I thought it was about time I did a non- Harvest Monday post! So because it's difficult for me to get pics from the allotment, I've decided to just do a quick overview of my garden, which includes a couple of small veggie beds.
It's quite a small garden, with a greenhouse- lean -to attached to the back of the house too. When we first moved in, apart from the lean- to the garden was just grass with the Laburnum tree in the middle.
So the first winter 2006/7 ( we moved in November) we put in an old solid plastic pond at the back donated from jan's folks (it's behind the bench), I made the two raised veggie beds (nearest the house, where it gets the most sun) and I got some seedling trees and shrubs from a friend's garden, where they'd sown themselves around - A hazel, an elder, a holly and dogwood, which we planted up at the back of the garden (which is actually the southern end but is the most shady because of a building and huge Holme oak in the alley behind.
The holm oak (home to a noisey pair of magpies)
The soil is only a spade deep as there were Victorian terraces here before, which is why I decided to make raised beds for the veggies. The fence sits on a concrete base so I make sure I don't go any higher than that to avoid rotting the bottom of the fence.
Behind the pond there's also two dalek compost bins, screened off a bit with a home made hazel / twiggy thing (Which is very old now, I have to keep weaving in new dogwood prunings every couple of years). It has a honeysuckle and sweet peas that grow up it too)
The stepping stones in the 'lawn' (patchy grass) are off cuts of decking I got from a skip. The raised beds are made from scrap wood from skips etc too and over the years I've collected bricks and small paving slabs to make stepping stones around and in the raised beds.
The shrubs have all done well, and the elder especially has grown rather large. I trim the lower branches but generally leave the rest of it. Because it's at the shady end, the berries ripen quite late so I go foraging around the neighbourhood for earlier berries too. I coppiced the hazel last year as it was getting a bit big for the space and shading the raised bed near it. The trimmings have been good as anti-cat protectors!
This week I also spread some old compost from last year's tomato pots onto the beds but other than that I won't add any more.
So what will I be growing out here?
Runner beans and climbing french beans up the fences and a wigwam (Climbing beans do badly at my allotment but do well here) chard, rocket, other salad leaves, maybe a squash or two climbing up and along the fence, which worked well last year (but not courgette, they've done badly here the last couple of years, I will just have these on the allotment instead). Maybe some beetroot and peas? The pea plants all got eaten young by slugs and snails last year though.
In the lean to I'll have tomatoes, peppers, aubergines and basil.
You can see my water butt here, attached to the lean to gutter. I also connected an old dustbin a couple of weeks ago as an overflow. I used a bit of pipe I already had and then part of an old bike inner tube as a seal.It's a little bit leaky but works ok. Ideally I would connect up to the main building drain pipe which has so much more water but that belongs to the council and I don't want to mess with it. You can see one of the neighbourhood cats too! It was just passing through.
You can also just see in the pic above, my tomato seedlings on the shelf in the lean to (I made the shelves from scrap wood and a pallet, not very well mind you, it was a long while back and I'd do a better job these days).
And one pic of our small north facing front yard, (in the rain) which gets even less sun because we're a four storey block, hence mainly just some tubs of perennial herbs (Rosemary, mint etc) and a tub of chard that's overwintered quite well. The two bags are horse poo from my recent trip to the countryside that I'll use for me toms in the lean to (it's really well rotted). Against the wall is a buddliea that appeared as a tiny seedling a few years back that I let grow. I pollard it every spring so it doesn't get too big and the straight poles are handy in the back garden.
Ok, that's enough waffling for now!