Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Our self-sufficiency ambitions

We don't have much of a garden unfortunately. We live in a mid-terrace house with shared access at the back, meaning it's more of a driveway than a garden. However, we're fortunate at the moment in that one of the end houses has their own separate access and the house inbetween us is empty due to the former elderly resident being in long-term care. This means that we are currently occupying an end plot :-)

I've always loved gardening and have taken advantage of any spare patch of soil available to me by planting flowers to brighten the place up. My previous house had even less of a garden than the current one does but the one and only border was full of bulbs and I grew herbs on my windowsill.
I keep thinking about putting my name down on the allotment waiting list (reminder to self - look into this!) but, in the meantime, I am making the most of my garden at home.

Lucinda loves to be outside. She is very "at one with nature" and shows great interest in plants, birds, stones, worms, ants, mud, etc. I have dabbled in growing vegetables in the past, with limited success, but now, for Lucinda's benefit, I am determined to become more self-sufficient in this area. This year, I have bought her her own vegetable planter and gardening set and a neighbour has given her an apron and gloves set.

Space-wise in our garden we have one small border, a mini greenhouse and numerous pots and planters positioned on the back steps and small decking area. This is what we have to work with.
Last month we started our sowing. We also bought some pea plants from the garden centre that have been started off.

In Lucinda's planter she has planted five pea plants and sown spring onion and sunflower seeds. She also has a pot of marigolds which she is growing from seed. She takes great delight in seeing how much the sunflowers have grown from day to day and loves watering them, along with her spring onions and peas. Most of all, she is looking forward to her peas being ready. She loves peas.

Other things we have sown from seed so far are chillis (these are on the windowsill in the kitchen for now) and radishes. We have also planted some cress in egg shells (also inside). We have other seeds to sow over the next couple of months - I am following the instructions on the packets very carefully - and we have a mushroom growing kit that will be started this weekend. Seeds we still need to sow are two varieties of carrots, tomatoes and basil. I'm also going to decide on some fruit plants that will grow in pots but I still need to do some research. I've tried strawberries for the last two years but they have died within weeks.
Perennials that we have had for a number of years are a lavender bush, a rosemary bush and a pot of chives and Italian parsley.

I'm really looking forward to being able to use our home-grown produce in our cooking and maybe I'll be able to share some recipes with you. I'm also intending on pressing some of the flowers we are growing and being creative. Exciting times ahead!


  1. Garden's are wonderful reminders of daily rhythm and blessings. What a joy for a child and the whole family! Looking forward to reading more...

  2. We're really enjoying our gardening. Here is an update that I have just published...