A concrete challenge

Our garden at the Old Apple Barn was a gardeners delight; raised beds, a greenhouse, access to as many different sized pots and seedling drainpipes as you’d encounter in a garden centre and gorgeous views to boot. Our new garden looks like this…

But I am not downhearted. I’ve often ranted and raved about how it is possible to grow vegetables and plants in any outside space, regardless of size or situation. So now it’s time for me to live out my own advice and step up to the challenge of growing my own in a very suburban garden. I’ve been given absolute free rein in the garden and although I could get rid of the stones and membranes to fully utilise the raised beds , I’ve decided to stick with growing things in pots and big gro bags.

But first things first, it’s dormant season so I’m going to go out as soon as I glimpse some chilly autumn sunshine to severely prune (and possibly remove) the shrubs to clear some space. My lovely dad is bringing his hedge trimmer to attack the ivy and I’ll move the (currently empty) tractor tyre sandpit to it’s final resting destination.

Once I’ve done that I think it should be easier to assess the space and start planning for next year’s growing season. I know I could be planting some winter crops but to be honest, my head isn’t in the right space for that right now and with baby due in February I think it’s unlikely that I’ll achieve much without adding extra pressure and frustration to myself.

I found an article which lists 66 different plants that you can grow in various containers which was very enlightening. I think we’ll probably do tomatoes, strawberries, salad, herbs and peas as definites and I quite fancy the challenge of doing either potatoes, pumpkins or carrots in a big tub. I’ve also promised the kids a fruit tree and after Isaac spotted some kind of orange tree (currently with fruit) in a neighbours garden I’m guessing that might be the direction in which we end up going.

I’m guessing that I won’t have as much time and energy for gardening next year as I have had the last two so I think my biggest challenge will be setting achievable goals and making sure it remains a pleasure and not a chore. But I’m excited about starting with some general maintenance in the next few weeks and hopefully bringing some beauty to this little concrete space. I’ll keep you updated on our progress so watch this space…. (and bug me if two months passes and you haven’t noticed any new posts on the subject!)

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