Tag: courtyard potager

Rob Smith’s Heritage Veg Plant Range

Rob Smith’s Heritage Veg Plant Range is bigger and better than ever. Perennial favourites remain but Rob has unearthed some exciting new/old varieties to include.

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Heritage Veg Range Launched

Heritage Veg is making a big return in our 2017 Seed Catalogue. Rubbing shoulders with exciting new varieties the heritage veg range is championed by Rob Smith, winner of the BBC Big Allotment Challenge.

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Snow? A good time to plan

The Courtyard Potager beds are still visible under the snow.

The Courtyard Potager beds are still visible under the snow.

Snow over much of the country seems to be more prevalent this winter than in I remember in the past – in the 1980s I think when we hardly had a frost. More precise weather forecasting has definitely improved but even so, I sometimes forget to re-cover the beds from which I had removed the netting set to deter blackbirds from rummaging between my overwintering herbs and cats from scratching into the bulb bed.

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Plans and Dreams

My 'Courtyard Potager' earlier this Summer

My ‘Courtyard Potager’ earlier this Summer

Christmas festivities are over; the New Year approaches – almost a time in limbo, but perfect for making plans, allowing oneself to dream. I write so often about planning that you might consider it is a fetish of mine; but over the years I have come to realise that it is crucial to good gardening practice, and that any plot – large or small, rural or urban, – is not created overnight.  And after a year of terrible weather and lack of attention to our own outdoor space through travelling abroad and subsequently illness, I know that nothing goes as expected and contingency plans are essential.

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The greening of late Spring

self-seeded honesty in the orchard

self-seeded honesty in the orchard will have beautiful seed heads in the Autumn

At last – sunshine! And warmth, sufficient to sit outside; sufficient for my courgette seeds to germinate in only a week after sowing. Foxgloves (Digitalis) in the courtyard potager are flowering, grown from plant plugs supplied last year; their tall green spikes ‘navigating’ towards the sun. Everywhere are the signs of a late Spring – a hum of bees in the orchard, and in the wild area by the ‘eco-garden’ a female blackbird collects a beakful of moss, tugging it from a thatch of over-wintered plant detritus. She hops into a tangle of honeysuckle growing through a Jargonelle pear. Cow parsley and honesty have colonized the space around a century-old fallen apple tree – a magnet for orange-tip butterflies. Wild flowers and weeds abound in this acre; tolerating their existence whilst keeping them under control benefits the garden, bio-diversity and the environment.

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