Tiny Veg Patch Adventures

Time flies when you’re having fun!

Ahem. Actually, I’ve TONS of thinks I’ve been going to blog about, but I’m still trying to find the balance of doing the things I want to do, and writing about them (and, you know, working full time – but that bit’s the boring part).

So I guess you are just dying to know what made me break my two month break, huh?

Whoop whoop! Can you tell what it is yet?!

We’ve generally been moaning about our little back garden, which is half decking, half patio, and the mess that the rest of the garden is in – it belongs to our landlords who are going to expand their garden into it. And I’ve been making plans about how to maximise my veg-growing potential with a North-facing patio and tiny south facing concrete box in the front of our basement flat.

Luckily for us, our landlords have decided it’s too much for them to handle in one year, and asked if we wanted to use some of it this year? HELL YES!

Faster than we could blink (sorta) Tim had some steps put in the slope at the end our patio, and Karen had cleared the ivy. In the pictures above you can see that me and my sister have been busy with large amounts of string and some sticks marking out our plot.

We didn’t really get started till this Saturday past, when L kindly lent her labour and her mother came round to generally encourage and beautify our patch.

We switched things around only slightly – L’s Mum decided that seeing as we were allowed to use the brick rubble from the dividing wall, we should edge all the beds in it, and because our ‘official’ garden is down a steep drop, we extended the path of paving slabs round the front! I’ve been picturing myself weeding and falling off the end…

Bandit was interested, but preferred sunning himself on the cardboard our landlady is using to protect her veg patch! He definitely approves of sunny paving slabs at the top of the slope though.

So far the plan is to grow:

  1. Potatoes
  2. Jerusalem artichokes
  3. Runner beans
  4. French beans
  5. Peas (mange tout and garden)
  6. Cavolo nero
  7. Spinach
  8. Beetroot
  9. Lettuce
  10. Radishes

What?! Optimism is a good thing… so I’m told.

The tatties are new potatoes that were sprouting in my cupboard, so I won’t be surprised if they don’t come up. I’ve planted them on the East side next to the wall, so I’m expecting even less light than usual there. The jerusalem artichokes were originally to go at the bottom of our slope to screen the patio from the landlords patch, but they have just been bumped up to the top instead. My Dad suggested them – he grew them way back when we lived in London [before me?]. They should grow 6 foot, so we’ll have to include some supports if they come up. Another re-purpose in a way, I bought them from a friendly French lady selling them at Brixton farmer’s market.

Beans and peas will go along the sunnier West wall where the curve ends in what ued to be the outhouse (it still has the toilet-roll holder!). Incidently, I am trying to convince L that the outhouse would make an excellent chicken hutch, any internet support gratefully received…

The other greens etc will be stuffed in every space we have and the central patch. We’ve planted one row cavolo nero, beetroot, lettuce and radishes so far. L got to do that to make up for her having to put up with me teaching her how to dig!

I’m still going to try the tomatoes and some beans at the front, along with some flowers (sweet peas, morning glories, nasturtiums).

The rest of the garden has been tidied up, but I need to some proper planning to work out where my seedlings will go and whether I need to find some more containers. I hate that the garden is North-facing, but am trying to see it as a challenge! Also, it will be better in summer than a sun-drenched space, so we don’t over-heat out there. Got to admit for a desire for sunshine well-developed in the hearts of all Scots I think. I will soothe myself with some of those figs you see in the picture on the right there. [Figs! Growing! On a tree! Free for me to help myself all summer! Swoon…]

A reward for all that hard work came from L’s amazing cooking and her Mum’s amazing recipe.

But more on that next time.


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