Thoughts for the garden

Not the day for sitting outside but not so bad a day for planning what to be growing in the garden this year.

My main focus is always vegetables and fruit, we are not self sufficient but make a fair contribution from our own patch to the kitchen and thoroughly enjoy the prospect of harvesting some of the food we eat.

As a parent one of my favourite times is when the children get home from school on a sunny day, fling their bags towards the door and dash into the veggie garden to eat peas and mange touts from the plants followed by a helping of raspberries from the canes. I dream of this as I look out of the window at the falling snow!

At the moment in the garden we have leeks, artichokes and spinach, so not a lot to feed the family on but still a contribution directly from our own soil.
I do grow flowers, always calendula which is one of my favourites, and nasturtium - both of which you can add the petals to brighten up a dish. Last year I grew a bed of flowers and plants directly to attract more bees and insects to the veggie garden, one of the most spectacular plants was teasel which grew wonderfully tall, looked stunning and provided a great hub for lots of bees. It was referred to as our 'dinosaur plant' because of its spikes and we've cut and dried the flower heads for arrangements, another one to grow this year for flowering next year as its a perennial.

This year I'm going to extend my flower growing so we can have more cut flowers for the holiday cottages. I've ordered various delights from Higgledy Garden for the cutting garden and have been inspired by the brilliant and exciting photos on their website. Watch this space!!

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