roight proper gardiner, mejust back from the garden: i feel like a proper gardener now! Instead of sowing in pots and trays in the comfort of home, or just digging (which, lets face it, is not only knackering but incredibly boring) … i actually planted something. my beans. although whether they’ll survive, i don’t know.. just about every stem is bent, i’ve supported them and entwined them with twigs and given em a jolly good watering, and they are under the poly tunnel out of the worst of the wind. All i can do now is hope.

[more photos behind the cut…]

planting my beansI also planted up the rest of that bed, under the polytunnel. The other end to the beans i planted a row of sugarsnap peas – it may be too early, but i can only try. Got lots more seeds in the pack! the bed has been divided into three; one third each to the beans and peas (although i’ve not sown that entire third with peas (i want to do successional sowing), nor with beans: i plan to start some more beans inside tomorrow to go out in a couple weeks, again, successional sowing) and the other third is hard at workdevoted to salad crops. I’ve sown spring onion, radishes, lettuces (4 rows of different lettuces, some butterhead, some cut-n-come-again), and beetroot. might get radishes in as little as 6 weeks, and lettuces in 8. i can’t wait! the packets reckon germination will happen in as little as 7 to 14 days, so in a week or two, expect a dwarf french beans - finally plantedjubliant post with photos of my little darlings poking their heads bravely above the soil. For now though, i gave them a good thorough watering, and we’ve recovered the bed with the polytunnel. There are holes in the plastic so rain can get through, but i think i shall water em with the can every couple of days.

the garden from the cornerAbout the only negative point to the entire afternoon was the kids: they came by while i was sowing and they asked me what i was doing, so i told them i was sowing lettuce, and pointed out the french beans that i’d already planted up. We chatted for a few minutes, then i said .. “well i must get on with it” and turned away to go back inside for another packet. They shouted after me, and i knew they shouted, i ignored them because given half a chance they’ll keep me talking about rubbish all still hard at workafternoon. Not good of me, perhaps, but i also wanted to avoid the inevitable offers of help. I headed in, and Michiel came out and went over and told the leader off (who is the son of someone we know quite well). It seems that Michiel objected to their assumption that they could call someone they *know* is deaf in the way that they did, quite offensively (apparently they were calling back under coversomeone else outside on the street later with the words “gay boy! gay boy! lesbian!”, to give an example). Although initially i disagreed with Michiel for telling them off, because they were quite politely asking what i was doing and i do believe in fostering good relations with the kids, rather than bad ones (i.e. recognising that half the problem is that they are incredibly bored and therefore answering the garden - t’ other wayquestions – that *might* just make em think twice when they get a bit older), when he explained to me i agreed with him. The lad went running to his mom, who spoke to him through their kitchen window (which looks out over our garden), then he went running off again. I just hope they don’t decide to take revenge by lobbing bricks at my polytunnel.

jessAnyway: tomorrow the sun is going to shine and its going to be a bit warmer (it was warm enough today, when the wind stopped blowing – it was the wind that was so cold, and there was no sun) so i am aiming to get that second bed a bit more along the way to completion, and then maybe i can sow some sweetcorn. I’m looking for and thinking about sowing some other varieties of bean or peas – tall ones, rather than dwarf, to grow between the sweetcorn, and maybe some squashes (in the three the bed, all sown ..sisters manner) although space may be a problem) – and i know Lidl are selling some lovely yellow dwarf french bean varieties which i’m thinking about (and only 50p a packet). Mustn’t get too over ambitious though. Definetly growing strawberries this year (using the centrepiece method) and aiming to pick up some fruiting bushes on wednesday, with luck those will grow too.

me working hard again!At the moment, current expenditure on the garden is £50-60, some (most) of which are one off purchases, like the greenhouse and so on. If i discount those, I’ve probably spent about £20-30, and i reckon if just half of what i plan give me results, then i’ve made a profit in pure monetary terms. Of course, the cost of simply getting fruit and veg that’s grown at home, picked and eaten immediately, for nothing is incomparable.