Thursday, 29 April 2010

Gardening Websites

I have been updating my website to include a whole new section on Children's Gardening.

I was particularly struck by a comment from a mum saying that she would not know the difference between sweet peas and nasturtiums. It is easy to forget that the popularity of getting children to garden has only been around for a couple of years. Many parents may not have been exposed to such expereince when they were little. So I have tried to include the sort of information someone would want to know if they had not gardened or grown anything before and were now doing so for the first time with their 4 year old.

Whilst looking to see what resources there are already on the web I have found two sites which I think are great for first timers and also contain a few tips for more seasoned gardeners. The first is the BBC Digin site. This has information to help you to plan your growing space and some neat videos on what to do and how to plant. Their newsletter comes out regularly to remind you what you could be planting. Ideal if you are like me and start sowing and planting and then thinkg you have loads of time only to find the days have turned into weeks.

The other site is Eat Seasonably. The site has information on what to grow now, how to grow it and what to eat now all with a slide show explaining things. It has a great interactive guide on what is in season when.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Garden Faces

For me there is something quite appealing about having a few faces displayed in the garden and kids usually love them. My current favourites in the garden are a tree face and a green man.

The tree face has been hung on the pussy willow tree. Though the faces are suitable for a shed, fence or playhouse. You do have to hang the individual pieces on nails. In the 18 months I have had the tree face I have had to place it new nails as the girth of the tree has grown so much it has absorbed the nails. The tree face comes from Truly Madly Garden. They have a wide range of them and they make great presents. My son is keen on the pirate one.

The Green Man design goes back over centuries. It is said to be symbol of mans union with nature and therefore feels like a good choice for a garden ornament. It is presumably the origin of the all Green Man pubs we have in the UK. I'd like to have one carved in wood as well so will be looking out for one at any garden fairs I attend this summer.

Monday, 12 April 2010

My New Vegetable Plot

One of my major gardening projects this year has been to create a veg plot at the bottom of my garden. For years there has been a raised platform made from railway sleepers upon which I have placed various large pots and objects. We haven’t been able to use it as a surface in the summer because unfortunately the sleepers where never treated and therefore oozed oil every time the weather warmed up. These have now gone to be placed under a greenhouse and the back of the garden has a slightly raised veg bed, about 6ft by 15 ft.

My 5 year old and I have spent the last couple of weeks digging, double digging, and digging in manure. We also have collected half a dustbin of stones and rubble. Interestingly what he enjoyed most was the physical work, finding bones in the soil and playing with good old London clay. It looks as if part of the area has been used for bonfires in the past so I am hoping that the charcoal will not affect the fertility of the soil.

So now the growing starts and I hope in a couple of months time I can post a proper ‘after‘ photo showing just how productive a small plot can be. That is if I work out how to stop the foxes digging in it.
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