Wednesday 21 September 2011

Autumn Harvest

Summer maybe on it's way out, but our little veg patch is still going strong.

This summer has been the first of my life where I've had a proper garden. My parents house has a little courtyard and two terraces but no real garden (no offense M&D) and roof terraces were as close as I got to gardens in my years of renting.


This picture was taken when we first viewed the house... we couldn't even see the end of the garden it was so overgrown, and the estate agent hadn't even bothered to measure it.
It looks quite nice here, but there were lots of brambles and so much junk too - we're talking old suitcases, broken chairs and a wardrobe, lots of broken tiles, even an old breast pump; and later on we discovered a replica gun!

For the first two summers the garden was the least of our worries - getting central heating installed and having more to cook on than a calor gas camping stove where higher up on the priority list... but last October, after a few false starts we started tackling the garden with a lot of clearing and some hard landscaping, plus we finally got our lawn put down in April.

We'd hoped to get some serious planting done this summer, but making decisions isn't our strong point and we're still dithering somewhat about whether to try to put in trees and also are somewhat in denial about how much plants actually cost... Despite all the above we have managed to really make the most of the garden this summer.

We've dabbled with a few plants that have kindly been donated and grown a few things from seed. 

We even managed a surplus of lavender plants so gave some away...

Henry has seriously enjoyed crawling around on the grass and messing up Coco's carefully laid out obstacle courses and Coco was thrilled when a large trampoline magically landed at one end via our lovely friends who very thoughtfully moved to a house with a gorgeous garden, but one that could no longer accommodate such a beast of a bouncing machine.

But mainly, we've started experimenting with veg. My sister got us going, planting garlic and potatoes... from there we moved on to peas & broad beans (in abundance), to strawberry's (not so successful), a lovely crop of lettuce all grown from out of date seeds and some amazing carrots. We've sent many a child home with their own freshly pulled, bizarrely shaped, carrot. Hugh's sister has kept the momentum up delivering a courgette plant (photographed today, above) which has been pretty vigorous and planting the cavalo nero, beetroot and more carrots.

Oh yes, and another big upside to the garden... after years of flat-dwelling, I just LOVE the smell of washing that's been dried outside.

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