Thursday, 30 April 2009


I have always liked the idea of having chickens at the bottom of our garden,  going down to the hen house with the kids to collect the eggs for breakfast. I’m a Pisces so yes I do daydream a lot and imagine life through rose tinted glasses…

 Since becoming a member of the swapseeds site I have had some lovely conversations with other members about our gardens, one of whom has chickens. I mentioned my conversation to Al, he told me that we would not be having chickens (he’s my reality check),  so as a substitute he bought me this cockerel the other day on our way to collect Jack from school. 

I love it and from subsequent conversations about chickens with swapseeds members it is much better than the real thing as I don’t get the mess and the garden remains intact, sadly, however I don’t get fresh eggs either. 

(I just need a couple of hens to keep him company now)

My Photos

I planted some capsicum seeds at the same time as the rhubarb - still no sign of anything!!

Lemon Trees

Tomatoes & Cucumber

Sunflowers - this is what happens if you sow them indoors too early! Whoops

My Photos

  • The bottom of my garden... do you think it will be ready for June?

Wednesday, 29 April 2009


22nd February 2009 – Jack has decided to grow potatoes so he has bought a grow kit from the garden centre today.  This now means I am going to have to read about how to grow potatoes. 

14th April the potatoes have sprouted , so Jack and I have planted the 3 types of potatoes (Colleen, Robinta, & Orla) today.

According to the box we need to check for growth after 12 weeks, which will be around the 7th July, by digging into the pouch by hand. We (I say we but it will actually be me who does all the mundane hard work, Jack is just interested in the fun bit - planting and harvesting – he gets bored quite quickly, well he is only 5) will also have to add a liquid tomato feed once a fortnight during the summer.

29th April – I have just been out in the garden and have noticed foliage in my potato sacks – I think they are actually growing, there is the slight possibility that we could be accompany our BBQs (here’s hoping for a proper summer) with our home grown potatoes this year.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

My to do list:

  1. Feed lemon trees every 7-10 days 
  2. Mulch Camellia with ericaceous compost and water with an iron sequestrene
  3. Spread a mulch of compost around fruit trees and bushes
  4. Finish pruning roses (April)
  5. Check potatoes for growth after 12 week
  6. Plant out pumpkins and sweetcorn in June

Chilli Peppers

16th February – I have planted some chilli seeds I had free with Gardeners World Magazine last year; if they don’t germinate it’s not the end of the world, as they haven’t cost me anything.

21st February – HOORAY 3 out of the 6 seeds I planted have germinated, that’s 3 more than I expected.

18th April – I have had to re-pot my chillies now as they are doing so well, I can’t believe how good they look.

I must remember to use a tomato feed once the fruits are set.

Pumpkins & Sweetcorn



At the beginning of April I planted 20 pumpkin (Hundredweight) seeds and 35 sweetcorn (F1 Applause) seeds, over the month they have germinated and grown really well, they are now living in my mini greenhouse waiting for the frosts to end and for the bottom of my garden to be transformed before they are planted out. Because of my success with the pumpkins I have been able to give away 10 pumpkins plants to friends, family and fellow gardeners. (There are still a spare 5+ plants once I have planted the ones I want)

The seed packet informs me that pumpkins like a rich soil and need to be watered and fed regularly, with what it doesn’t say so I’ll have to head off to the Internet and my bible – Carol Klein’s Grow Your Own Veg – a wonderful book.


20th April – I have sown about 25 rhubarb (Victoria) seeds today; they are now keeping the kids company in their bedroom on their windowsill next to the 3 chilli plants, which are looking fantastic.  No windowsill is free from seedlings and propagators in our house except for the ones that are in reach of Maggie’s (32 mths) curious little hands.

25th April – I have just checked the propagator where the rhubarb seeds lie and they have begun to germinate – hooray!

Last weekends (23rd-26th April) activities

What a beautiful weekend, glorious sunshine allowing the entire family to get out in the garden and enjoy it, whilst the kids have been setting up home in the playhouse, Al has been wonderful and built me a raised bed for my veggies, it was a very green (we reused the wood from some old fence panels – untreated of course) and economical project until we began to fill it with compost and top soil, to date it has cost us £43 and it looks like we need to add more to fill it up!

And what did I get up to I hear you ask… well I attacked the nettles and bindweed that dare cross my path each year and I planted sunflower seeds, delphiniums, gladiolas, and lupins (very cottage garden). I also built a little path, which I am extremely proud of, it is next to the raised bed so that I don’t trample on any flowers when I’m weeding and (fingers crossed) harvesting my crops.

My gardening story so far...

Last year as I watched the supermarket prices steadily rise I decided that I would become an earth mother and teach my children how to grow their own vegetables, we planted tomatoes, strawberries, peas, pumpkins and aubergines but sadly it was not as successful as I hoped it would be, I blame the weather... 

But I shall not be defeated, hopefully I have learnt from my mistakes and with a bit more sunshine and a little less rain I shall have a better yield this year.

One success I did have last year, to my surprise, were my lemon trees, I took 3 pips from a fresh lemon and planted them into some compost and let nature take it’s course, now I have two impressive looking plants/saplings whatever the correct term is for a year old lemon tree.  Only another 7 years till we get fruit, according to a gardening book I have.

This year I have sown pumpkins, sweetcorn, chilli peppers, and rhubarb, I have obtained two tomato plants and two cucumber plants from my dad and I also plan to sow peas, turnips, carrots, parsnips, aubergines, beetroot, lettuce and spring onions.  My son, Jack, has joined the BBC Dig In campaign (yes we have actually received the free seeds from the BBC) and so he will be in competition with me growing his own carrots, beetroot, squashes, lettuce and tomatoes.

Oh yes we have also planted 3 varieties of potatoes although I am not very hopeful of these as we have bought a growing kit and the instructions we have followed are completely different to the advice I saw on Gardeners World the other week – who knows.

Monday, 27 April 2009

About this Blog

Hi there, my name is Lucy and I have decided to grow my own vegetables this year, to make it a little more economical I joined the yahoo group swapseeds, where members can swap seeds, advice, etc etc about their plants and gardens. Since being a member I have met a fellow gardener, Emma, who has also decided to start growing her own vegetables this year, and we have agreed to swap seeds and plants to expand our ventures. Emma is also the reason why I have started this blog, she has already created one to keep a record of how she is doing and has suggested that I start one too so we can keep in touch and see how we are both getting on. So here it is my blog... enjoy xx