Reasons to be grateful: fresh new potatoes from the garden

Earlier this year I stumbled across a YouTube channel called Erica’s little Welsh garden which I like to dip in and out of on a semi consistent basis. My own attempts a gardening tend to be sporadic and poorly planned, but I have also gained great pleasure over the last few years as I have learned to grow a little bit of food. On her channel around Christmas time she spoke about having bought a bag of potatoes from bargain shelf at the local shop, and was planning to see how many potatoes she could grow in pots. At the end of the video she set a challenge for other people to join in, which became known as the #potatogrowingchallenge2021.

I didn’t exactly go out and buy a bag of potatoes, but as we accumulated a number of potatoes that were ‘on the turn’ in our potato basket I thought I would have a go myself. We had a number of large pots left over from our attempts the previous year to grow other things, and some peat free compost so popped a couple of potatoes in each pot with a generous amount of compost, and then put them outside. This was around February time, and the start of a long wait.

To my surprise they grew really well, despite being nobbled by some late frosts in April and May. My son and I finally turned out the pots a couple of weeks ago. I was delighted with the number of decent sized potatoes we got from this little experiment, and my son was delighted with running round the garden with handfuls of muddy potatoes and other beasties he found during the process. The final weigh in was 4 kilos of potatoes, which is pretty good for an experiment that didn’t cost us very much.

We have been eating boiled new potatoes with butter and sage from the garden this week as a family, and I am grateful to have been able to give this experiment at try.

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Tomato Haul

We have been in the house we are in at the moment for less than a year, and are still getting to know our garden. Earlier in the year we bought a poly tunnel and put it in the corner, but we found we had too many tomato plants so we put some out in the beds.

It was all a bit of an experiment, and it turned out that our tomatoes liked to be outside. We had almost no tomatoes from the plants in the poly tunnel, which I think doesn’t get nearly as much sun as we thought it would. The ones planted outside, however, took off during the hot spell we had in August.

We bought in our the tomatoes from our outside tomato plants last weekend as the weather is turning cold. Many of them are still green, so we’ll ripen them inside now. But Didn’t we get a good haul?

Thank you for reading. I also make art and films. You can see my films at my YouTube channel here. You can see things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying. If buying art is not your thing, but you would like to support what you see I also have a Patreon Page here.

Reasons to be grateful: surprise flowers in in garden

wp-15947408780321689890225541638854.jpg When we moved to our new house in December the garden was in hibernation mode and the most we could see was a series of twigs and branches in various parts of the garden, some of which we were not even sure were alive. Then spring arrived and the garden began to bloom. Given we have been living these last few months through a lock down, I have been especially grateful for these surprises. wp-15947501648844284013960930436245.jpg For example we have found that the previous occupants of the house have left all sorts of wonderful surprises, like this rose in a pot. wp-15947410109828874198310336218721.jpg And these Forget Me Nots, which feel a bit symbolic as they are the flower that the design for my engagement ring is based on. wp-15947500376754887138710586271147.jpg Perhaps the surprise I have enjoyed the most has been the discovery of the hibiscus bushes that line our fence. When we first moved in they looked to me as if they were a bunch of dead samplings that would need to be removed. But we didn’t get round to it. Now, well into this British summer, they have rewarded out inactivity by beginning to bloom. wp-15947408993682642372022060491397.jpg  

I also make art. You can see things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying. If buying art is not your thing, but you would like to support what you see I also have a Patreon Page here.

Lockdown projects

We moved into our house just before Christmas and have become some of the lucky people to be able to spend time in the garden during lockdown. Sometimes I find it difficult to get over how lucky our timing was. We were on a small hot flat last year, going through IVF and then an exhausting pregnancy. Had we been just 10 months later with all these things it’s very likely I would have had my treatment cancelled and we would now be stuck, like many people are, in a small place with little out door space at all.

Since we’ve been in lockdown my partner has been growing things. We have little boxes of little plants like the all over the house. We have put up a polytunnel in the back of the Gary and are trying out the no dig technique to create flower/ vegetable beds.

Have you started any projects during lockdown?

I also make art. You can see things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying. If buying art is not your thing, but you would like to support what you see I also have a Patreon Page here.