Thursday, 27 March 2014

Freebies!

Posted by Rosie

Everyone loves a freebie, yes?  Gardeners are no exception and gardening offers plenty of opportunities for freebies - saved seeds, cuttings, dividing plants all give us freebies.  I grew this wonderful Rosemary plant currently flowering in the polytunnel from a cutting - it was a freebie.  There is another freebie type I love and one that particularly favours the not too tidy gardener i.e. me!!

I am lucky enough to have a large vegetable garden and large polytunnel but whilst that is great for keeping us in veg through the year, it does mean a lot of work, so fairly often things slip and the weeds may just get a bit of a hold.  With the arrival of Spring and warmer weather weeds have been having a jolly good go at dominating in the polytunnel and with fair weather outside I have been loathe to work ndercover.  "So what does this have to do with freebies," I hear you ask?  Ah well, many weeds when just germinated are fairly difficult to identify and much less easy to separate out from the masses.  Leave them to grow a bit bigger and ID becomes easier which is the point that you realise that so called weed is in fact not a weed at all - it is just a good plant in the wrong place!

That explains why, if you look at my patch of overwintering onions, you will see 2 potatoes slap bang in the middle and a gorgeous little viola flowering away quite happily.  The viola is self-sown and the potatoes are  growing from tubers I left in the ground after harvesting last year.


Further up the polytunnel there is a veritable selection of self seeded plants - a large chard, a dill, some English marigolds, some tomatoes and the ones I am most pleased with - several physalis plants sometimes better known as Cape Gooseberries.  These are very tender and normally I cannot overwinter them and they are hard to germinate in a seed tray.  Several plants though are growing quite happily and with such a head start I could be in for a very handsome crop later in the year.  And have you seen the price of cape Gooseberries in the shops?  Exorbitant doesn't get  anywhere near it!


Now a tidy gardener may have whipped these plants out.  But I am not a tidy gardening and for that I shall be reaping the benefits. 

As for things I have actually sown, it is the peas I am most pleased with this week - lots of little pods are starting to swell and soon I will be sat doing one of my favourite jobs - podding peas.  

Young pea pods

Do you have a job you really like doing in the garden?  Or what freebies has your garden given you?   Have you got yourself some free plants or discovered something unknown and of value lurking in the deepest depths of the garden?  Please do let me know in the comments below.

For further gardening stories pop over to Annie's blog, Mammasaurus, and read some of the blogs joining in with the How Does Your Garden Grow linky.

Mammasaurus and How Does Your Garden Grow?

30 comments :

  1. Oh my dad used to love to pod peas ready for our sunday lunch i can just imagining it now..how lovely you have triggered a beautiful memory here #hdygg

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    1. So glad I have brought back happy memories for you this morning, Becky :)

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  2. we've been very lucky with our inherited garden so far… though admittedly we did buy the house, so I suppose the garden isn't technically a freebie… ha! I love that we have huge swathes of lavender and a relatively healthy rosemary too… and apples in summer, so many apples! x

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  3. Ooo shell peas! I remember doing that to with my parents - memories! I love the random primroses that appear randomly across our lawn this time of year.

    I need to channel some of your gardening skills and set to work here soon. Well not just yet.... there's sleet here this morning!

    Thanks for joining in again sweet cheeks x

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    1. Sleet - noooo. Ben and I got hailed on on Wednesday!

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  4. I do love growing peas, but have run out of room. I'm going to have to try and squeeze them in somehow-I may use a cardboard box at this rate! I just love the fruit I get each season-i so enjoy wandering into the garden each day to pick it.

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    1. Seasonal is good, home-grown seasonal is even better!

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  5. I love snacking on peas fresh from the pod whilst gardening! Hubby wants to buy a polytunnel so that we are able to grow more over the winter. We want to become as self sufficient as we can in vegetables! #HDYGG

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    1. We are almost self sufficient in veg. It's a good feeling.

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  6. I've given up growing this to eat in favour of making a flower garden, you are making me regret that! The Ana Mum Diary x

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    1. Veg always take priority over flowers in my garden although I did buy some gladioli and dahlias last week.

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  7. those are some good weeds you got going on there. or freebies as you call them ;)

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  8. If they want to grow there, then I'm with you let them grow. I have finally identified a white flower that has appeared in my garden as Alpine Rockcress, I have no idea where it has come from, but I'm happy for it to stay.

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    1. Alpines by their very nature are good at self seeding in unlikely cracks. Glad yours has been allowed to grow on.

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  9. Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my "Where I'm Traveling in 2014" post. Living in France sounds wonderful. I always wanted to visit Normandy. My husband has been there and he wants go back. How much are your prices?

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    1. Hi Brittany - we charge between £300 and £500 per week with short stays possible outside of peak season and school holidays (£65/night). I have sent you an email and please do not hesitate to contact us of you would like further information or to make a booking. Many thanks. Rosie

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  10. I completely agree! I am not a tidy gardener, I much prefer to go with the flow and see what pops up. If I like it, it stays.

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  11. Lots of fab veggies growing there, I can't wait for ours to start showing some crops. Mich x

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  12. I am so jealous of your home grown veg! I can't wait to move to a house with a bigger garden so we can really get stuck in xx

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    1. I would so miss not being able to grow veg - I hope you can get going soon.

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  13. Ah I'm just like you, I love a gardening freebie and I love to let some of my plants go to seed so I don't have to buy any seeds the following year! x

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  14. I am one of those gardeners that probably would have whipped those things out - a lesson learnt!

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    1. One small advantage of being messy on my part!

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  15. I love rogue plants, sometimes you get the most pretty flowers like aquilegia and they look so natural when they're growing out of nooks and crannies.

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    1. I have marjoram popping up in the gravel around the gite. It's going to look lovely when it flowers.

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