Seeds of Change

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I’m very excited to see that my garden is really starting to get going now. My redcurrant (grown in a pot) has lots of berries on it. The blueberry – not so much. The courgette (also grown in a pot) is starting to flower and the tomatoes are also getting bigger. We could do with some more sunshine as it’s been a bit miserable this week.

The hanging baskets are starting to fill out too. I can’t begin to explain how happy they make me. I think it’s just seeing something that you’ve nurtured from a tiny seedling grow into something amazing.

My new gardening experiment is my sweet pea wall that I’ve recently planted up. I’m hopefull that this will work – basically I’ve grown some old fashioned sweet peas from seed and planted them against my fence. I’ve run some training wires across the fence for support and the idea is that I’ll end up with a kind of ‘wall of sweet peas’. I’ve used string as an initial support – this is how it currently looks:

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My other DIY project is our new raised planter. I’ve bought an old Singer sewing machine frame and put a Belfast sink on top of it. I think this would be great for anyone who struggles to bend down or who is in a wheelchair. Originally the sewing machine would have looked something like this (when I bought it it was just the wrought iron frame):

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This is quite a bad picture but I’ve upcycled it into this:

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Obviously not in the above picture, but in real life you can see the Singer name and the treadle mechanism. I’m really pleased with the result.

I’ll update this blog again once everything starts to flower!

 

Magical Thinking

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Whilst I was doing my every-other-day-run/walk I took some time to appreciate my surroundings. I’m so lucky to live in the UK and to have a beautiful park close by that I can jog round at my own pace in relative safety. Such a first world privilege.

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Above is the dovecote (with dove!) that’s part of one of the original buildings on the site. So pretty. Theres also a walled garden which is tended to by the local residents (I need to volunteer to do that).

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However, what caught my eye today was someone’s tree decorations for the fairies. I thought these were so beautiful:

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How did they get there? They were quite high up. They obviously took a bit of skill and forethought. Who put them there? Why?

Perhaps I’ll use them as inspiration for a short story. Watch this space!

So I guess today’s run was a more of a walk but I’m ok with that. Took me 33 minutes to do 2.2 miles which is rubbish but then I did get distracted. Bit of gentle yoga tomorrow in preparation for the bank holiday weekend.

Peace and love people!

Veg Out

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Hey guys!

Sorry that I haven’t posted in a while, I’ve been helping my bestie (of 29 years and counting) to move house. I’m exhausted! I have found a little bit of spare time however to ge out into the garden to plant up my veg and to get my bedding plants and hanging baskets going.

I might have mentioned this before but I really do love gardening. I find it so theraputic and love seeing my seeds and bulbs germinate. I was really inspired by shelleyschell to blog about what I’m growing. Her blog shows an amazing method of using straw bales to grow fruit and veg in, I’m really excited to see what happens! I’d love to try this for myself but being a bit short on space it’s not really an option right now. Instead, I use pots on my patio and the greenhouse to grow my fruit and veg.

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Above, you can see my redcurrant bush and blueberry bush just before they start to flower. I can see quite a few buds on the redcurrant so hopefully I’ll get a bit of a bumper harvest. I also have strawberries growing in a large pot. In the greenhouse I have three tomato plants, plus a courgette in a pot and some lettuce in a seed tray:

Finally, I’ve got my hanging baskets and borders:

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Everything is newly planted and not in flower yet, I’ll update you all in a couple of months when things really get going.

As you can see, my garden is pretty small but with a few pots and a bit of imagination you really can produce quite a lot of flowers, fruit and veg. Next year I’m hoping to do new potatoes in a big patio pot.

If anyone is looking for advice or has any ideas about what kinds of fruit and veg grow well in small spaces, please comment below!

Plantshaming

Dear Joe Swift,

Yesterday, I saw you during the filming of gardeners question time at the Malvern Show but I was too shy to speak to you. You should perhaps be grateful about this as what I would have said may have been uncomfortable for you to hear (particularly whilst being filmed in front of a live audience). You see, some time ago I saw you on an episode of Gardeners World where you bemoaned the humble hanging basket. I can fully understand that hanging baskets are not everyone’s cup if tea but it was the specific comments that you made which really annoyed me.

You may have guessed that I am a hanging basket fan. My favourite day of the year is May bank holiday when I get my baskets planted up. I love going to my local garden centre, choosing the theme, putting together new planting combinations and experimenting with colours, textures and shapes. I love the deep sense of calm as I dig into the rich bags of compost, adding nutrients, slowly mixing everything together. I love the smell of the damp earth. I love taking my chosen plants out of their pots, assessing their root balls, checking their leaves and buds for signs of damage or disease as I ease them into their new homes. I love getting everything symmetrical. I love watching the plants take to their new positions and slowly begin to fill out. I love seeing the baskets transform into giant balls of colour. But not you. Oh no.

Joe Swift, you took it upon yourself to tell us that hanging baskets were “tacky”. That they were too gaudy. Too in your face. Effectively, you told me that my hanging baskets were common. Nasty. Working class.

How dare you.

I understand that everyone has their own taste when it comes to garden design. However, what I won’t tolerate is people putting down others. Making us feel bad for our design choices. Snobbishly looking down at us, the tasteless commoners, shamelessly buying our multipacks of trailing petunias in every day glow colour for maximum clashing effect. Well Joe Swift, not on my watch.

Our gardens are reflections of our personalities. If some of us like bold, bright flowers, don’t sneer at us for being working class. Class has no place in this argument. It should never be used as a measure of good taste. You don’t need to like a garden- you can objectively criticise that all you want – but don’t look down on it. Comments like the ones that you made petty, snobbish and shamefully rude.

I’d like an apology.