366 Days of Gardening! E20 – W12 [5]

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There Are Many Ways to Garden Your Plantings….

“Quick and easy to read gardening post!”

Part 5 …

366 Days of Gardening Directory

E20 – W12

Part 1 – Introduction

Part 2 – Windowsills and Containers

Part 3 – Small Spaces and Raised Beds

Part 4 – Greenhouse and Backyard Plot

Part 5  – Potagers and Ornamental Garden Beds

Part 6 – Balcony Growers

Have changed the layout slightly – in so far as the final episode to this series will now be Growing on the Balcony’

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Growing in the Ornamental Garden

Something new to the garden this season and to me is to start to grow vegetables in the ornamental garden side or what many might refer to as the garden borders. It is not a new thing, many gardeners have been doing in for years. Suze and l especially in light of the current situation with the Coronavirus decided to grow vegetables in with the ornamental garden side this year to increase our productivity and sustainability – this will be discussed in a bit more depth this week.

Yesterday the first of our trial experiements of ‘ornamental veg gardening’ started with our new ‘Runner Bean frame’. I  planted the Runner Bean seeds a little early, but sometimes a gardener’s enthusiasm can get the better of them or an indoor growing season can go way better than previous years.

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I planted many seeds indoors earlier because l wanted to have hardier plantlings going out into the garden this year on account of what happened last year with the poor season and the balances of plants going haywire. However the runner’s responded very very well to being indoors and became Triffids and so had to be planted outside!

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Runner Bean Triffids awaiting replanting.

Because they are slightly earlier in their external planting [normally this would be later April] we prepared their planting site a little differently and awarded them more protection against the elements.. I will explain in more detail this week.

However this year, l have plans to plant various vegetable varieties into the ornamental side to increase our bounty and make more use of the ornamental border. Rhubarbs, Chards, some Brassicas [we already have a herb plot over here] and some Kale. The varieties l have in mind will also provide some additional colour to the garden. Equally, this year l will be taking advantage of the plum and pear trees and utilising their trunks as support for our cucamelons.

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Not all gardeners like the idea of planting vegetables amongst the flowers and shrubs and quite a few reject the notion -mainly this is due to the potential workload of ‘even’ more hoeing and weeding in addition to the existing weeding of the flower beds.

However there are many vegetables that could easily sit under the ‘ornamental label’ alone as l have just outlined above as in more vibrancy and colour. This year, the season will be very full – we are utilising more areas to grow in and l have very deliberately laid out the entire available space to be more productive.

More so now than ever before, l think if we want to try and alleviate pressures off community, off supermarkets, off consumerism demand and off the planet’s balance then where we can, we need to utilise any space we have available and use it to our advantage and healthy benefit.

If you grow flowers and shrubs, then why indeed not – trial some easy to grow vegetables or even fruits like gooseberry, rhubarb, blackcurrant, blueberry, raspberry or wild strawberry? Or like us here …. herbs?

Beans are easy enough to plant at the back of the beds, behind the shrubs and flowers, they just need sun for a minimum of 6-8 hours a day.

The neighbour’s tree [even with the allowed cuts] will still deprive this garden’s growing potential by 35% – so l have had to really watch how the sun travels around this garden and plan accordingly to really make exellent use of all available ground.

This year in addition to the wigwam container of runner beans and the containers of French beans, we will have natural wigwams and beans growing to increase harvests – beans can be frozen.

I even have plans for surplus tomato plants to be sited in the borders.

Why not give it a go? You might be surprised at the results.

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Growing in the Potager Garden

Also known as the ornamental vegetable garden. Potager is a French word meaning ‘Kitchen Garden’. In broader terms and of coure heavily reflective upon your global location it principally breaks down to the garden that holds vegetables, flowers, herbs and fruits all in one space! The main differences to growing in the borders is that the potager is more specifically structured and deliberate in its layout and originally based on overall attractiveness.

In potagers the additions of roses and ornamental flowers are a very well thought out practice as opposed to ‘Oh l think l will plant some beans there with the flowers this year’ which is what border gardening is all about. Many potagers are also structured to represent patterns and shapes. Overall attractiveness and aesthetics are taken into serious account with the potager. The theory is that mostly it is only ornamental flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetables that are included within this gardening style – however – truthfully – anything can be made to look prettier if the settings are right. Think edible garden!

But, maybe the potager is more your cup of tea than just planting randomly in with the flowers.

So, does anyone have their very own potager or perhaps you are growing in the borders? let me know below in the comments section.

Catch you later, thanks for reading and see you in part 6.

Rory

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In Case You Missed These Last Year! …

Gardeners and Their Tea – 1

Gardeners and Their Tea – 2

Gardeners and Their Tea – 3

Gardeners and Their Tea – 4

Gardeners and Their Tea – 5

Gardeners and Their Tea – 6

…. you might like to revisit for this year!

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6 thoughts on “366 Days of Gardening! E20 – W12 [5]

  1. I have started some ornamentals that will be used for companion planting (marigolds, nasturtium, and calendula) to ward off bugs this year in the veggie garden. Another way of growing food that would go good in this series is sprouting. Have you done this. Sprouts can be grown right on a kitchen counter and are said to be very nutritious. https://sproutpeople.org/growing-sprouts/ This website contains lot of info about sprouting.

    1. Hey Ruth – good point – yes we have tried sprouting and you are quite right about it being great for the series – l have a note to make mention to sprouting a little further into the season.

      I too have marigolds and nasturtiums currently in pot and growing some fresh mints and chives [the former will be planted in the beds in pots due to the invasiveness] but many pests hate mint and the chives once again many hate them too. But again very much so, these are terrific for companion plants as they look pretty can be eaten and are great at multitasking too 🙂

      1. I plan on transplanting chives around my apple trees then putting nasturtium around them too. The chives in my garden are starting to come up so hopefully it won’t be long. Hoping and praying for a great apple crop this year.

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