The Moosey Vegetable Garden
Me in My Vegetable Garden
Oh dear. I've never been consistently good at looking after my vegetable garden. Some years it would suffer dreadfully - all the lettuces would bolt, and the tomatoes refuse to grow.
I can, however, manage to produce a decent crop of potatoes - as long as I remember to dig them up.
In the winter of 2009 I extended the garden area, after seeing an inspiring vegetable garden in Washington DC. I planted a sweet little English Lavender hedge around the sides, and brought it loads of compost and mulch.
In a solemn memorial moment, I spread the last ever load of manured straw from the late Moosey Plymouth Barred Rock hens around. Years later I kept on finding little striped feathers in the mulch. Oh dear - I miss those lovely chooks!
Brick mini-paths curved through the plot, just wide enough to walk over. I placed a huge pot planted with raspberries in the middle. I had plans to add a red-currant bush and some strawberries. But - oops! Those raspberries sent out alarming suckers. And the strawberries did much better in pots on the patio, where there was much more sun.
The grass path around the edge of the garden was dug up and covered with soft bark mulch. Non-Gardening Partner did complain about the tight curves his lawn mower had to make - and my lumpy lawn. I like to keep him happy, after all.
My Vegetable Garden in 2009
It was terribly exciting when NGP put in a new hose which properly reached my vegetable garden. I promised the plants that I'd be really responsible and water them daily. But then I went and rather wrecked things by dumping lots and lots of bonfire ash on the soil. Too much of a good thing.
Snacking on fresh peas was a great reward for a hard day's gardening. And for a few short weeks my vegetable garden would offer me these green delights - if I got bored, or just hungry during the gardening day, I would pick the pods and happily munch. Yum! There was always room for extra pea rows, carrots and beans, leeks and parsnips for winter, onions and the like.
Lettuces and Potatoes
Overall, I'm best at growing lettuces and potatoes. The soil temperature is too cool for too long to grow corn, and tomatoes don't like all the alkaline wood ash, though I've since added new top-soil and compost. One of the nice things about a vegetable garden is that it can (and should) change each year. Fresh home-grown vegetables are always the best!
Every spring my vegetable garden would be full of flowers. But could this simply be the good gardening principle of companion planting? I'm not sure that those cute little purple violas would scare any nasties away...
One Little Plant
I can't remember when the first of these arrived in the vegetable garden. All it must have taken was one little plant, popped in the garden nearby (I dimly remember ordering a seed packet). I love them, though.
They were a wonderful feature in the early spring weeks, when the garden soil is too cold to plant anything of a vegetable nature. My friend calls them Johnny Jump-Ups.
Gardeners with a casual attitude to self-seeders would have been proud of the Calendulas and Forget-Me-Nots in my vegetable garden (though maybe not the Aquilegias). Actually Calendulas are listed in Wikipedia as being helpful to most plants, so I could leave them there and cluck wisely about companion planting if ever a critical visitor came past.
I love their bright flower colours and their desire to procreate without needing me to fuss about (I mean collect and sow seed). I can't grow vegetables all the year round, anyway. And look what happens if I let the leeks go to seed... So pretty!
Leek Seed-Head - not an Allium
All in all, these flowers have always been much better doers than my vegetables. Oops... Finally the vegetable garden (in this particular location) got the boot, and in its place I created my Herb Spiral. And that's another story...