• Maureen Little

In with the new....

In the past we’ve had fairly large gardens where I was spoilt for space. Now we have a tiny back yard, home to a couple of modest raised beds which I planted up with bee-friendly plants – my primary interest. Now, however, I feel the time has come to make a change and I am going to forfeit some flowers to make way for a few veg.

Because the space is small, I have to be circumspect about exactly what I want to grow. It has to be something that both hubby and I enjoy eating, but it also has to earn its space, as it were. Asparagus and globe artichokes are off, then (they take up too much permanent room) as is Florence fennel (fails too easily and is a bit of a diva).

It comes down to a very few, select, ‘chosen ones’ – French beans, Romanesco, sprouting broccoli and loads of spring onions, interspersed with some cut-and-come-again salad leaves if there’s room. We also have two lovely large terracotta pots which will become home to some outdoor tomatoes, weather permitting.

Most of the seeds are ordered*, and I shall be getting things underway as soon as the temperature rises enough to awaken the spring, which seems a little way away at the moment because as I look out of the window the snow is falling….

* Reminder to myself: when ordering on-line, reject the offer of substitutes if they sell out of the seeds you’ve ordered. I ordered some Tropaeolum speciosum seeds for a friend from a well-known company (which shall be nameless) and they sent me Brassica oleracea Acephala Group. I'm sure my friend loves kale as much as the next person - an acceptable substitute for flame nasturtium, though? Hardly. I am awaiting their response….

I have vowed to read more, and not just the crime novels of Ann Cleeves, which I love. I have just bought Life in the Garden by fiction writer Penelope Lively, described as ‘Beautiful, Perfect for literary garden lovers’ which should suit me down to the ground! I’ll let you know how I get on.