My seedlings are patiently waiting to be planted out in the garden. Some have succumbed to the slugs and snails, but this year I planted backups, and with many yet to be sown, I am sure that this year will spell more success than last.
Spring has finally arrived (sort of), and I have been busy sowing this year's crop of interesting perennial vegetables. Lots of leafy greens this year, including some interesting kale varieties, some Aztec and Chinese broccoli, and callaloo. In between showers and cold snaps, I am getting the garden prepared, and devising my planting plan.
Most of my seedlings are 2-3 inches high - at last count there were approximately 350, with many more seeds yet to germinate. I love watching things grow!
With last year's crops being somewhat reduced by the rainfall and subsequent slug infestation, I will be growing a new range of perennial vegetables this year:
For me, growing new types and varieties of vegetables is part of the learning curve. I love the excitement of the first seedlings breaking through the soil, and watching how they develop into productive, edible, and delicious plants. This year I am focusing mostly on leafy vegetables, as well as organic ways to reduce the effect of slugs and snails.
We are about 3 months into my perennial vegetable seedling project, and I am already able to taste the produce! The Siberian Purslane (Montia sibirica) is thriving, already flowering, and providing it's juicy leaves and stems for salads and sandwiches.
The taste is a very pleasant cucumber flavour - highly recommended. The plants will self seed naturally, survive down to -35, stay in leaf all year and are even rugged enough to survive a bit of foot traffic.
I am passionate about growing my own food. I grew up with a garden which, through the summer months, provided a plethora of tasty, nutritious fruit and vegetables. There is no doubt that fresh, home grown produce is tastier, cheaper, and potentially more nutritious than shop-bought varieties. The mental health benefits of gardening and growing things is also unquestionable.
So, why not bring a new dimension into garden design? Productive gardens.
More and more people are requesting vegetable patches, as they realise the benefits of home grown produce, but many people also don't have the time to maintain straight rows of carrots, and raise plants from seed every year.
Based on the principles of permaculture, forest gardening, and classic garden design, I have come up with the concept of a Forage Garden. The basic principles are:
I am very excited to launch this new service, so please email or call me to request more details.
In these times of belt-tightening and economy measures, it is easy to overlook the need for happiness, fulfillment and contentment which drives us all.
I firmly believe that getting a job done properly should not be the reserve of the wealthy few, and to this end have launched my new fixed price design service. A full, independent and professional design for £500. And no VAT to pay. You don't even need to live in the West Country (or the UK), as this service can be completely undertaken by email and phone. Click here for details.
In addition, I am offering a completely free design consultation service to any local charitable or public sector organisation wishing to undertake a garden or outdoor space project. Please contact me for details.
This glorious weather is no doubt keeping people out in their gardens well into the autumn, but as your garden starts winding down for the winter, why not think about how amazing your garden could be next year, with a little help from a designer!
Now is the perfect time to start thinking about what you would like to do in your garden, and what you could achieve by next spring. Getting the ugly work out of the way when the garden is dormant, is by far the best choice. You can also think about how to make your garden more winter-friendly, by adding winter interest plants in time for a fabulous show next December.
Talk to a designer, call or drop in an email, and you may be surprised how much you can achieve by next spring.
I don't have a television, but I caught this programme on BBC iPlayer...
It says a lot about the British love of our gardens. Lovely.
Building a garden is expensive. The vast majority of the cost is in the construction of hard landscaping features such as patios, ponds and paths, as well as the plants themselves. Using a professional garden designer can actually save you money, as well as ensuring that the garden you end up with is the garden you want.
Whilst a free or cheap design service may be offered to you through landscape construction companies, this can be a false economy.
Using a professional designer will make sure that materials are carefully chosen to suit you and your design requirements, and that experienced and trusted contractors are used at all times. High quality plants can be sourced from nurseries, and the construction can be overseen to ensure that the garden is built exactly as designed. Any issues can be sorted out on site, with your designer and contractor working together to ensure an excellent outcome.
Professional garden designers know what will work in a garden, and how to avoid the pitfalls seen in so many designs. You want your garden to be a comfortable, relaxing place, and with the average cost of hiring a designer being approximately 10% of the cost of construction, the investment will be well worth the peace of mind.
Currently designing a small city garden which is approximately 10m x 5m. The twist is that there is a 4m drop from front to back of the garden.
Local garden designer, helping to keep the West Country beautiful and fruitful.