BHOGG member Hilary muses on her growing year, sharing her successes – and disappointments.
I don’t have an allotment but designed half of my normal sized garden to be a fruit and vegetable growing area and this year in particular, I was so thankful for being able to go and do the various gardening jobs necessary every day. It brought me much joy and solace and as many of us were forced to slow down in our lifestyles, I noticed I was taking more time out to watch bees, birds and appreciate flowers and their colours, smells and shapes.
It was one of our best growing years – so much so that we bought an extra freezer. Especially good harvest of apples, pears and plums – probably because of the long cool, suuny spell in April when the blossom stayed on the trees for weeks. And we’ve learnt that we need to protect our runner and French beans from the strong winds by putting up windbreaks on two sides of their raised bed – this definitely improved the harvest this year.
We’ve always grown tomatoes in a greenhouse but this year decided to also try growing them outside and we had great success with a variety called Marmande. And the sweet peppers we grew in the greenhouse gave us an excellent harvest too.
Not much success with garlics – we had the quantity but the bulbs were quite small and courgettes were a late starter for us. Good harvest from our first sowing of beetroot and the leaves were also good enough to eat. Not so successful with later sowings. And our cherry tree only gave us 15 cherries, whereas last year we had about 50.
Blueberries were very good but blackcurrants disappointing – they are 11 years old so time to take cuttings/replace.
We grew scorzonera for the first (and probably last) time. Just to try something new. We had a small harvest and it was a novelty to see them and cook them – but not worth the time and space they took.