Back on the veg beds: plotting and planning for summer April 06, 2017 09:33

Garden Apron - Denys & FieldingGrab those garden gloves! Don your garden apron! It's time to get out and get cracking in the garden. Hooray! This week, I've been giving the veg beds that we built last year a little more attention. 

Last November, I cleared three of my four square veggie beds and added a load of horsey poo in one, leaf mould in another. In the third, I introduced two gooseberry bushes and a blackcurrant, which had been sat in the wrong part of the garden for a quite a while. Fast forward a few months, and it is great to see that they survived the move, and new growth and the first promise of blossom is now appearing. I have planted some flower bulbs in and around the fruit bushes. Couldn't help myself. There is just something really joyful about seeing an abundance of food and flowers growing together. And it really does help to encourage a few more bugs and bees into the garden. A few nasturtium seeds survived the winter and leaves have started to emerge, promising a prolific release of flowers and scent which the bees just love. After a slow, gentle start, the bare outlines of the beds are starting to fill out with new life at quite a pace.

Because I'd gone a little OTT with the horse poo last year, the veg beds really did sink over the winter, as their content rotted down. After a quick weed with the hoe, topping up the beds has been one of the first jobs this week. By the skin of my teeth, I've got some onion sets in, which are now disappearing fast in our local nurseries and garden centres. I've popped in one or two garlic bulbs as well. Both are 'club classics' of our cooking endeavours and really easy to grow, so why not!?

The asparagus was looking extremely ropey but perhaps the sunshine we've enjoyed this week has perked it up. All of a sudden, what looked like dead straw has been taken over by green shoots. Something is occurring under the surface. I'm taking that as a good sign.

For now, that is about it. I'd love to be sowing runner bean seeds and getting some tomatoes underway, but I've learned from bitter experience that frost is still a possibility and losing tender seedlings is gutting. Patience isn't something that comes easy to me, but it is perhaps one of the most important lessons that a garden provides. Another is 'be careful what you wish for'. Rhubarb is running wild along the bottom of the hedge with a jaunty, devil may care, abandon. Seriously. How much rhubarb crumble can one family take?! Luckily, Dad's come up trumps with a rhubarb and ginger wine recipe. Which to me sounds like a spicy, sugary, sherry concoction. Could be dangerous. Only one way to find out...