Monday, 13 July 2009

Small holding in miniature, part 1.

All those intentions to blog regularly fall by the wayside when you want to be out in the garden. The veg plot, however, is coming along nicely:

It's the second year for this plot, and I'm still enjoying things that I planted last year, such as leeks, broccoli and garlic, as well as spinach and salad greens nursed through winter. We've been eating a lot of peas and broad beans from spring plantings as well, in addition to early asparagus. Unfortunately I had a drying-out incident in the heated propagator while on holiday in May, so the tomatoes and pole beans aren't as advanced as I'd like them to be at this time of year: but I had my first courgette flowers in a frittata for lunch yesterday. The small greenhouse on the right of the picture is where I raise my seedlings in summer.

I've been renting for the last four years because I've not yet found the house I want to buy. I couldn't wait to start my food orchard though, so this is the stone fruit section. They line the herb garden outside the kitchen at the back of the house. I call it 'the orchard in pots'! From front to back, there's an olive, a Victoria plum, a dual plum tree, a dual cherry tree, a morello cherry, three avocado trees and a standard bay tree. Except for the bay and the olive these are all this year's trees, so none of these have fruit this year aside from the olive, but next year I expect some treats. Behind that is the strawberry barrel and the patio.This is the first year I've grown the strawberry barrel as well. It had a bit of a setback early on, because the moment I planted it I went on holiday for three weeks, relying on the rain to settle in the crowns: and it didn't rain. I lost 2/3 of the 25 crowns I planted the first time, but a quick replant worked. The first strawberries are just coming on.

To the left of that, the patio is a real boon. The sofa there is an old sofa bed, which we sometimes roll out to sleep partially covered and partially under the stars. Beside it is a foling outdoor table and chairs, as we eat most of out meals including breakfast out here in summer. In front of it, around the chiminea (which is often lit for twilight relaxing), is the 'nursery bed', in which I raise seedlings in pots. There I have six types of blueberries, some seedling citrus and a couple of figs, And some flowers in the chimney pots, because flowers are pretty. It's taken me a long time to spare the energy from functional gardening to decorative, but I am finding that taking the time to make things pretty is good for the soul. The recent purchase of a clematis will give something to twine through the lattice on the right of the patio.
The corner beside the patio is the 'vineyard'. In there are two vines each of cabernet sauvignon, Sauvignon blanc and black traub eating grapes. The wine grapes are this year's, the eating grapes are now two years old so I should get some off them later in the summer.

I've never had so much of a pot garden before. But the bounty of summer is so rewarding, even if you're forced to gardenmostly in pots. More in another post.

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