Sunday, 28 August 2011

Can I encourage you to grow your own?

I have one of the tiniest gardens in the world and this year I've hardly done anything in it, what with being a tad busy with my son but it surprised even me just how bountiful my garden has been despite the lack of care and attention.

I have a huge selection of herbs, most of which overwinter and require virtually no attention.  Let's see if I can list them all from memory; rosemary, golden marjoram, sorrel, purple sage, tarragon, golden thyme, italian flat parsley, curly parsley (grown from a supermarket pot), garlic chives, french flat leaf parsley, silver leaf thyme which is looking like it needs a good trim, greek oregano, bronze fennel...  I think that's it!  Perhaps you could include the various lavenders I have if you're feeling like a culinary adventure.  The only things which didn't survive last year's inches of snow and cold weather in December is the rosemary which I've had to replace this year (although normally it's pretty hardy) and the parsley took some time to get going again.  Hang on!  Of course, I have pots of mint.  Never grow mint in a border, it will take over.  It grows really happily in a pot, it will die down in winter but come back again.  Occasionally split it into new pots with some fresh compost and hey presto, more mint plants to give to other people as presents!



On top of all that there's the fruit and veg.  Constants in the garden are my tiny dwarf apple tree (there is an apple tree for every size of garden, trust me) and my autumn fruiting raspberries which are currently producing loads of fruit which my son is devouring just as raspberries are becoming difficult to find and expensive in the shops.  I don't get that.  I've only recently got rid of some trays of lettuce (sown in seed trays which lasted from about June to August and saved me loads of cash).



My french beans are romping away, much tastier than beans flown in from Kenya or Egypt and so easy to grow.  They're a dwarf variety but I've grown climbing versions before which means you can plant them in virtually no space at the back of a border and the upside is they have nitrogen fixing bacteria in their roots so they actually help the other plants!  Genius!



Tomatoes are a piece of cake to grow.  If you've never tasted a tomato grown outdoors just ripened in the sun, you've not tasted tomatoes.

So my lawn is about 6 metres by 3 metres.  My garden is small.  In previous years I've grown radishes, courgettes, potatoes (in pots) and chillis have been a huge success.

I think gardening can be a fantastic way of chilling out but also involving your child in the food they eat. My son is already fascinated by plants (obviously be careful, it's sensible to set a rule of 'no eating unless you've asked mummy first) but I often take pieces of herbs and crush them for him to smell.  I did that yesterday in someone else's garden with some Lemon Balm (Melissa) and there was a look of interest on his face.

Anyway.  Sights, smells, tastes, there is something potentially in a garden for babies and toddlers of all ages.  All you need is a windowbox to grow herbs, all you need is a countryside walk to pick blackberries at this time of year (but save some for us, I feel a batch of bramble jelly coming on...)

I've linked this up to 'Oldies but Goodies' on 'Hobbies'


3ChildrenandIt

6 comments:

  1. Aw thanks for linking up this fabulous post - the photos are amazing! My OH is the keen gardener/veg grower in this house, I just don't have the patience to wait for it all to grow but thoroughly enjoying eating them, as do the kids. I agree that it's a great hobby to involve children in. Thanks for linking up :)

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    1. I think I took the photos on my own! This is an old post...

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  2. Oh I am so envious of your marvellous array of plants! My garden is a bit of an eye-sore at the moment, but I'm planning on making raised beds to grow veg and herbs in. I love watching things grow and it's something I hope my little ones will appreciate, as they get older.

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    1. Oh I wish my garden was as productive this year. It's just asleep.

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  3. I love gardening and I am having withdrawal's with this horrible weather! I am hoping to try growing some veg next year in a patch :-)

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    1. It's worth growing chillis inside. The only reason I've not started this year is because I'm not sure I'm going to be living in the same house come the summer.

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