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09.08.2018- The Beauty of Growing


Regular readers of these pages will be well aware of the fact that when I have a free afternoon, there are few things I love more than getting out in the garden. It’s only over the last few years that I’ve really come to appreciate just how relaxing it can be to be out in the fresh air, thinking only about planting seeds, deadheading plants or getting to grips with some growing- especially as it’s the perfect diversion from spending too much time looking at a screen, and from the stress and rushing around of the Monday-Friday commute. There’s something which is wonderfully rewarding about reaping the rewards of what you sow- especially in a culture which is increasingly orientated towards instant, of-the-moment gratification- and gardening is testament to the ‘you get what you give’ school of thought; as a rule, the more you put in, the more you get out of it. 

After the extended heatwave of last summer, it’s been lovely to see some of my favourite plants reviving this year, and I’ve also been really eager to get to grips with growing more of my own fruits and vegetables. There’s something which feels really honest about cooking with and eating what you grow, no matter how small it may be, and I’ve been really pleasantly surprised at just how flavoursome things which have come out of the garden have been. After having a bountiful crop last summer, this year I’m growing tomatoes again, and they’re just about ready to start using- perfect for pepping up salads, and so much tastier than the usual suspects from the supermarket. New to the homegrown repertoire this year are courgettes, which at first were an absolute dream to grow (especially with their sunshine flowers brightening up the garden), but have had to be repotted of late due to ants. Nevertheless, the plant seems to have revived over recent weeks, so I’m looking forward to harvesting some fresh fruit over the next few weeks. 

Another new addition to the garden this year are strawberries, and I can’t recommend growing them enough. Even if you’re a bit tight on space, a long tray or bed works really well, and they bear a lot of fruit once they get started- plus come with unlimited potential for using, whether that be for breakfast, snacks or baking. If full-blown fruit and veg are a tad too intimidating or you don’t have a huge amount of space, then herbs are a brilliant alternative- chives and sage are brilliant for attracting bees, and most of them are really low maintenance and tend to thrive well in almost any conditions. 

Have you been growing anything recently? 

(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)

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