Posted by: Anne | 25/04/2010

One small step for an experienced gardener – one giant leap for me!

Do you remember all those months I wrote all kinds of things on this blog whilst it snowed and snowed?  Well for the last 10 days, it’s been sun sun sun!  So very lovely and my seedlings are looking like plants!

I fit this gardening lark into pockets of time in between what is becoming a demanding job, children, dogs, husband and house work – ok I admit, that’s the thing I don’t have time for! Reading books that draw me to them and visiting my fantastic friends.

So I had one hour this evening to get what I wanted to accomplish done.  I had some green netting that beans and peas grow up.  We cut it to size and fixed it over the arched hoops that hold up the polythene cover and mesh cover. Then I planted my ‘sugar snap’ peas and dwarf French beans.  I kept the square feet at each end of the 6ft X 4ft raised bed for this reason.  I know I shouldn’t have a favourite bed, but I must say this one is.  It looks so lovely and varied.

When I first started to read the Square Foot Gardening book, I visualised my raised beds looking like they do now,  colourful and contrasting.  Even the little wigwam I made out of some shoots off a self setting tree that I was going to throw away started to shoot!  I have now planted the little tree in another part of the garden, it’s a free tree I am grateful for it arriving in my garden.

I walked up the garden with my mug of coffee feeling very pleased with myself.  Looking back to when I first was asked to do this project, I didn’t think I could do it.  But now things are starting to take shape.   This morning before being called into work for an hour we planted our six tomato plants into the grow bags.  I also inserted a plant pot next to them to get the water and feed direct to their roots, Marks Mum’s top tip and planted a petunia next to them which will remind me to water if I forget, as the petunia will wilt quicker than the tomatoes.

I am very proud of my Grand dad Bradshaw who was a miner in Derbyshire.  How brave do you have to be to go to work every day up to your neck in water to extract the dirty black coal from the seam and return it to the surface? This was his job for years, through out the war and beyond.   He told me that they took Canaries down the mine with them as the canary died from Gas – which warned the miners that gas was there.

This is how my brain works – the petunia idea reminded me of my Grand dads story.  An early child hood memory is visiting his allotment where he spent many a happy hour during his retirement out in the sunny Derbyshire countryside growing his own veg.  I would have loved to show him what I was doing now, and listened to his advice.  I think he would be very proud of me.

I hope you are having good news with your plants.  This week sees the re-potting of all my chillies and all 10 melons have come through!  I will be needing to find new homes for some of them.

Have a good week in your garden.


  1. I enjoyed this blog a lot because I used to help my Grandad (also an ex miner) weed his vegetable garden. I vividly remember lifting some of his Pink Fir Apple potatoes for our tea, and listening to him talk about how they were buggers to peel, but they tasted better than meat. I thought it was a really odd thing to say until I sat down and ate them. Incredible, I’d had no idea a potato could taste like that. Thanks for reminding me of the memory, Anne – a lovely memory of a kind, sunny man for a lovely sunny morning. x

  2. Hi Cheryl, I’m sure it’s pink fir apple potatoes I’m growing. They will be ready in September I think. I didn’t know we both came from good solid mining stock! That’s why we get on so well and are so down to earth!

    I cook my new potatoes with the skins on, because I think life is now to short to peel them. My Nan and Grandad would never have dreamed of eating them unpeeled. I remember when the kids were babies, sitting on the grass during camping holidays scraping the new potatoes, I think it was as they grew I stopped! Lovely memories.

    Thank you so much for your comment.
    Anne. x

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