Monday, 2 May 2011

Sowing Sunday Week 5…. On a Monday

With holidays in Cuba, Royal Weddings, Street Parties, Barbeques, Birthday Parties, the days just ran away with me and it didn’t really occur to me until late last night that it was Sunday night and that I hadn’t posted! And I didn’t post last week thanks to holiday in Cuba… it’s a hard life.

But now, I’m sitting on the blanket my grandma knitted for me with a nice hot coffee, in the sunshine. I’m in my teeny back garden surveying all that I’ve potted, planted, sewn, spoken to, breathed on and nurtured. And I’m feeling proud. Look just how much you can get from one small space! 

And this is just one small corner!
Runner beans, tomatoes,
courgette and cucumber
The runner beans my dad kicked off for me have started their ascent to the skies, twirling up the canes as they go. The tomatoes have ka-boomed in the last week since they were potted into larger homes and I have counted at least 200 buds on my strawberry plants. The cucumbers and courgettes don’t look too exciting yet, but I can’t wait for my first taste of sunshine yellow courgette flowers. 

I was very pleased to see that, after the second year, my blueberry plant has a few flowers, like little bluebells, but those pesky slugs have been at them. Help – does anyone know how to stop the little blighters in an organic friendly way? What’s a girl to do?

Yesterday I was chuffed as anything to snip a chilli from the plant (to use in my Carrot and Coriander salad with Maple Syrup and Lime) and to pull two small but perfectly formed cherry red radishes from the ground. Yes, I know if I left them they would be larger, but I couldn’t resist the first sweet but peppery taste of the summer. 

I’m really pleased to see flowers forming on my sage bush, attracting the bees as they hop from lavender to strawberry to sage. I need to find some local honey to complete the cycle!

I’m even more smug than usual (is it possible?); my lovely dad told me that my sowing of lettuce and spinach wouldn’t grow very well as they are too close together, and I was to transplant them into my large trough and hope for the best for the rest. Well, yesterday, I had to wave goodbye to the transplanted plants (an untimely end for the small leaves as they were snaffled by myself at 8am) as they didn’t seem to be doing too much and I basked in the triumph of my big pots of lettuce, rocket and spinach, resplendent in their bushiness, greens, reds and dark yellows wafting in the wind. To celebrate, myself and my 4 year old neighbour decided to sample some leafy delights, and we discovered that she doesn’t like the stalks and the red rosso leaves are her favourite. So now we know).   I even decided to have some for my lunch today.

The seedlings in the surprise box now have identities! Green beans (more!), radishes (even more!), broad beans (thankfully, I love them) and peas (ditto). There are a couple more little seed babies poking through and looking healthy. Oh, and I now have some dwarf beans, but only 3 of the 12 planted have broken through at the minute. I’m waiting with baited breath.

Last but certainly not least, I, with the help of a man with a power tool (I’m far to clumsy and prefer to potter), got creative, inspired by a picture in a magazine of three semi-circled planters to go up high on a wall to make the most of small gardens. They were £50 in the magazine – cue creativity. To me the planters looked just like guttering, so off to the hardware store I went and created my own, drilling holes in the bottom for drainage. Perfect for lettuce, which I planted this morning. What do you think to my (our) handy work? I’m feeling rather smug. Again.

I’m certain of a great harvest this summer. I’m feeling a recipe or two coming on.

Until next time….


  1. Your drainpipes are inspired! We could do with something like that in our garden, I might get my hubby on to it. Have fun with your growing.

  2. Thanks Alex - make sure you drill holes in the bottom for drainage :-)