Golightly Gardens: Grow your own 2012

It’s been quiet on the grow-your-own front here this year, hasn’t it? That’s because in March we had finally saved up enough to get the back yard cleared and done up like a proper garden. Here’s a picture taken this afternoon.

It’s a gigantic improvement, and I can’t wait to get it all planted up for the summer. Most of the money went on getting the site cleared, then we put in two plain railway sleeper raised beds, a gravel patch and a safe, simple deck. I’ve painted one of the fences a natural stone colour to lighten up a dark corner at the side of the house – took forever but it’s made a real difference.

We were able to recycle a few things to keep the costs down, including old flagstones, offcuts of trellis and so on. The grotty old patio next to the house had to stay for reasons of economy, but a bit of cement here and there seems to have fixed the worst of it, and now all that remains is to give it a good scrub with a new yard brush whenever it stops bloody raining.

I’ll renovate the table and chairs with some waterproofing and a bit of paint next month, and hopefully we’ll be able to get another year or two out of the patio furniture as well. I’m also saving up PayPal credit from surveys and eBay sales to buy a sun lounger later in the season, fingers crossed.

The budget for plants is miniscule so nearly everything is going to have to be grown from seed, but that’s not going to be a problem at all because I’m used to that already. I’ll be recycling last year’s mini-greenhouse, canes, plant ties, pots etc too, so after the big spend in March the rest of the outlay should be minimal.

The main aims this year are:

  • Be self-sufficient in herbs for the next 9 months
  • Feed 2 adults veg or salad for one meal daily between July and October inclusive
  • Have a choice of at least 2 types of veg or salad available all year round
  • Get the garden cat-proof (Disco Biscuit and M-Cat just LOVE to dig, the furry menaces)
  • Use organic gardening methods wherever it’s cost effective

Because we knew we were getting everything dug up, our early spring veg is sparse to say the least. There are only three alive-looking pots, filled with rocket, and small, probably root-bound, purple and white sprouting broccoli.

We’re having the first cuttings of PSB tonight with dinner, so let’s hope the side shoots re-sprout after the main stems have been cut away.

I’ll put my grow lists up in the next few days, starting with herbs.

What are you growing this year?

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  1. Thanks Natasha – it was such a wreck before, can hardly believe the improvement. The soil is uncultivated though, so there’s hard work ahead…

  2. Looks really nice!!!! 🙂 Hope we get good weather so you can enjoy it properly!

  3. If it keeps raining we’ll get nothing but parsley and cabbage 😉

    Am looking forward to June when it’s all planted out and can be largely ignored while we laze about on the deck… Fingers crossed.

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