Wednesday, 1 June 2016

A Garden Rethink


As anyone who has read this blog probably realises, I love gardening and in particular growing my own veg.  It was one of our aims, when we moved to France, to be as self sufficient as possible in fresh produce and over the years this has been pretty successful with the exception of cauliflowers which I just cannot seem to grow!  This year is, however, all turning out to be a massive failure on the veg front.

It started with a cold spring that meant I lost tender tomatoes etc to late frosts and it was too wet and cold to get going outside ... and when it was I was away on holiday.  Then my Mum sadly died so I have been back and forth to the UK giving little time to spend in the garden and the only thing flourishing out there is the weeds.  Why why why do weeds grow so well what-ever the weather??!!





So I have had to make some drastic decisions for this year and really cut back on what I can grow as there is no way I can get all the ground weed-free and it is too late for some seeds to be sown.  I have managed to get some things outside including potatoes (which still need earthing up), various cabbages, red onions and a few broad beans, although these didn't germinate very well and are horribly gappy.  From now on I am going to further manure the really weedy beds, cover them and I will leave them empty for a year.  I have one bed I covered ages ago so that can be uncovered for the veg I can still sow now including French and Runner beans etc.  I did get pumpkins and courgettes sown and these have survived my time away thanks to Tom and a friend diligently watering them and I will plant these through holes in the weed suppressing fabric.

I am however hopeful that the polytunnel will still give us a good harvest, albeit a later one.  Last year I already had tomatoes forming where-as this year the plants are still only a few inches tall.  They will catch up though, and as long as we have a mild autumn they should crop fine.  It isn't too late to buy aubergines and extra peppers and most of my chillies are growing on at last.  I can fill any gaps with some late crops of things I won't now have outside.

It will be odd having to buy more veg that I have done for a long time but sometimes things just don't go the way you plan them.

I will finish with some photos from my Mum's house on Exmoor, taken over the last couple of weeks.  We will have to sell the house and I will miss her lovely garden and stunning views over the moor.








And this is the view you get from the master bedroom .... some lucky person will soon be able to enjoy this every morning.



17 comments :

  1. Sorry to hear about your mum, Rosie . Those views from her house are just breathtaking !
    You'll get on top of your own garden one again . This is just one bad year in more ways than one .

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    1. Thank you - I had a very productive day yesterday planting out loads both in the garden and the polytunnel - now I need to attack those weeds!

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  2. Sorry to hear about your mum, and her garden is wonderful - you'll always have those memories though. It sounds as if you're doing the right thing, I'll keep my fingers crossed for the polytunnel coming through for you x

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    1. Thank you, Stephanie. I never lived at this house which makes it easier I suppose and I am pleased to know some-one soon will get that garden and views to enjoy.

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  3. Those views! Phwoarrrr!!! It must be heart wrenching to have to sell such a beautiful place Rosie, can't you keep it and rent it out - holiday lets? That way you can go back from time to time.

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    1. Sadly not but I do go back to my childhood farmhouse every few years, as I know the new owners a little, and that is always lovely.

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  4. Such a gorgeous house, Rosie - those views ....! We had a major rethink of our veg plot last year too and have now gone completely over to raised beds that we created as 'lasagne beds'. So far everything we've planted seems to love it there, and it's so much less work for what will end up being the same yield. Can't think why we didn't do it years ago!

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    1. My veg patch is too big to go over to raised beds but maybe when my back finally gives out I'll really cut back what I grow and get Simon to build me some raised beds.

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  5. your mom lived in a magical place. so sorry for your loss and the fact that you will have to sell the house. as for the garden.... frustrating but there is always next year. xx

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    1. Thank you Claudia. Who-ever built the house knew where to best place it.

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  6. Your mother's garden and views are just stunning and must be filled with wonderful memories. I'm so sorry about your Mum and hope you and your family are okay. xxx

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    1. Thank you, Kriss. I never lived there so it holds fewer memories for me than my childhood farm in The Cotswolds.

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  7. What a lot for you to deal with at the moment. When my husband's grandparents' house in the Peak District was put up for sale I wanted to buy it for the garden and views but it wasn't to be.

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    1. Sadly we cannot keep all our family houses or I would have bought our family farmhouse!

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  8. So sorry to hear about your mum, what an amazing place she lived in.

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