Bean canes and gardens

Despite adding three new beds to our vegetable garden, effectively doubling the capacity since last year, we have almost run out of space. The garlic, onions and some of the brassicas, beans and peas I planted last Autumn are not yet ready to harvest and new plants are waiting to be planted out. Mainly squashes. I sowed ten seeds each of butternut and patty pan and all of them came up. We're going to try to grow them in large containers rather than plant them directly and we are hoping to use less space and improve on last year by getting them to grow up a mesh frame.

Early beans

It's just over a year since we started renovating our vegetable garden and recommissioning the greenhouse. Looking back at the old photos (below left April 2019, below right, same place April 2018) shows just how much we have managed to achieve - and more importantly sustain. Have we finally got the weeds under control?

The first thing we did last year was to renew most of the edging boards around the beds and refresh the soil with a good dose of horse manure. The final thing we did over winter was to thin and lower the hedge at the bottom of the garden to let in more light. That then allowed us to construct a fourth bed in time to plant potatoes in late March and early April.


Our first "full time" season of vegetable gardening for some years was admittedly trial and error. We relied on a combination of old experience (rusty, like a lot of our ill maintained equipment) and advice found on line from the RHS and many very enthusiastic and apparently organised and successful allotment owners. 

So how did we do? Unsurprisingly we had mixed results but none of our crops completely failed.

Storm clouds over the garden

Flushed with our early success and with grand ideas to plant crops to keep us in home grown food all year, and not just with a glut at harvest festival time, we decide to add two more beds.

Next to the greenhouse, we thought, will be ideal. Close to the house and close to the water supply in what once was in the field outside our garden boundary. We moved the fence after extending the house in 2001 and planted fruit trees and sowed meadow flowers. For a year it was lovely, but then

Large white butterflies on nasturtium leaves next to peas

I saw somewhere that butterflies are in decline. Maybe it was refering to a specific type because I've never seen so many as this year. Large and small white have been a menace for the kale. Peacock butterflies like our nettles, and they are welcome to them, but they also love the Buddleias which they share with the red admirals. I've seen plenty more, including a speckled wood butterfly, but unless I manage to snap a picture I'm hopeless at identifying them.

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