My great uncle Bill used to spend hours in his greenhouse. Although he had a beautiful garden he wasn’t necessarily working, he just used to sit in there, enjoying the tranquility. As a child I didn’t understand it.
Nowadays of course I do understand. In the mayhem of everyday life, work and chasing around I can easily understand what a peaceful place the greenhouse can be and that’s why I’m concentrating my efforts there this year.
Since starting to try and grow veggies ‘properly’ in 2007 the main thing I’ve learned is to be realistic. When you have a working life which hardly gives you the time to eat you can’t expect to suddenly find the time to produce a feast from your garden too.
During my first year of the Veg Patch Diaries I was ambitious, with a list of fruit, veg and herbs as long as your arm. The main mistake I made was to try and run before I could walk and it quickly sapped all of the fun and enjoyment out of gardening. Keeping on top of it became a chore and when I had to neglect the poor little plants because of work and other commitments it felt like a big old waste, defeating the point of trying to bring some self-sufficiency to our little semi in Nottingham.
So badly had we neglected our garden that, until today, the mouldy corpses of last year’s tomato and sweet pepper plants were still in the greenhouse. But inspired by this suddenly spring-like weather we set-to today to give our greenhouse a little TLC ready for a select few fruit and veg seedlings. To make the most of the elusive sunshine we get here in the UK we cleared anything that might block light from the greenhouse and cleaned it right up.
So here we are, nice and early in the growing season with the new outlook that growing food doesn’t have to feel like housework. If it’s manageable it will be enjoyable and, who knows, productive too. In a cold country like ours we can make the most of our greenhouse all year round. We don’t have to over do it, the more exclusive our little veggie collection the more attention we can give and less waste we’ll create.
If you’re wondering about the veg patch it hasn’t been forgotten. This year we’re using it to grow potatoes and we already have the Maris Piper seed potatoes to get cracking. The patch doesn’t get enough light for sun-loving plants like sweetcorn but for the good old potato it’ll do just fine.
If you’re a wannabe greenfingers like me check out the Green Girls Global ‘At Home Winter Garden’ and ‘Dig Carrots’ tees in our Etsy shop. Green Girls can grow veggies anywhere!