The Garden – All the news that’s fit to print.

It’s gardening time, here at the Tranquil Hermitage (YO!)

In the past year I have mainly maintained what Olly left me, added a few plants (mostly gifts) and moved a few things around. I have also observed how Poppet uses the space, and I will be gardening partly in response to her habits. I planted some sweet peas, but they weren’t all that. Partly, I didn’t really dig over the soil or improve it before planting, but mostly Poppet sat on them. There is little point in trying to use the railing as a plant support, when it’s where Pops receives many of her public. And I don’t want to cover it up too much anyway, since it allows me to see the river from my bed. Olly planted four or five ivies. They’ve not taken off yet, and I totally get what he was trying to do with them, but now that I have a plan of my own I’m planning to guerrilla garden them over to a neglected planting on the estate. I dug one up this morning and put it in a little pot ready for transfer.

don’t worry little ivy, you are going somewhere you will LOVE, and where you will run free.

I don’t know that I will get rid of all the ivies, but that one was definitely surplus to requirements. See, my plan is to plant out all these exciting edibles from the James Wong book I invested in. I heard him talk on radio 4 about his theory that we should plant edibles that look amazing and don’t cost a fortune to grow. He didn’t come across very well, clearly not R4 material, but I was buzzed about the idea, and have decided to have a mostly edible garden. This means that I am getting rid of things which might STEAL moisture and goodness from the soil. Like this tree for example. Which I just dug up from where the fork is resting.

tree, you’ve already been moved from a pot to the soil, i reckon you’ve got it in you to go brighten up a rather abandoned little space on the towpath. you’re welcome.

Also right there is a little variegated ivy, which is rather pretty but which is on the edge of my PROJECT SPACE. I am in two minds whether to leave it, replant it with the other ivy or move it within the garden. Okay, that was three minds. There’s a second variegated ivy along the other wall where nothing normal grows, which means I should probably move it there or else take it out. I JUST DON’T KNOW.

there is also a sickly jasmine there. I moved it already, and i think olly moved it too. it just doesn’t seem to enjoy anywhere. sad little thing. the palmy thing is staying.

So then this flower was really nice last year and it provided what they call winter interest. Howevs, it’s got really big and it’s in my way.

time to split you up, monster flower.

My plan is to split it up and put bits of it all over the place. A neighbour, Paul wants some of it, I can put it in spaces like this;

i like the pink flowered plant. i put it in when i moved here, and it’s thrived. however, i was warned that it can take over, so i’ll need to keep an eye on it.

and think about it later. The big space is where the lavender went a bit too mental. I cut it back and took some of it away. I think this pot will go with the little tree to the sad neglected place.

this bit of the garden has turned into something of a nursery. don’t get too comfy there, lavender, you’re going on an exciting journey soon, to your new home.

And here are some little tiny lavenderlings. No idea what I will do with them when they grow up, but I don’t have to decide straight away.

grow well, tiny babies!

After I have dug up the monster flower bush and redistributed it I can get on with the next phase, which involves laying a curved path with a bit for poppet to sit on when she entertains her guests at the railing, and which should help me not stand on my new plants too much.

You’re dying of excitement right now, I know. Be patient, documentation of further adventures coming soon!

15 responses to “The Garden – All the news that’s fit to print.

  1. Get some Nasturtiums on the go next spring. Not only a beautiful plant, but draws nasty bugs from more delicate plants without coming to any harm and is 100% edible🙂

    • There are some that self seeded from last year, so I am gardening around them. They aren’t as big as last year, which might be because of all the weird weather.

      I’d certainly add some if these ones are on the wane. Last year’s were lovely.

      • They look lovely and they taste great too! I was going to chop some stems into a salad viniagrette but forgot all about it. We did, however, use the leaves and the petals in salads.

        The seed pods can be eaten as is or pickled into “capers”. I can send you the method for that if you like🙂

        • Ooh! Yes please!

          I have a grand master plan which involves buying a bench freezer and learning about other storage methods for produce. If the apocalypse won’t come to me, I’ll go to it!

          • Nasturtium “Capers”

            100g Nasturtium seed pods
            A handful of black peppercorns
            300ml cold water
            15g salt
            200ml white wine vinegar

            Wash seed pods and place in a bowl with the peppercorns. Mix together the salt and water and add to the seed pods, stirring well. Cover and leave for 24 hours.

            The next day, drain seed pods and dry them wrapped in a tea towel. Put two small jars and their lids in the oven at Gas Mark 3 for up to 15 minutes, and cram seed pods in. Leave about 1cm at the top of each jar for vinegar.

            Fill to the brim with vinegar, seal tightly and leave to cool. Leave several weeks and consume within a year.

            See? Couldn’t be easier🙂

            • SO EXCITING!!!!

              I love all this stuff. I am a beginner gardener, and I’ve never had a proper larder, but it looks like I may be getting the garage abutting this flat, so all bets are off!

              • Make sure to get a copy of River Cottage Handbook N02: Preserves. It’s like my Bible😀

                • aha! news i can use!

                  i have ‘how to store your garden produce’. obvs it talks about stuff i won’t be growing, but i hate throwing food out, and there are times of the year when seasonal stuff is cheap(er).

                  • I’ve got that book too; it doesn’t help me any when it comes to pickling!

                    Some of the things I make (such as piccalilli) are so much in demand from my family that I actually had to buy ingredients from the supermarket this year. Mind you, this was a bad year for growing edibles: our courgettes were fail, our tomatoes didn’t produce a great deal and most of the brassicas bolted. Mange tout barely made it, beetroot failed, radishes produced a decent early crop and then they bolted. Salady goodness really didn’t work out this year – and there are so many things that I’ve eaten from our garden before that taste awful from the supermarket shelves in comparison😦

                    • it’s certainly been a weird year in the garden. the sweet peas didn’t know if they were arthur or martha.

                      i didn’t grow any edibles this year – and it sounds like it was just as well! but i did pot out those growing salad things you’re meant to chuck away, and i got some good eating out of them.

  2. I’ve nominated you for the silver quill award. Check out my post to learn more🙂

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