Wednesday, February 7, 2007

My green thumbs are about to get a workout


Yesterday I went to the volkstuin (community garden or allotment for English speakers) and finalised the deal with the head of the association.

I am now the proud lessee of 50 m2 of very muddy tilled land which currently houses a plum tree and some blackberry canes.

You can see some pictures I took at the allotment today over here, including a beautiful photograph of a heron in the water.

I also saw a very large rabbit, but he ran off before I could take a photo of him. Hope he doesn't hang around much in the summer or we might have to call in Wallace and Gromit!

The kids were hoping to see the ponies kept in the paddock alongside the allotment, but the ponies were in the stable, out of the rain and snow.

I plan to create raised beds and follow an intensive vegetable growing plan, however, when I took the kids there this afternoon I realised that I may have drastically overestimated the space available. In order to create a balanced little garden I'll just plant less of my chosen varieties of plants.

I've written a list here so that you can try and picture it with me, working clockwise from the plum tree which is on the right hand side of the plot.

Bed #1: Strawberries, onions, garlic, lettuce, celery
Bed #2: Runner beans and peas (on wigwams), sweetpeas, marigold, sunflowers
Bed #3: Pumpkins and squash, corn, nasturtiums
Bed #4: Carrots, chives, rosemary
Bed #5: Tomatoes, parsley, basil, garlic
Bed #6: Peppers, onions, nasturtiums

Each bed will be raised about 20 cm and measure about 1m2. In between the beds will be a narrow pathway of woodchips.

At the back of the plot where it backs onto my neighbour I'll grow lavender bushes as a sort of boundary. I'll be planting thyme, marjoram and lemon balm between the other plants.

In the meantime, I need to buy some seeds and a propagator to start them off inside while the weather is still so cold, and spend my time looking at catalogues like the one from De Wiltfang.

Do you have plans for a summer garden? On your balcony, in your garden, in a community garden? if you're unsure whether to plant or not, go and read about Victory Gardens against global warming, maybe it will inspire you!

Please leave a comment if you have plans and satisfy my eternally nosy side which wants to know what everyone else is doing!