Posted in 'How to', Community growing, Runner Beans, Vegetables, tagged British gardening b, cake sunday, Community front gartden veg growing project, Growing veg in your front garden, log, London Community growing project, London Gardening blog, Neighbours community project, neighbours growing veg together, urban community veg growing project, Veg growing blog on November 9, 2011 |
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We had a great afternoon at ‘Cake Sunday’ this weekend. Many neighbours braved the somewhat chilly weather and came along to catch up with each other. This is the end of the second year of growing vegetables in our front gardens and our project has really helped neighbours to get to know one another better and to grow some fantastic veg.
Lots of cakes were made for our get-together,
and happily eaten by our next generation of veg growers,
and our more established veg growers too.
There were also free daffodil bulbs and small grow bags to give away so that our streets will glow come the spring.
It’s a wonderful opportunity to chat with each other about veg growing and just about anything else.
And some cannily used the opportunity to sell raffle tickets for their school.
We now have over 100 households signed up for our front garden veg growing scheme in Finsbury Park,
and now have funding for next year from the Islington Community Chest. It’s great to see our local urban community brought closer together through gardening and cake!
To read more about our community veg growing project over the last two and a half years, please click here.
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Posted in 'How to', Allotment, Annuals, Edible Flowers, Japanese wineberries, Kholrabi, Perennials, Plant combinations, potager, Vegetables, tagged Allium sphaerocephalon, Allotment planning, Cosmos combinations, Cottage garden planning, deciding what to grow in your garden, Japanese Wineberries, Kohlrabi, Lablab bean flowers, London Gardening blog, Mixing Edible and ornamental plants, mixing flowers and veg, planning your garden, Planning your veg patch, Potager planting, Utopian veg patch, Veg growing blog, Veg growing in flower beds on November 1, 2011 |
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Autumn is a great time of year for reflection, looking at the highs and lows of the growing season and eagerly planning ahead for next year’s perfect plot or border. I spent a couple of hours discussing such matters with friend Lisette in her veg garden and as we talked, she started jotting down ideas in her notebook about what she wanted to grow and how she’d like her beds to look next year. And with the jotting down came splendid clarity. I’m not saying these ideas are set in stone, but it’s great to get all your thoughts down, even if it’s just to cross them out again and replace with new plans at a later date.
Through this process we both concluded that sometimes less is more (grow less varieties, but more of each chosen plant) and even more importantly, that after the initial year or two (or more!) of trying out all sorts of fruit, veg and flowers, it’s best to grow what you really love to eat and what you really love to look at (even though these preferences are themselves forever changing!).
What I’m sure about is that next year I want to mix my edibles and ornamentals more than ever. I love the look (such as the frothy pink Cosmos amongst spiky arching stems of a Japanese Wineberry, above) and such diversity of planting encourages beneficial insects and reduces the risk of pests and diseases.
With space (and time) always at a premium, I now plump for fruit and veg that I find truly delicious or wonderfully decorative (or both!) and flowers that fill my heart with joy. I’ll be trying out Lab lab beans (Dolichos lab lab or Hyacinth bean), above, for the first time next year as I’ve been seduced by their wonderful two-tone blooms,
and the alien like Kohlrabi for a bit of drama within the plot. Still tweaking plans in my notebook for next spring and enjoying searching through seed catalogues and websites in order to create my utopian veg patch.
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