Friday, 29 June 2012

Back Garden Bounty

Darling hubby has made a sterling effort to turn what was once a weed-strewn and VERY overgrown area at the bottom of the garden into a fabulous fruit and vegetable plot. By the way things are coming along, it looks like we'll be enjoying the fruits of his labour (get it?!) throughout the coming months.

A year ago our garden looked like this - you can't even see the veggie patch(es) and you can barely make out the woodshed. Although it looks quite attractive from a distance, close up it was like a jungle down there.

See what I mean?!
And this is what the garden looked like two years ago during one of the visits we made when we'd agreed to buy the place. You can just about see the roof of  the woodshed sloping down from the right.
But, after a lot of hard work, the bottom section of the garden is starting to yield results and now it looks like this:
This is the main bed, up against the old brick wall and next to the woodshed right at the bottom of the garden. Hubby has planted rhubarb (transplanted from my Mum's old back garden), broad beans, jerusalem artichokes, carrots, beetroot, peas, sprouts, onions (red & white), radishes, squash, courgettes and probably more things that I've forgotton/missed.

Working along the bed, from right to left we have:
Rhubarb (all the way from Bristol!)
Jerusalem artichokes

Broad beans
Red and white onions (don't ask me which are which...)
DC discovered a liking for these a couple of evenings ago so the three of us sat at the bottom of the garden eating them straight from the pod; even I, an ardent pea-hater, thought they were yummy. I'm surprised there are any left on the plants.
Squash and/or courgettes - it'll be a nice surprise when the fruits appear!
Brassicas - hopefully ready in time for Christmas dinner!
And a few potato plants - not sure if hubby put these in or if they just appeared as we do have a separate bed just for taters.
As seen here. Complete with chicken. There's a little gap at the front where hubby and DC and his friend Johnny dug up a couple of plants last week; the boys thought it was great fun and ever since DC has been asking 'Can we dig more potatoes?'
And, by comparison, here's what that part of the garden looked like in the summer of 2010. What was to become the potato bed was just a patch of overgrown grass.

We also have a LOT of raspberries. Two beds' worth, in fact. In the summer of 2010 they looked something like this:

And last year, the summer of 2011, they had pretty much taken over the bottom of the garden and looked like this:

At the beginning of this year hubby got ruthless and hacked them all back to ankle height; now they are looking much tidier and are a lot more manageable, although it remains to be seen whether they will bear any fruit after their traumatic haircut.

At the end of one of the raspberry beds is a pumpkin plant that DC grew from seed at nursery. Here's hoping it survives the attentions of Fizz the chook.
As well as raspberries, we also have a solitary gooseberry bush which survived in the mess that was the fruit cage. When the fruit cage was dismantled hubby made the area into the chooks' run; they're not at all interested in eating the gooseberries (and this bush is laden with fruit at the moment), so we plan to plant a few more bushes in this area. We're also intending to plant a plum tree in here to make use of the space and provide the chooks with some shade (should it actually grow...)
There's also one solitary currant bush (no idea if it's red or black); it's not doing too well as we came down one morning to find it had been totally striped of all its leaves (not by the chooks, we suspect the pigeons.) It is now growing again, but it may be too late for the fruit this year.
And, last but not least, we have the apple trees - six of them. We've had some good crops the last couple of years, but earlier this year we cut five of the trees right back as they were very overgrown (I don't think they had been tended for several years.) We don't know what effect this cutting back will have on the crops this year, but we can see fruit on most of the branches on four of the trees.

This is the espalier tree in front of the potato bed.
And these are the other trees, in front of the chook run.

Things are looking good for pies and crumbles this year!


  1. Your garden looks incredible. My husband loves broad beans, but we have to grow them early in the year. After April it's too hot here. I love your brick wall!!!

  2. It looks fabulous & I'm in love with the old brick wall!


Thank you for taking the time to read my blog! I try to respond to your comments within this section, so please check back (if you feel like it!)