How does your garden grow?

I'm on a voyage of discovery in my first garden.
It's mostly about the veggies at the moment but I'm also discovering lots about flowers and other plants - quite often the hard way and always on a very tight budget.
But this blog is not just about my garden, it's about all the things I see and discover in Sussex and beyond and I would love to hear from you too.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Garden visit: Bateman's

This wasn't really an official visit but I was lucky enough to get a late afternoon glimpse of the Bateman's gardens before they closed for the winter.
I love how the beauty of the house and garden are accentuated by the long shadows and the evening light.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Starting a wild flower meadow

The RSPB is urging people to plant a wild flower meadow in part of their garden to encourage wildlife.
This is the charity's recommended method...
1. Pick an area as large as possible and measure it to work out how much seed you will need.
2. If the top layer of soil is rich in nutrients, as most gardens are, remove the top 5-10 cm in August.
3. Let the bare ground rest for a few weeks, removing any weeds.
4. In September, sow a mixture of wildflower and meadow grass seeds evenly and rake them lightly into the soil. You can protect them from birds by hanging up shiny objects like CDs.
5. Mow your meadow the following spring with sharp blades to avoid uprooting the young plants, and then every 6-8 weeks during the first year.
6. In the second year, mow in early July to have a spring meadow, or in March and late September for a summer meadow.
7. Leave clippings on the ground for a few days to shed their seeds, and then remove and compost them.
I've missed the boat as far as clearing the ground in August, but I still plan to plant some seeds over the next weekend ready for the spring.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Garden visit: West Dean

This afternoon we made an unplanned visit to West Dean Gardens near Chichester.
Despite the cooler weather, we managed to see some late summer blooms in the walled garden, not to mention an unrivalled variety of pumpkins and squashes, peppers and chillis.
As it had been an unscheduled visit, I hadn't taken a camera, but here are a few pictures I took on my phone...

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Spring bulbs

I've just made an impulsive purchase of spring bulbs.
I promised myself, after getting the veg plots going, I would turn my attention to the rest of the garden, which is currently one giant, bumpy lawn.
I have already planned a wild flower mini-meadow and I managed to pop in a few narcissus in time for last spring.
I'm not sure what anyone will think of my choice of bulbs but I was seduced partly by the colours.
I've bought some white 'Miss Vain' crocus, a black fritillaria persica, some white anenome, 10 black single tulips and some nectaroscordum siculum honey lily which, from the photo, look a beautiful creamy-white.
I'm excited to see the results.