I admit, we’re a bit late getting started with the veggie patch this year but it’s slowly getting underway. My husband is the gardener in our house (under my supervision, of course). We usually have our seed trays planted and on the windowsill by mid-April and here we are in May already!
The garden was one of the main things that sold our house to us when we bought it three and a half years ago. I’d always wanted a space big enough to grow my own veg so one of the first things we did was dig up a section of broken old paving to make a veggie patch.
It’s not enough to be totally self sufficient but we have a steady stream of bits and bobs through the summer and it’s important to me that the children know the effort that goes into their food, in addition to the actual cooking bit. They get quite excited seeing the plants grow and there’s a lot of anticipation in waiting for the edible bits to ripen. And they were still fascinated the year a gazillion caterpillars ate our cabbages!
Two years ago, my dad and husband built an amazing patio area under the shade of the magnolia tree, using bricks and materials left behind by the old owners. It’s a really beautiful space and I often have a “pinch me” me moment when we’re out there coz I still can’t quite believe it’s ours.
I hope this doesn’t come across as Smuggy McSmug from Smuggerton. I know how lucky we are to have such a great space and we put a lot of work into keeping it that way. But even if you only have room for a few pots on a windowsill, grow something. Nurture it and be proud of it.
Anyway, yesterday was glorious sunshine so while I tended to the barbecue, The Husband dug over and raked the veggie patch. My parents gave us eight broad bean plants which he planted out with canes. Along the back wall are two blackcurrant plants my mum gave us as tiny cuttings. And at the front is a terracotta strawberry planter that miraculously sprung back to life after a long winter in the shed! We already have lots of seed packets so he also planted purple carrots, pumpkins and onions in rows.
That only fills half the space. We’ll also start off some tomatoes and sunflowers in trays. I’d like some peas too coz last year the kids enjoyed eating them raw straight out of the pods. And we usually grow potatoes in a big tub.
My sister bought the girls their own little growing kits for Easter so I left them to do that by themselves.
Big sister supervised and they did a good job!
Then there’s my herb garden. A little raised bed built by my dad. It’s right outside the kitchen door so I can pop out and grab what I need while I cook.
I have sorrel, rosemary, mint, parsley, thyme, basil and sage. You can also see here our tiny fig tree. Another cutting from my mum that just last year was nothing but a stick in a pot but is already looking really promising.
Right down at the very bottom of the garden is a small apple tree that I bought for the husband’s first Father’s Day in our own home. It was in full blossom a few weeks ago and by the autumn it usually gives us a few apples, which I rarely get to eat coz the rest of them get there first!
So there isn’t a lot to see yet. Just a lot of green leaves and empty space. But provided the slugs don’t eat the lot, I’ll keep you updated over the next few months and hopefully I’ll have some actual food to show at the end of it!