Photos Guy Harris
After announcing a drought and forbidding the use of hoses as spring began, many of Britain’s water companies were left with egg on their faces when it rained almost non-stop for several weeks. The odd week of warmth and sunshine was followed by cold – even freezing – temperatures. Even now, mid-way through June, most days seem more autumnal than spring-like. Only as the weather finally begins to break can gardeners risk planting up their vegetable beds.
We travel so much that I cannot start my own seedlings. I don’t feel I can prevail upon neighbours to look after something so tender. So, I get a little help from my friends – choosing seedlings either from the Farmer’s Market, or from Rocket Gardens, a mail order organic seedling producer.
My seedlings arrived yesterday so in the early evening so I dug over my two raised vegetable beds, adding some worm cast, and 35 litres of fresh compost to each bed.
Although my garden is very large (it is L-shaped), much of it is laid to lawn and flowers. However even with just two raised beds I can grow quite a lot of vegetables and herbs. No matter how much or how little space you have, you can always grow something, even if it is in a pot on your windowsill. Check out The One Pot Pledge for more inspiration.
After I had dug the beds over, I planted my seedlings – peas, French beans, courgettes (zucchini) and three different varieties of heirloom tomato. I have some thyme, oregano, chives and an absolutely massive Rosemary bush (as you can see in the photo on the left) in one of the raised beds already.
Despite repeated, regular pruning, my Rosemary bush continues to get larger. I think it may have designs on taking over the world, or at the very least, my garden!
It feels so good to finally have my vegetables planted, and although I had to water them in last night, tonight that is completely unnecessary as it is pouring with rain again. <sigh>
Even if you don’t have much space, I really do encourage you to try growing some of your own vegetables. Not only are they as fresh as fresh can be, you don’t have to worry about air miles – delicious produce is only steps away!