Creating a Garden Pt 4: Sheds and Rhubarb

shed3

I’ve always had a bit of a ‘thing’ about sheds! Apart from being a great place to store tools, shelter from the rain, hide Easter eggs or hang a mirror(!) they can also add structure and shape to a garden design. Sheds can be practical or pretty (preferably both), ramshackle or brand new, but they are always a useful bit of garden ‘furniture’.

Our allotment shed was central to our garden plans and had to be in just the right place – easy to get in and out of and lovely to look at. But we had a fight on our hands. It was shed ‘versus’ rhubarb….

Continue reading

Late-Spring Gardening

IMG_2373

Spring is in full swing on the allotment right now and it’s a massive understatement to say that we’re pretty busy – lots of sowing, weeding, sowing, thinning out, sowing, hardening off, sowing, planting out and sowing…..busy, but loving it!

The chickens are loving the new grass, the dog is loving watching the chickens(!), the children are loving getting their hands dirty and I’m loving the sun on my back and the prospect of some delicious homegrown fruit and veg!

Continue reading

Mid-Spring Gardening

IMG_2477

By mid-spring most of the seedlings have made the big trek down to our greenhouse, which is now absolutely rammed with fresh new growth. I usually feel like there’s not enough time and definitely not enough space at this time of year….

This is the second in a series of posts about the joys of springtime gardening on our organic allotment. Sowing new crops, hardening off, planting out and the first harvests. Life is good….

Continue reading

Creating a Garden Pt 3: Raised Beds and Fencing

raised beds

Having planned out the space for our allotment garden and cleared most of the weeds, we were now ready to tackle the beds and fencing. Luckily our children were on hand to help…

Raised beds: To raise or not to raise, that is the question?! We knew right from the start that we wanted to build raised beds, mostly because our allotment garden sits on a heavy clay soil and raising the beds would help with any drainage issues, but also because they’re easier to weed, there’s less bending over (slightly!), watering is more efficient and we could fill them with top-notch soil to get our growing season off to a flying start. Although raised beds would be an extra expense, we knew we’d also get a longer growing season and that eventually the outlay would repay itself in homegrown veg! Plus they’re really fun to play on….

Continue reading

Early-Spring Gardening

IMG_2234

I love every season, but I think Spring has to be my favourite. There’s just so much anticipation in the air, from the first bulbs of early-Spring to the luscious blossoms of mid-Spring and the definite ‘no-turning back’ growth of late-Spring. Everyone and everything has an extra spring in their step….

This is the first of three posts about the joys of springtime gardening on our allotment. It started out as one post, but was just getting crazily long, so I decided to split it – early, mid and late spring. Happy days and happy gardening everyone….

Continue reading

Creating a Garden Pt 2: Clearing Weeds

clear.jpg

What is a weed? There are some weeds that I really love, like nettles and others that I’m definitely not so keen on, like bindweed! Weeds are really just vigorous plants growing in the wrong place at the wrong time, but if they’re in the way then I’m afraid they have to go. Sorry weeds! However, this can be easier said than done, especially in an organic/biodynamic garden where no chemicals are used. There are other more natural ways to clear weeds that involve a little more work and a little more patience! In our case, we chose to clear the weeds by hand before we could begin planting.

Continue reading

Winter Gardening

IMG_2122

I love the allotment garden in Winter. I go down every day to feed the chickens, collect eggs and gather winter greens to eat or juice and always enjoy the feeling of quiet hibernation in the garden. It’s the only time of year that I feel as if I’m on top of things! Of course there are still jobs to do and the over-winter crops to care for, but there isn’t the fabulously frenzied planting of Spring, the constant tending of Summer and the busy harvesting, storing and preserving of Autumn.

Continue reading

Ready, steady, grow

Processed with Moldiv

Aren’t gardens amazing places! Full of vibrancy and colour, intoxicating smells and hardworking veg, chickens and wheelbarrows, fresh air, fun and full of wonder. There really is something magical about seeing the first tips of spring bulbs appearing in the depths of winter or planting a seed and watching it grow – so much awesome potential in such a tiny thing! Picking peas, eating them fresh right there and then, harvesting greens for supper, juicing homegrown carrots. Nothing beats it!

I’ve been growing things and gardening for years. Window boxes in gardenless flats, pots on tiny balconies and then ‘proper’ gardening at home and on the allotment. There’s loads more info on my blog about our organic allotment garden, as well as building a garden from scratch and the principles of biodynamic gardening.

Happy reading, happy gardening, happy growing!

Creating a Garden Pt 1: First Steps

Processed with Moldiv

Neck high brambles, rampant bindweed, stubborn grass, broken fences, piles of rubbish and a random turf mound! Sound familiar? That was the state of our allotment garden when we got the go-ahead from our local council in April 2014 and it was very daunting to say the least. Where to begin? It was already mid-Spring and ideally, we wanted to use the space that year as a productive fruit, vegetable and flower garden.

We already had one allotment tucked down at the end of the row, surrounded by fields and opposite an overgrown patch of woodland, but we decided, very much against common sense, that we’d like a bit more space for our chickens to roam and to plant more veg! Hence the request for a second ‘plot’.

In the coming months I’ll take you through the practical ins and outs, the ups and downs, the highs and lows of creating a beautiful organic fruit, veg and flower garden from scratch. As well as this being a personal record of our sweaty endeavours(!), I also hope that you can find some little nuggets of inspiration and learn from our mistakes!

Continue reading