Planting an orchard

In our rush to become self-sufficient, we somewhat madly placed an order for 32 bare-rooted fruit trees, 160 raspberry canes, 36 fruit bushes and 10 rhubarb plants the day that we exchanged on our little smallholding and a couple of weeks ago, they arrived. Faced with all these bushy twig things and a finite dormant […]

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Review of 2017: garden successes and failures

I’ve learnt a lot about gardening this year. I’ve filled my 44 hanging and wall baskets to bursting, as well as my four raised beds. Some things have worked well (I’ve grown more than £150 of organic produce and haven’t bought tomatoes all summer!) and some less well (one measly squash from six plants?). So […]

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Recipe: Healthy lemony basil pesto pasta with courgette and broccoli

This is a really easy and tasty seasonal dish using home grown basil from the garden that I often make when I”m short of time. We are ardent carnivores but tend to eat vegetarian food during the week and this dish is absolutely delicious. We eat unholy amounts of garlic and so that sauce packs […]

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Monday harvest

It astounds me that even my tiny little garden is providing quite this much produce. I harvest at least one “thing” a day, whether it’s a small handful of strawberries or a bunch of herbs. In fact, it’s only because I hadn’t realised how much was ready to eat that I haven’t been working out […]

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Hanging baskets when you have nowhere left to hang them from

Poles holding a basket Unsurprisingly, the biggest challenge to the frustrated gardener when regarding their tiny urban garden with critical eyes is a lack of space. I’ve covered my fences and walls with wall planters, vertical garden planting bags and hung hanging baskets from every single supporting fence post and still I don’t think I […]

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Better beetroots – how to thin beetroot seedlings

Shamefully puny beetroots Last week I thought that I’d be enormously smug and plan a lovely afternoon of cooking with my toddler son. He’s always so happy when he’s perched on his tiny stepladder with his little apron on, cracking eggs or stirring things and tasting everything within reach. What could complete this middle class […]

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Harvest time again

I’ve had quite a fruitful few weeks from the garden (if you’ll pardon the pun). Life has been quite busy but I find that I’m starting to weave gardening into my everyday life. I do a tiny bit of weeding every morning whilst I’m cooking breakfast, and then in the evenings I do any tying […]

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Harvest Monday

This past week has actually been very fruitful. I’m still mainly getting herbs and leaves (spinach and rosemary and parsley) and although I’m really looking forward to getting some actual fruits and vegetables, I’m still really enjoying being able to wander out to the garden and harvest these greens whenever I like. Once again I […]

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I’ve lost the losetto

Suspiciously similar seedlings In hindsight, I should have known that putting two types of tomato seedling (the tumbling “Losetto”and the climbing “Magic Mountain” in case you’re interested) together in a large pot separated only by a seedling tray was a mistake. It was perhaps inevitable that a cat would jolt the pot onto the floor […]

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Come on courgettes!

By far, the biggest lesson I’ve learned this year whilst starting to grow as much edible food as possible, is that growing from seed is best. It’s cheaper, more reliable and more satisfying than growing from plugs. I know I keep on banging on about this but I’ve been so very disappointed by the quality […]

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