Wednesday, 7 April 2010

The Edible Garden and seed sowing

There is a very interesting programme on the tv tonight (BBC2 at 8pm) called The Edible Garden. It seems just my sort of thing. As I may have said before, I love the idea of having edible gardens and landscapes, especially forest gardens. I'm hoping this programme will give give me some ideas and inspiration (and eye candy!).

It seems that the presenter, Alys Fowler (as seen on Gardener's World I think - didn't have tv on site so am out of the loop on such things) will attempt to live off home grown vegetables, without turning her garden into an allotment.
I must admit to secretly dreaming of living mainly off my own produce, but I think it will be a gradual process. For one thing, I'm vegetarian and have had a difficult time trying to get soya beans to germinate for me this year. I had planned to try some in the tunnel, but that is no longer an option. I think I'd starve if I had to rely on my own resources for soya. Mind you, I do have a plentiful supply of protein from eggs.

Anyway, I digress. I do love the idea of integrating vegetable growing into the garden as a whole, rather than in lines or rows - or even formal beds. Now, I haven't quite managed this in the tunnel last year. Yet, looking back, I did integrate some flowers in with the veg.

I had a herb and flower patch by my folding chair.

The flax had beautiful blue flowers (gone to seed in this photo) as well as giving me edible seeds.

I planted nasturtiums on the edges of the borders, but they are thugs and did take over in some places. The worked really well in with the leeks. Here they are at the base of some sunflowers.

Nasturtium and flax made a good combination.

Of course, some vegetables look very ornamental and pretty anyway. Climbing beans are an obvious example, but there are others, such as these onions below.

I do plan a mixed cottage garden / herb garden which should have some veggies dotted around the place, but I'm wondering now if there is a way to grow the majority of my veg 'in a garden setting'. Hmm. Since the tunnel came down, the beds there are looking VERY linear. Yes, lots to think about.

As well as such musings, we (well Sam actually) did some more 'weeding' of the drive at my aunts (after a couple of days where wind and rain stopped play).

I decided to tackle some more seed sowing. I'm not 100% of this years 'revised' plans yet, as we still can't be sure when we're back on site (so don't know when we can plant down there) but I can also give away any excess seedlings.

Inside, I have my 'pet' peanut - I grew it as a trial, from supermarket raw peanuts. I'll try it on a windowsill this year.

Here are some basil and celery that I started a while back.

Here we are today, in my aunts barn .. which is slowly being taken over by my plants and seeds - oops.

On the ground are some mini salad leaves I started in January (they were a bit sulky after spending too long indoors on the windowsill).

Here, left to right are my tomatoes and melons, onions and salad and todays mixed sowing of all sorts (marigolds, rocket, celery leaf etc)

Here is a cucumber (from an early test to see if the seed was still viable) and a tray with oriental leaves (up as seedlings) and some new sowings - leeks, lettuce and other goodies.

Here are some onions I started from seed earlier in the year. Even if they don't grow full size, I find them useful as small onions.

Here's a close up of the melons and tomatoes (from seed testing earlier in the year - I just can't bear to throw them out if they germinate - so I'll have to find some cover for them this summer).

Here, I've decided to test some potato planters and I have put 2 first earlies and 1 second early in today. It's a little late, but better late than never. I'm unsure if I'll get a good result - and generally find spuds good for breaking up new ground, but, this year planters are an easy was to get a taster of home grown spuds.

The browny orange bags are also 'planters' and, getting desperate to get planting I thought I could start some things off in them and they could later come down to site with us. Have to decide exactly what to put in them now.


  1. Hi Ferris~~ Although I'm not a fan of orange [in my own garden] it looks lovely here with the flax buds and leafy green. Have you heard of Rosalind Creasy? She's authored a few books on "edible landscaping." You could Google her.... I just did and yes she has a website and lots of photos!! Inspiration for sure!

    I'm impressed with your seed starting efforts. I hope everything produces abundantly.

  2. Hi Grace. Thanks for commenting. I hadn't heard of Rosalind Creasy, but I think I'll enjoy finding out. I'm always grateful for a new source of inspiration.


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