Laying groundwork for 2021

It’s going to be a busy winter in the new garden. We’ve started the great cutback and crown-lifting project of the trees and hedges, and as foliage starts to die back more of the garden, as it once would have been, reveals itself (more to follow on this).

Liberated from the undergrowth, these strawberry plants must be many years old, and have flourished with access to light and sun again.

We’ve advanced our glasshouse restoration and are ready to install a perspex roof (after we have the overhanging apple tree pruned).

We have settled on a location for the new polytunnel and will organise installation once the turnips, our only winter veg not in pots, have been harvested and the temporary veg plot cleared.

This week, we turned our attention to prepping the beds in what will be our ‘herb garden’ close to the house. We are reinvigorating pre-existing flower beds, so first we cleared weeds and lay black garden plastic over the beds for two months. Then this week we pulled back the cover to see the thankfully sparse anaemic new weed growth beneath. We again cleared the weeds and covered the beds with two/three inches of compost to mulch the weeds, before re-covering with plastic which will be left in situ until early spring, three months or so hence. Then the planting can begin

Our herb list is ambitious (by our standards anyway) and will include a constant supply of hothouse herbs (and spices like curry) coming from the glasshouse too. We hope to grow basil, parsley, coriander, rosemary, oregano, sage, thyme, tarragon, dill, fennel, mints, lemon balm, summer savory for starters.

In the meantime, we’ve had a small but pleasing supply of spinach, kales and other greens, mange tout, carrots, beetroot, parsley, coriander, chives from the garden this week.

The courgette plants, which haven’t yielded a glut because of their lateness, still have a few young fruits, but perhaps now lack the weather conditions to mature fully.

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