterpillars have been our biggest problem.

    stef

    (April 8, 2010 - 7:12 pm)

    Thank you! Have you got any recipies or pictures (expecially for pimms, I love it!? Otherwise I’ll have a go on the web!
    Ciao

    Stefania

      Jules

      (April 8, 2010 - 8:14 pm)

      With the Pimms just make it in the usual way, but use borage as a garnish and maybe leave out the cucumber.

    lucnig

    (April 8, 2010 - 7:37 pm)

    Hello! I bought some dried peas too! Ready for pea shoot salad and peatinis :)

    Love your style and can’t wait to get into your blog.

    Lucy from The Urban Lettuce

      Jules

      (April 8, 2010 - 8:15 pm)

      The peatinis looked fantastic. I’m intrigued as to what they will be like and you can’t go wrong with gin. Also since you posted this comment I’ve added some links to previous year’s gardens.

    Whimsical Wife

    (April 9, 2010 - 5:47 am)

    Oh isn’t this just a brilliant time in the garden! All the planning & thinking about what you can squeeze in & where! I was thinking of edible flowers too this year!

    Gourmet Chick

    (April 9, 2010 - 9:28 am)

    I LOVE rhubarb – I will take your rhubarb! I only have a windowsill with herbs on – sadly that is all my garden can stretch too…

    mkdanaher

    (April 11, 2010 - 5:00 pm)

    Hi! Loved the garden – have also written about inspiration for creating a little kitchen garden and am all fired up with enthusiam, would love to hear what you think.

    Plants Herbs and Pots « Tea With Mary Kate – Inspiration for Tea and Living http://bit.ly/cW4Ryn

    I grew borage last year – they can be triffids, so be warned! But looks gorgeous in the summer pimms.

    also, will be making the carrot cakes, they look amazing! look forward to hearing from you, all the best, k

    Tracy

    (April 12, 2010 - 3:36 am)

    Your garden sounds great. We are slowing down in the southern hemisphere now so it is nice to see a buzz of activity in the north.
    Tracy

    Alex

    (April 12, 2010 - 2:31 pm)

    What did you think about Alys’s show? I found her a little annoying…

      Jules

      (April 12, 2010 - 6:39 pm)

      I found her ok. I haven’t really seen her in anything else before.

    The Curious Cat

    (April 15, 2010 - 2:24 pm)

    There is a wonderful satisfaction in growing your own veg…it is really good for the soul as well as the stomach and purse! I like the tips you’ve offered up here too! :) xxx

    food4two

    (April 25, 2010 - 8:19 pm)

    Hi, I’ve done the pea shoot thing too, what a top tip. Mine are nearly ready or harvesting. Bought a box from the supermarket for 25p!
    I like the new blog done by the pair of you, it’s a really cute idea. My boyfriend only does the eating – not the cooking or blogging!
    Hope the growing goes well.

    Claire (at Food4two)

      Jules

      (April 25, 2010 - 8:39 pm)

      I lost count how many places I looks for cheap peas in the shops but couldn’t find any anywhere so had to settle on some more expensive ones from the garden centre. I’m determined to find cheap ones though! I can’t wait for them to come through. Hubs should be writing another post soon on another one of his projects.

    food4two

    (April 26, 2010 - 8:05 pm)

    I know I really shouldn’t plug evil supermarket chains, but Morrisons sells them. I bought Batchelor brand ones in a small box for 25p in the section with lentils etc, they didn’t look much, all shrivlled and dry, but I can tell you everyone of them germinated no problems at all. Look forward to hearing about the projects.
    Claire

    […] of roots & onions, in come the luscious greens, purples…and various other colours if our veg  plot is anything to go by. Once asparagus is here I know I won’t have to wait long until the strawberries begin to […]

    […] of roots & onions, in come the luscious greens, purples…and various other colours if our veg  plot is anything to go by. Once asparagus is here I know I won’t have to wait long until the strawberries begin to […]

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