This is the view from right at the back of my garden. Until last year, this bit was fenced off and we didn’t have access to the space. The previous owners of the house used it as a sort of dumping ground – I won’t say any more about that except it wasn’t pretty. We decided to use this back section as a kitchen garden. In February we started clearing the space, built some raised beds and by the summer we were harvesting salad crops, herbs and lots of potatoes. It is shady back here due to some very large trees so not an ideal spot for growing vegetables but actually, surprisingly many varieties are absolutely fine. I really think it is worth having a go at doing what you really want in the garden even if the circumstances aren’t ideal. A long as you have realistic expectations, I have found that things usually turn out really well even though I have ignored what the experts say.
There is a lot to do still in this area and now is the time, before the growing season starts properly. I have carried an image in my head for a long time about how this space will look, and it is really exciting to think it will (fingers crossed) become reality in the next few months.
The parsley from last year is going strong. I am picking massive bunches every couple of days. I sowed two batches last year and both are still producing happily. So it turns out that parsley is totally fine with the semi shady situation here.
Another bit of harvesting done, this one totally unexpected. Last year’s kale Curly Scarlet kept going through the winter and now there are tons of nice tender leaves. These plants got attacked by caterpillars but I let them stay in the ground anyway. Once the caterpillars were gone, the kale recovered and carried on producing new leaves. This has to be my number one favourite crop that we grew last year, I love kale and eat it most days. This variety did great here in my little patch, it looks pretty too and is super tasty so I will definitely be growing it again this year.
Not bad for early March!
Did some weeding and tidied up and suddenly it doesn’t look so shabby. We have some beetroot left in the ground, some of them have started growing new leaves. I love cooking these with butter and lots of garlic so will be picking some in the next few days. The neat rows to the left are tulips. I went a bit wild with my bulb order at sale time and decided to grow some varieties that I love but that don’t fit into my main colour scheme. These will be for cutting mainly but I also look forward to seeing them flowering here among the salad leaves. I will start sowing other crops in between the tulip rows soon, so that by the time the tulips are done, they will already be on the way. Some rocket maybe?
Here you can see the view straight down the garden. And – this is Hackney – the blocks of flats in the distance. They are completely obscured by the trees in summertime but just visible now. The most important things in this photo is the concrete slabs. They are going to be the base for my greenhouse. I can’t tell you how exciting this is! A lot of hard work to do but hopefully, soon, it will be up. Nothing fancy, just a normal little greenhouse, that’s all I need. I just – can’t – wait.
Sowed the first salad crops for the year the other day. It still seems too cold at night to me but it says you can sow these outside between February and April. Let’s see what happens.
Some allium pots and all my dahlias being warmed by the sun. Such a joy to spend the day back here, working and pottering and dreaming of what’s to come.