New Year New Garden

garden smallholding

As the new year gets underway, my mind is full of plans for the new vegetable garden. Ideas and designs have spent the best part of 2 years in a sketch pad, I really can’t wait to finally put these long and thought out plans into action. However, garden tools are now retired to the outbuilding/shed until spring arrives with drier weather. It’s been a mild winter so far and this area has missed out on any snow, but the ground is too soft to continuously walk on.

shed

I mention the outbuilding. It sits alongside the greenhouse, sharing the plot where the new vegetable garden will go, and it really needs a make over. Rendered concrete construction, 2 metal doors and a small wooden window, it currently looks tired and unloved, to be honest it’s a bit of an eyesore. But I’m sure I can bestow some magic upon this very useful storage space. A clean up, lick of paint (I’m thinking soft cream walls, white doors and window frame), window box, rustic pots and planters, perhaps a climbing rose to scramble over and a few garden accessories should make a huge difference. I might even treat it to some pretty floral bunting in summer.

In other news, I’m collecting 5 – 6 eggs a day from the hens and of course the pullets are really helping to boost the number, it’s their first winter and they’re in great condition. I don’t think we’ve ever had such a productive winter from the hen houses, I’m baking more than usual that’s for sure! The older hens appear to be doing well, although a winter moult is expected soon.

eggs

Allotment news! Garlic is growing well, and for the first time I’ve planted some elephant garlic too. I recently removed a young rhubarb crown that I planted last year, this was taken home in a large container of compost and will start off the rhubarb patch in our new vegetable garden very soon, can’t wait for that. That’s about it for now with allotment planting, I’ll sow some hardy broad beans soon (at the allotment and potted up in the greenhouse in case of failures) and then think about which tomatoes I’d like to grow. I have Charlotte seed potatoes in trays to chit in the unheated conservatory, and I’ve sorted through my seed packets.

I’m ready. Roll on spring!

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11 comments

  1. I’m with you on this! I just went over my plans again for this year and now have to make some hard choices. I really want to add a chicken or two to the farm, but we are former ‘city people’ and I don’t know much about keeping chickens. And then there are the bees for our orchard; do we add a hive of honeybees or stick with Mason bees for pollination only? I can’t wait for spring!

  2. Thanks greenbenchramblings, looks were never considered with the design of these buildings. We considered pulling it down when we first moved here, but it’s a rather large building (much larger than it looks in the photo) with power and light, the cost to do this didn’t sit easy! I’ve learned to live with it now and it’s such a handy storage space.

  3. Hi Jeanne, I’m happy to help if I can with regards to keeping chickens. I would say to keep 3 or more if you can, chickens do better in groups (with the odd exception!) and have a strict pecking order – it’s harder to integrate new chickens further down the line if you were to be left with a lone hen or decide to add more.

    I’m also interested in bee keeping, but for now I’ll rely on the Mason bees. Good luck with your plans, it’s exciting stuff!

  4. Hi Julie, thanks so much for your comments on the blog. I realise how lucky I am to be able to keep chickens, and I should remind myself of that – especially when the alarm goes off at silly o’clock in the morning and I drag myself out of bed!

  5. You are very organised. In the summer we got a new shed and the spot where the old one stood is likely to be filled with raised beds. So far all I’ve done is thought about it though, without any hint of a real plan.

  6. I’ve had 2 years to have a good think about how to plan the new veg garden, I’ve also used the time to make a note of sun and shade areas. I don’t think I could go another year without at least making a start, so this is the year to make it happen!

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