Tuesday, 2 June 2009

time in the garden with everyone else

After work and a light meal of asparagus and Jersey royal potatoes, I decided to spend an hour in the garden, along with everyone else in the street who are either cutting their grass: or having an ad hoc barbecue with friends and family.

Usually in my 10 by 8 foot garden plot, I sow and raise salad leaves and lettuces, so they are on hand like the herbs in the pots. But this year I decided to plant half with alliums and half with brassicas, including nero di toscana, a black kale which is thriving really well. Unlike the minicole and greyhound spring cabbages, which have been ravaged to shreds by those slimy slugs and snails.
I have also stuck in a few precious cauliflowers romanesco natalino in the ground. Lets see how well they do and whether they survive the greed of the slugs. In a couple of pots, I have some yellow courgettes growing. The courgettes should have gone to the allotment plot, but I thought I would keep a closer eye on them at home too.
The allium family: garlic, red onions and shallot are doing tremendously well. I think I may have made the mistake of planting them too close to each other, meaning the result will be smaller bulbs, but that's no hardship, as long as they grow and taste good. I will be happy.
The herbs are also doing fantastically, especially the rosemary, the chives which have been attracting the bees and fennel (see above) which smells wonderful like aniseed. I decided to transplant some rocket and all year round lettuce in the garden plot too, I am planning to plant the lettuces quite close knit this year and utilise the space. The next lot to go in will be lollo rosso. Whilst planting out the lettuces, I noticed a number of nasturtium and borage seedlings that have self seeded from last year. I will lift and transplant some to these to the allotment plots, where they will do a world of good attracting fly by wildlife.

In two large pots, I also have some blueberry plants, they don’t seem to have done that well, partly because I have been neglecting them and partly the Scottish climate I think. I only managed to harvest about a dozen berries last year. I also have some wild strawberries growing in a pot that I got from my mothers front garden in Wales, they are not doing much better either, but the dainty pink flowers look pretty.
In the border, there are a number of flowers growing including lupins and alliums, the flower not the vegetable (see above), every year they come up 1 - 2 - 3.
I also recently purchased these, mainly for their vivid colour.


  1. This week must be an all-time high for allotmenteers everywhere. Lucky you having asparagus! It will be years before we get our first crop. I hope it tastes as nice fresh as reputation suggests.

    You have inspired me to grow cavalo nero. I have been meaning to try it for years, as much for the fab dark green foliage as the taste.

  2. reapwhatyourgrow,

    Ooh I am sorry if I misled you, the asparagus is not my home grown. However it is British, English in fact. Like yourself, my asparagus crowns went in not that long ago, they are only in their second year. And no progress. In fact I am not at all optimistic of them growing in the West of Scotland. Check out my entry 'The loneliest asparagus' posted sometime in April/May I think.

    The nero is thriving. I would recommend it, if not for the taste the foiliage at least.

  3. I have discovered an odd thing about slugs... I have millions of slugs in our yard and I don't want to poison them because I just don't like to kill anything, even bugs, etc. But, I put down wild bird seed for the outdoor birds, and the slugs LOVE the bird seed. They don't eat my plants anymore. They also love cat food that I put out for any stray cats in the neighborhood. So, I guess I am feeding the slugs, but at least they are not eating my roses. I guess this would be gross to many people, but I think slugs are neat looking.

  4. I really don't like killing any of Gods creatures, but I have lost patience. At Plot 11 I used to 'move' them over to the vacant plot it, but I cannot do that at Plot 45, neighbours everywhere.

    I do not want to feed them as they are already feeding of pretty well of my brassicas. So I am looking at the other options open to me.

    I wish we could keep chickens, they would do the job brilliantly and reward us with eggs.

  5. I am thinking about getting a couple chickens, but I'm not sure if we have enough space.

  6. Space is an issue where I live too. One day I hope to move into a house with a bigger garden and the plan is to get some chickens, until then I will wait patiently and read about other peoples experiences of keeping chickens.


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