Tuesday, 8 July 2014

country nest: home grown

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When I first moved into my country home last February, one of the first tasks on my to do list, was to begin planting fruit, vegetables & flowers for the garden. 
In March, we sowed most of the seeds we had brought from various garden centres, and our favourite place for all things gardening Wilkinsons. I'm no professional when it comes to gardening, and I have a major fear of anything crawly or slimy, so I wasn't expecting much! At first, in the seedling trays, we had loads of sprouts shoot up all over the place, from mini pumpkin leaves to sunflower stems, so the future of our garden looked good...
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After a while, we planted all our mini plants outside. Cue disaster: snails & slugs ate the lot. 
We used leftover seeds and leftover food from the kitchen, and started again (this time with slug killer & a ton of salt to hand!) and the results were more than satisfactory! 
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The best results had to be the cabbage! I mean look at the size of them! You would not find that in your local supermarket! 
The strawberries & potatoes were another two easy, and best producing crops to have. 
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The carrots came out, well a bit rubbish to be fair! 
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Being in a rented accommodation, when we arrived the garden looked a bit dead and sparse. Little did we know, that was just winter tricking us… the apple tree in the top photo was a pleasant surprise! They have just begun to go red! There is a huge rosemary bush, as well as other trees, shrubs and flowers that we are looking up the names of as and when they bloom. 

My top tips for amateur home grown goods would be:

✿ You don't need a huge amount of money to set up your garden. Try local pound stores or supermarkets for goods, especially in the middle of summer now, when items are usually discounted! 
✿ Throw leftover food into the soil… it worked brilliantly with our potatoes! 
✿ Check out books from the library or browse the web for advice on what to grow. 
✿ Buy the windowsill pots… they are so easy to maintain and sow if you don't have a garden! 
✿ Be patient. I've been having fits over my sunflowers at the moment, and the fact they haven't yet bloomed. It does take time, and slowly you'll find different plants bloom and surprise you! 

Are you growing anything this year? What do you find easiest to grow and what are your favourites? 
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