My Dad was a keen, gardener, my grandmother has the greenest fingers you’ve ever seen and can make anything grown, anywhere…. For part of my childhood my parents ran a hotel and we had 2 large gardens. My Dad used to grow a lot of the produce that was fed to the guests. In the summer the garden was awash with all manner of beans, lettuces and cabbages. We had plum, apple, pear and quince trees, currant bushes, gooseberries and strawberries.
Now I’m the one with the large garden and over the past couple of years I’ve been quietly experimenting with growing bits and pieces. Slowly the garden is being taken over with edible bits. In fact recently when a friend asked my toddler if we had flowers growing in our garden she replied “No, just cabbages, berries and leaves”. She’s kinda right!
Having a toddler helping in the garden this year has opened my eyes even more to how great it is to get children knowing where their food comes from. Its a delight to see her checking how the courgettes are doing, showing Daddy the herbs and eating the redcurrants off the bush.
This year it’s been odd weather so I was a little late sowing seeds, but I’m quietly pleased with myself. I dont have hours to spend in the garden so what we do grow has to be quick and easy. This year we are growing: Courgettes by the hundred, literally, I have gone a bit overboard with over 20 plants. We have yellow, green and curly courgettes all coming through. Butternut squash are growing in old car tyres, Swiss chard is growing in any available space, broad beans wind their way up canes, tomatoes are on the decking in pots and a variety of herbs are making my summer cooking a happier place.
For some reason I’ve not done well with spring onions, radishes and lettuce this year. You can’t win them all.
On the fruit side we are lucky enough to have 1 large plum and 1 large greengage tree. The plum tree is so prolific it self seeds and we end up with plum saplings springing up (anyone want one?). A few years ago I planted berries: redcurrant, whitecurrant, gooseberry, blueberry and raspberries. This year the red and white currants are just abundant, I’m going to have to get creative with them.
We’re certainly finding not only does our food taste great when it comes straight out of the garden but it really doesn’t have to take much time to grow your own. It certainly saves you money, our fruit and vegetable bill has come right down this month and we should have a stock to last us through the winter of some fruit and veggies.
So if you can, look at getting even a few pots of veggies and herbs growing. I promise you will love it.