9 Jul 2015

An Edible Garden | Fruit and Veg

In my post about my goals for 2015, I mentioned how I really wanted to try and grow fruit and vegetables in my tiny, northeast facing garden.  

The idea of being self-sufficient is something that appeals to me so very much.  I love the concept of cooking seasonally and being able to just walk out of your door and pick a whole variety of different fruit and veg.  I get such pleasure in the entire process, but especially in the eating.

I am also very aware of how difficult and time consuming it is, so with this in mind I thought I'd start off small and do my research in order not to waste my time and money.  I knew I had a lot of work to do in order to give anything a fighting chance of surviving due to the short duration that the garden has direct sunlight.  

Our house is a rental and despite having a very relaxed landlord, I didn't fancy planting anything that I couldn't take with me when we eventually move.  A container garden was the answer.

Planning a container garden was a little more tricky than I anticipated.  I had to find out which plants didn't mind both partial shade and being in a container, plus how big a container I needed for each.  Fortunately I've collected some really helpful gardening books over the years and they made the whole process so much simpler (I will be do a post on my favourites if this is of interest).
I planted two pots each with a different type of shade-tolerating gooseberry in a slightly shadier area of the garden, with dreams of gooseberry fool and compotes.  Next to them is a raspberry bush, set to climb up a trellis on the brick wall that borders the garden (yes that wall planter is more mint, peppermint that gets made into fresh leaf tea most mornings).

Next in line is the raised bed that I built from a kit that I bought in a sale at a garden centre.  I assembled it all by myself and it was such a pain, but I eventually did it (despite it being ever so slightly wonky).  This has been filled with leek and spring onion seeds, plus a salad mix and some rocket seeds.
Above and behind the raised bed is a pyrakantha tree from which I have hung a basket of strawberry plants.  If you follow me on Instagram, you will know I've been obsessing a little over them; they're so sweet and delicious!
Not long ago I filled another shady spot further along the wall with a very makeshift planter, but actually one that I'm pretty proud of.  I had a wooden pallet which hadn't been used for anything, so with Kyle's help, we created planter 'pockets' out of tarpaulin, stapled them together and then pinned them to the back of the pallet, creating four individual planters.  I then made some tiny incisions in the bottom of each to allow for drainage.

The left two contain spinach seeds which have just started sprouting and the left...well I may have bought even more mint plants (the obsession is real).  The top is a totally delicious black peppermint and below is a standard garden mint.  The black peppermint has really taken to the planter and has grown so much since I bought it.
Whilst I'm not going to be stopping my weekly supermarket shop any time soon, it certainly has been a good step in the right direction in learning how to grow (and keep alive) my own garden fruits and veggies.  I spend so much more time out there, tending to the plants, picking off snails and of course, nibbling at the produce.  The only issue now is knowing when to stop adding even more plants to my already tiny garden!

To read the first in my Edible Garden series: An Edible Garden | Herbs

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4 comments

  1. I love how you've started small but have managed to get quite a wide variety of plants in! Our gooseberries are ready to be picked now and are just delicious - July is a great month in the fruit and veg garden.

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    1. Aw thanks! Our gooseberries are obviously still young plants so our crop was a little pitiful, hoping for a larger bounty next year. x

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  2. This looks wonderful! I love the ida of being self-sufficient too, and I'm really looking forward to the day when I can finally start planting some fruit, veg and herbs. This post makes me wish I could do it right this minute.

    xx Mimmi, Muted Mornings

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    1. I'm so glad you liked the post. All of the planting has got me yearning for a larger, sunnier garden...one day! x

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