One of my earliest memories is of helping my Mum and Dad weed the veggie plot and collecting chicken eggs from the chooks at the end of the garden. I grew up on a farm as a child and always had my own piece of land to grow and learn with, so I suppose it’s in the blood!
In my mid twenties, I re trained in Horticulture (Professional Gardening ANCH) and set up my own Gardening business working for clients in the Suffolk/Essex area. For the last thirteen years I’ve had the pleasure of working on a private twenty five acre estate tending to the grounds.
This year I’ve grown everything from seed on the estate. I wanted different and above all tasty and engaging fruits and veg.
In the greenhouse this year I’ve grown Harbinger, Terenzo and Red Cherry, three different types of toms, slicing and cooking with the Harbinger and a little snacking tomato, appropriately named Cherry Red and also the Terenzo which is hanging basket variety.
Also cucumber Swing, which hasn’t stopped producing and has a great taste, two types of Aubergine, Bonica and Orlando. I tried Aubergines a few years ago, they didn’t come to anything and the Woodlice enjoyed eating them before they were ready for humans.
In the veggie plot, are Courgette – Parador and Eclipse. I wanted a break away from the regular, (boring!) courgettes, so this year, yellow and green and round. Lovely flavours too, tonight I added the yellow to a veggie Spaghetti Bolognese which we all tucked into, ending with clean plates all round, great way to get it into the kiddies!!
Runner beans are in pots this year with six canes in each, I tried two varieties, Scarlet Emperor and Desiree, thought these two were good to try with each having different coloured flowers and growing in pots means they are transportable!
One wet spring afternoon after visiting Waitrose and enjoying our free hot beverages, the kids raided my seed box and chose seeds they fancied growing to sow in the empty cups, (a good way to recycle). They sat on my kitchen window sill to grow, the children checked every day to see who’s grew first and then we transplanted their seedlings. The Rudbeckia looks superb on the patio and will be planted into the garden in the autumn.
There is definitely something to be said for encouraging children at a young age, especially nowadays with so much focus on five a day and healthy eating and children finding out where and how their food grows.
I haven’t grown as much as I would really like to this but I did try Chilli Pepper Numex Twilight which was new for me, love chillies, great to be picking and cooking from garden to kitchen within seconds.
Once thing that never makes it into the kitchen though are our peas, we all sow them all together, watch them grow and when ready sit on the patio and eat them. A few are left now to save the seeds for next year’s annual pea sowing.
I wanted to know what all the fuss was about with Begonia Apricot Shades, to be fair I was in Monty Don’s camp with the dislike of these plants. But reluctantly I gave them a go, a few crept into the baskets and pots and they are ok, won’t say I love them just yet!
I am impressed with my patio Vicky Plum though, my favourite plum! Bought it last year and last week William (my eight year old son) and I shared the first one. Simply divine.
Looking ahead to next year, as I mentioned through the good and the bad, William and I are season ticket holders at our beloved ITFC, so we thought about planting and growing from seed blue plants for the garden and friends. There is a Pansy actually called ‘Singing the Blues‘, so maybe a good place to start!
Well that’s my first ever blog, hope you enjoyed a little insight into my world, until next time, over and out!!