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.

Beginning of April. Time to restore the vegetable garden. The carpets have been down for a couple of years, grass, nettles and brambles have spread across them, branches trimmed from hedges and trees last Autumn are strewn everywhere. At the time we had some reason for putting them there but can't think what it was, probably just couldn't think of what else to do with them.

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