My Grandad’s old spade hangs on the wall, to remind me that greenfingers do run in my family, that gardening is a huge legacy and I really want to learn more about it. Watching my Dad, another keen gardener, with my kids, or seeing the way my brother grows chillis and tomatoes on his London balcony, I always thought the green fingers had bypassed me. Then, in my typical bull in a china shop, Gemini fashion, I decided to attack the garden one day.
This is what it looks like in the Estate Agents documents, from when we nearly sold it last year. Neat and tidy but a bit bare. Glad we didn’t sell it, but we need to ‘reown’ it.
I decided we were having a veg patch. Mr G was put to work on hosing the turf, while I dug. Each time I dug it got a little easier, instinct and Mr G’s excited shrieks kicked in. I’ve watched my Dad digging enough times over the years. We even found an old horseshoe which sent Mr G on a fabulous journey of the imagination and had history mad Miss L speculating.
We added the old boat shaped sandpit as a raised bed
We stuck canes in as we had seen my Dad do, to keep the neighbours cats off. Then we forgot about it (told you, I am a Gemini, master of unfinished projects).
Until my Dad gave us a Kew Gardens seed and soil test kit. We tested the soil in a series of test tubes and realised it was perfect for growing stuff. So we filled the old sandpit with the wild flowers that came with the kit and added the broken old watering can and the old horseshoe for decoration. I hope it brings our crops luck!
Then Mr G and I found some pea seeds in a tin in the shed. As I was planting the peas I could see my Grandad in my mind, hear him, telling me how to do it. I could see his big hands, the dirt permanently engrained in the creases, gently pointing where to go. And the peas, they only went and grew!
See, all that information I’ve absorbed from watching the professionals in action is there, just a bit buried. I’ve had two rather fast growing little ones to look after and there hasn’t been much time for plants in my life.
We bought some more seeds, and me and Miss l went for it.
We thought some windmills would brighten it up and some log roll edging to keep little feet from jumping onto the seeds as they grew.
It still felt a bit flat, so what we needed was a scarecrow. I looked around for some ideas and discovered hessian ones last longer. You can see how I did it in my how to make a scarecrow post.
Seeds – £17 (bumblebee wild flower mix, peas, carrots, broccoli, beetroot, lettuce)
Tomato plants – £3 in the sale
Scarecrow materials – £10 online/petshop
Log roll edging – £10 Asda
Windmills – £4 for 8 mini ones Asda, larger ones National Trust £6 for 2.