Tag Archives: growing

Raspberries, raspberries, raspberries.

I LOVE them.

allotment raspberries

The smell, the taste (especially the taste), how they grow, the variety you can have, their long season… I love it all!  In fact, there was one occasion my mother in law gave me a supermarket plastic bag filled with them.  On my 30 minute drive home, I managed to eat all the raspberries in that bag.  I looked like a small child with them smeared all over my face when I got back to my house!  Ooooh but the tasted so nice.  Sure, the little seeds that get in your teeth can be a little bit annoying, but I’ll cope with them.


I know I have written about raspberries before.  I remember being shocked at how powerful they are, so I won’t repeat myself.  Have a search through the blogs and see what you can find.

backgarden raspberries

In other news, I am considering how much of our fruit and vegetable requirements we can actually grow ourselves. I love using produce from the garden to use in our meals, and if it is literally outside the back door, all the better.  We have four raised beds, as well as a little plot we have ear marked for being our vegetable plot.  I reckon we could grow carrots, beets, spinach, lettuce, peas and beans.  We might be able to get some potatoes in the growing bags, and maybe some parsnips as well.  I would love to grow some courgettes (zucchini for my North American readers) and maybe a squash or a pumpkin.    Not sure there would be enough room to do all that though.  Might need some careful planning and clever use of space.  As well as all of that, there is also the chance of using the allotment.


I am not sure if my readers in North America know what an allotment is, but basically, it is land held by the local government authorities which is given over for people to rent small parcels of it and grow their own fruit and vegetables on it.  My husband and I got one about 10 years ago, and after we cleared it and grew stuff on it, we sort of sub let it to my Father in Law.  He has done amazing things with it, and it is very productive.  After going up there and picking the raspberries and some strawberries (and having huge fun doing it) I am rather wondering if I should suggest we take responsibility back from him for its upkeep.  I am happy to share the produce with both my in laws and my Mum when she moves up here (very soon, hopefully).


Do any of you grown your own?  What do you like to grow particularly?  And what is very successful in your plot?



Planning a garden

Spring is springing.  Finally.  Although we in the UK have been saved from the onslaught of the polar vortex, we have had masses of rain and I for one can’t wait to get out into the garden to get it looking smart.  As we will be working with a new garden in the near future, I wanted to see if there was any advice out there for what to do when you don’t have a clean piece of paper or a clean bit of land but will be working with something that has already had attempts made on it.


I have done a blog post about planning a herb garden, and some of those ideas still stand.  But today I want to write about the wider garden.  How do we go about working out the best way for things to be?


First of all, you need to know where the sun falls and when that sun is in the garden.  You also need to know the direction each of the borders faces and probably most importantly, what is the soil type.  No point setting your heart on growing rhododendrons if you haven’t got ericaceous  soil, because the plants will just get sick and die.  That is not a nice thing to watch happen.


What do you actually want the garden for?  For me and my family, the garden is an extension of the house.  We love relaxing out there, entertaining, barbecuing as well.  We also need the garden to work as a play space for children (and the dog!) and it has to be a productive growing space – herbs, veggies and flowers for the vase.

cottage garden

You also need to think about privacy.   If you have a habit of sunbathing in the altogether, then presumably you need some privacy.  This is soooo far outside of my personal experience, I think I will leave it there.  I don’t like being able to see the whites of my neighbours eyes at the same time as I am weeding the borders.  I am a big fan of 6 foot fences.  And hedges.  Hedges are great!  A bit of hard work to keep in good nick, but fabulous fun.


Another thing to consider is an outside tap.  If you are going to water your plants in the border, you need access to some source of water.  At my present abode we ferry watering cans from the kitchen at the front of the house, through the living room and out to the back garden.  In our soon to be home, there is an outside tap.  You have no idea the levels of excitement at the thought of buying a hose.  No, really.  It is exciting.  It is.

swings and slides

Of course there are other practicalities to think about.  If you have children, is there somewhere for them play around?  Are the plants in the ground safe for your pets?  For example, if your garden has an amazing show of tree lilies, and you have cats, then the lilies have to go.  The pollen is very dangerous, deadly in fact, to cats.  You also need to consider the amount of storage you will need.


Next, you need to know what it already there in the garden.  There is some merit in waiting for a year before you start to change things and add your own touch to the new garden.  At this point, you need to think colour scheme as well.   I like colour in my garden.  As in “Oh goodness, turn the contrast down my eyes hurt” kind of colour.  Mwahahahaha!  I can hardly wait!!