Snowy garden, new garden plan

This was the garden earlier in the month, when it experienced quite heavy snow. We had a bit more over the Christmas break, but it gone again now. Like many people, I choose to use these wintry days to plan my spring/summer garden!

In May this year, I put in an order with Real Seeds for some interesting leafy greens. I was mainly after their ‘Pink Passion’ chard, which is currently growing in the garden (and being eaten by the birds, I suspect; it’s looking a little nibbled). Real Seeds have a minimum order value (shucks…), and so I added Minutina (Erba Stella, Buckshorn Plantain), Sculpit (Stridolo, Bladder Campion), Coquille De Louviers (Corn Salad, Lambs Lettuce), Magentaspreen (Giant Goosefoot, Tree Spinach), Huauzontle (Aztec Broccoli), Vegetable Mallow and Mixed Leaf Amaranths.

And so my 2018 garden is largely going to revolve around growing as many of those as possible!

There are currently 6 beds of winter crops that will be cleared at some point in the spring, ready for re-planting. The current plan is:

  1. Sweetcorn, underplanted with strawberry blite
  2. Squash, underplanted with lamb’s lettuce
  3. Blue Danube potatoes, probably with a climbing plants over the top
  4. Lupini beans, a Garden Organic Member’s Experiment
  5. Leafy greens and climbing beans or achocha
  6. Our secret project

I’m trying to balance out some fun and new things with plenty of solid crops that we will definitely eat. It doesn’t feel like enough space, and there will be a few things in containers, although I try to keep those to a minimum because of the extra watering work they entail. Also, they make the garden feel cluttered.

In some ways it is less space than last year, because I have decided not to plant the four raised beds in the extra strip garden with annuals this year. The ultimate plan is to turn that over to perennials that can look after themselves – the only access is from the road, which doesn’t encourage nipping out there quickly to do a spot of weeding or watering. But a permanent planting in the strip garden will release a lot of perennials from containers….

I am also pondering putting one of the beds of perennials in the back garden back into the annual rotation. There’s a low wooden trough we were planning to use as a pond; I could plant it up with salads. I want to make more use of vertical space, and we need to do a proper cage for the cherry tree this year, if we want to eat any of the cherries!

Of course, the garden plan is always evolving. I ordered some butterfly pea seeds from T&M this year, so I’d like to grow those (Clitoria ternata, one of the rudest plant names…). It’s the flowers that are edible, rather than the seeds. And since I have been researching Heracleum species for my new ethnobotany blog, I have ordered some seeds of those. If you’re interested in finding out why then you can subscribe to the new blog now – it has some previously unpublished posts I wrote about unusual herbs in place already – and there are ethnobotany and book posts ready to go live on New Year’s Day 🙂

Which new things are you planning on growing in your garden next year?

Did you miss out on the mini mulberry last year? It’s on sale again now. There’s limited stock so be quick! But if you order before midnight on 4th Jan 2018, use can use the code SUTXMAS17 to save £5 on your order.