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Tiny Garden 2020

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A little embattled with this years’ drought and weather conditions, but this is the latest little garden that I’ve been involved with. Everything is container grown given the patio space, with hastily thrown up pallet-shelves to try and add a bit of vertical gardening into the mix. We’ve got some truly monstrous Partenon Courgettes, Rainbow Chard, Kelvedon Peas, Purple Tee-Pee Beans – and this year also a host of wilder cousins; Yarrow, Vervain, Echinacea, Huauzontle ‘Aztec Broccoli’ and Orach purple salad-green. A lot for a tiny space – but not many plants of each, so requires a lot of tender (somewhat anxious!) care.

I love how particular every garden is, every year. Gardening isn’t just an exercise in optimism,  it’s also an exercise in attention.

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Garden Observations: Spring 2019

  • Saved seed has a lower sprout-rate than fresh seed. Probably about 60% sprout-rate compared to 90%. I’m putting this down to only the best seeds get delivered to my door by the growers, whereas I am more soft-hearted – I’ll give any undersized, malnourished nubbin a chance to sprout XD
  • However, this might be my imagination but it seems that saved seed sprouts earlier than fresh/packet. Especially true after a couple of generations of propagation. I would hazard that even after a couple of yrs, we’re creating location-specific plant families more suited to the vagaries of our micro-climate. Must remember to diversify the seed stock every few years to encourage disease resistance.
  • Aquilegia families default to dominant yellow-white, recessive purple-blue. Over the years we’ve encouraged the Aquilegia’s wherever they come up, and our little population is becoming more yellow-white than it is purple-blue.
  • La Familia, our resident gang of some 20+ House Sparrows will resort to more finch-like behaviour – eating dandelion seeds when they do not have access to easy bird feeders.
  • Cows love eating Jasmine hedges. Sheep love eating Jasmine hedges. Every creature with a stomach loves eating Jasmine hedges.

Garden Update: Spring

Once again, you lucky few, it is time for the obligatory legume post.

About a month late this year [no laughing at the back] because WINTER OF DOOM. But the ball is now rolling with Broad Beans sprouting (resisted the urge to plant a billion Broad Beans this year, y’see – learnin’); Sweet Peas on the up; Suspicious Peas in the black; and now for the rest of last year’s bean haul. All of the above seeds were saved from our little plot, thanks to the wonderful advice and curation of the Real Seed Collection – who are absolutely great, and apparently grow down the coast from us!

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