My boyfriend and I bought our house in August 2013. We felt so lucky to have our own space, all to ourselves with a garden to boot, after years of living in dingy student accommodation and shared houses!
I had big plans for the little garden at the back of the house, and spent hours reading gardening bibles (Monty Don’s Complete Gardener and the Royal Horticultural Society website), scribbling plans on little scraps of paper and collecting lists of plants, so that I could spring into action when the time came. I’d never actually gardened before, or grown my own vegetables. But in my dreams, I would now grow all the unusual vegetables I like to eat (Hello there, yummy kohlrabi and spaghetti squash!) and have a fresh supply of culinary herbs at my fingertips. I’d also experiment with medicinal herbs to make my own salves and potions (and get told off by the boyfriend for making a heap of mess on the hob), like some new age kitchen witch.
Sadly, after we moved in, we realised that the house needed quite a lot of work doing to it. After painstaking conversations with fathers over staircase treads, mouldy ceilings and crumbling walls, we decided to call in the professionals (not Martin Shaw, just an architect and a troupe of building contractors)! Needless to say, two years on, there’s been little progress and at the moment my garden is an unloved, overgrown concrete mess. At least the bumblebees are quite fond of the plants we do have and the are some lovely bluebells coming up all over the place.
So, seeing as it’s spring and it’s time to start sowing, I’ve decided to make the best of the situation (Heaven knows that I’m lucky to even have a garden, living in the city centre!) and begin a small container garden. I bought seed trays and various seeds for quick growing plants. I spent a lazy Sunday morning in the company of earthworms, with my arms deep in glorious peat-free compost, sowing lettuce, radish and spring onions. I’ve also sown parsley, oregano and thyme to start my herb garden. Together with a lavender plant (a gift from my mum, who knows I have a predilection for those fragrant beauties), a robust little sage, and a newly sprouted rosemary cutting, this is my little collection of plants.
I’ll be taking photos of their progress and sharing my experiences here on the blog or over on Twitter. Have you got any tips for this new gardener?