Monday, 15 March 2010


Sunshine - how wonderful! Had a bad night's sleep on Friday because I made the mistake of checking my work emails and went into instant stress mode. I need to start using another email address for my personal stuff. At the moment I can't resist reading everything on there, so I have only myself to blame.

We did a lot of digging. It's still too frosty for me to think about planting. I think we might bring the chard and kale into the walled bit of the garden this year, as we lost a lot to deer over the winter. The 4 things you must grow yourself are:

peas - nothing you buy tastes as good as peas picked fresh. The kids eat them like sweeties.
lettuce - again, freshly picked lettuce is a revelation
chard - cook it, use it in salads, use it instead of spinach, infinitely versatile and comes back again and again
potatoes - firstly, digging for potatoes is like digging for treasure, secondly, freshly dug potatoes taste like the food of the gods.

We also have a big garlic patch, and we are growing onions. I will grow some beans, because you have to grow beans. We were overwhelmed with radishes last year, so I will plant sparingly, if at all. Carrots are fun - we like the purple ones. I did toy with having a completely purple vegetable patch last year - purple kale (check), purple beans (check), purple carrots, purple sprouting could do it. Red spring onions (check) and purple potatoes. I grew some yellow sugar snap peas that looked fab on the packet, but in real life just looked like they'd gone off.

We tried sweetcorn last year, which wasn't worth the space. Outdoor tomatoes failed. Courgettes are great, and then you go away on holiday and come back to marrows...

We didn't grow pumpkins last year, but I plan to this year, if only for Halloween - mainly because I bought pumpkins to make lanterns last year and they tasted of NOTHING. I object to buying a vegetable (OK, fruit) for purely ornamental purposes.

Oh, yes, I'm very excited about spring, and the snowdrops are suddenly drooping and fading and the daffodils are bursting open like little golden fireworks everywhere. We cycled up to Yarde on Sunday and had a lovely lunch sitting outdoors in the sunshine, and then came home and just hung out in the field. Lovely.

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