Planning my Garden 2017

Hello friends,
As I am editing and completing this blog post, I am listening to the winds of Storm Doris gathering outside. I'm trying to remember if there are any stray pots lying in the garden, have I left any half filled compost bags out? Is the wheel barrow secured? Are any newly filled pots balancing precariously somewhere? And yet only a few days ago, I was contemplating beginning to sow some seeds.
You see, I follow many a gardener/allotmenteer on social media and am getting jealous and agitated by the amount of people who are already sowing. Alas, they are mostly southerners. Being a northerner now, I have to accept that my sowing activities must take place later. And the weather was warming up a bit so I got a bit hopeful…but I am glad I was not hasty.
My dear FiancĂ©e last week came home with a rather magnificent gift. Jewellery? Perfume? Clothes? No, I would tell him off for wasting money on these things. My dear Fiancee came home with a trailer load of scrap timber from the scrap yard. Although why it was in the scrap yard is beyond me. It's wonderful, strong timber and the weekend just gone, we got to work creating some new vegetable beds with it. They have turned out beautifully. Not bad at all for £10. We’re not ready to go just yet however, we need to extend the dog/rabbit/hare proof fence to go around the new beds. We also need soil. But that should be fairly easy.
So I have been planning. What am I going to grow this year? Which bed will it go in? How will I start them off? I haven't got everything figured out just yet, but I've got a fairly good idea.


My first year in Northumberland I grew garlic in pots as I had very limited space or knowledge. They did really well and I was very pleased. You see, I am a bit of a garlic fiend…and cook it with everything. So then last year I decided to grow more garlic than the previous year, but in one of the beds. And it turned out completely pants. No idea why. I harvested hardly any. Pest? Fungus? Bad soil? Pfft who knows, so this year I am going back to growing in pots. And I am already getting healthy green shoots. I was then naughty and went out to the garden centre and bought more garlic. I may have to buy more pots…


Ahhh Onions, my second favourite allium. I also eat a lot of onions, specifically red onions. I've grown onions both years that I've lived here and both years have done very well. I experimented the second year with putting more onion sets in the bed, and just ended up with smaller onions. So it's possible that Onions might be going into one of the new beds this year to try and get them nice and fat. We’ll see.


In our first year here, we bought a green house and grew some lovely cordon tomato plants in it. Then that winter…the storms came. We lost our greenhouse, and it was sad. I couldn't bring myself to re-invest or try and fix the greenhouse so we just left it for the time being and didn't try to grow tomatoes again. This year I am going to try some bush varieties of tomatoes in smaller grow houses. I've not tried bush varieties before, and haven't been able to find anyone who has so not sure how they'll turn out. I will keep you posted. Essentially, they grow short and wide rather than tall and thin. Sounds fairly straight forward…


Parsnips are my absolute favourite vegetable. Love them, love them, love them. I experimented with growing some parsnips last year and did very well and was very happy with them so I am going to try growing them on a larger scale this year. I am very excited.
I am also going to try growing some carrots this year, but not the boring orange ones. I want to experiment with the different coloured rainbow carrots. I've also read that marigolds keep carrot fly away so we will see.


So I have never grown potatoes before and was excited to receive some free seed potatoes with a certain gardening magazine that I subscribe to. I had to learn about ‘chitting’ and what not. Well, they are currently ‘chitting’ on my windowsill right now, and there are actual sprouts forming! Who'd have thunk it? I plan to grow them in the grow bags that they came with in the kit.


When we moved into our little stone cottage, we were very fortunate to have many fruit trees and bushes already established here. We have 3 apple trees (2 cookers, 1eater), a plum and a pear tree. We have many raspberry canes and black currant bushes too. These were way waaaaay out of control, not having received much love and attention. So I've been pruning and feeding and taking care and ended up with lots of russet apples but not many cookers, and a few raspberries and a couple of pears. I have taken even greater care this year and have high hopes for our fruit yields this summer.

So that's what I have planned so far. This is a very early stage of planning and I have no doubt that I will change my mind 100 times before I decide where to put everything.
I also intend to try and grow some sweet peas to make the place look pretty. All in good time my dears, all in good time.

What do you folks have planned for your garden?

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