Time to grow

In the past Mr Kat and I were keen gardeners with beds packed full of veg and flowers. We had mushrooms under the stairs, lemongrass and herbs on the window ledges and a green house filled with chillies. When we got married we grew our lavender centre pieces. Our heads were filled with dreams of our own small holding. We got as far as making a (very stretching) offer on a gorgeous house with and acre of small holding. The offer was turned down and the next day we found out I wasn’t going crazy, I was pregnant. Having never expected to fall pregnant so easily we taken by surprise and shelved our plans for a small holding. We bought a gorgeous tardis-like terrace in a nice village. The garden was the compromise. It was even smaller than our previous one. We moved in when I was four months pregnant and set about building two raised beds for our veg. We were offered a section of the garden behind ours to buy but had our hopes for a proper sized garden shattered when the owners sold the house instead. Despite our intentions, gardening has slipped down on the priority list since having children. It may have slipped down but it has not fallen off completely and with Spring springing all around us we have been growing with our children.

A classic for a reason, growing cress on the window ledge has been so much fun. It is the kind of venture which can be left completely to a pre-schooler which is so very pleasing for a little girl who would like to be a big girl like Mama. To go from a packet of seeds to harvest in little more than a week is most satisfying. As is an egg, yoghurt and cress sandwich!

Milla and I took a trip to the garden centre to choose some plants for our own mini version of Planting a Rainbow. The rain made it an indoor gardening activity but no less fun. Every time we see our bright rainbow filled pots it is delightful. I had worried that they may not do well on our North facing steps but they continue to flourish and Milla is so very particular about watering and dead-heading.

A rare weekend off from social commitments was spent clearing the overgrown mass of creepers, hedge and honeysuckle. Our long handled hand fork has proved the perfect size for Milla to copy her Papa digging. Monty got involved with my herb planting which is of course a very serious task. The strawberries we planted out after Easter have remained unharmed by slugs and snails so far. This could be because Monty has been found rolling snails around his mouth on more than one occasion, hmm. Our raised beds need some attention as a neighbouring raspberry has invaded one with shoots from below (ideas on how to tackle this welcome!). As we are so late out of the starting blocks we’re considering buying a ready to plant garden for this year.

I am hoping this is the year we bring gardening back into our daily lives and if my children have anything to do with it I am sure we will succeed.

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  • Reply Vonnie May 2, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Oh! Wow, you really do have quite the green fingered talent don’t you! Gardening has never really been something I was desperate to do but as you may have seen from my latest blog post I’m trying to remedy that. Keep us updated, Kat! x

  • Reply Young Mummy May 2, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    You’ve got me all inspired. I had good intentions to get out into the garden today, but the torrential rain put paid to that. We’ve got some big changes to make, so will hold off planting too much, but can do all my pots at least.

  • Reply Deb May 2, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    Lovely! My 5yo is quite expert now, I just let her get on with planting seeds which is quite handy!

    As for ready to grow gardens, have you seen RocketGardens? We used them the first year with the school gardening club because we were late to start like you and they were fab.

  • Reply Kelly Rose Bradford May 2, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    Aw, so lovely. I kept a veggie patch for a whole, er, year, before giving up. You might just have inspired me to have another go!

  • Reply Abby May 2, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    My kids planted pumpkins seeds last weekend with my Dad who is a very keen gardener. I used to do loads of gardening with him when I was a child, so it is lovely to see the kids learning all about it too. We have allotments out the back of our house (we’ve been on the waiting list for 2 years!!) and we can see everything there springing to life when we look out the top bedroom window, we could even see a fox and her babies. Last year we did tomatoes, but probably won’t do much now till we move, I have promised the kids they can have their own little patch in our new garden. 6yo is in gardening club at school and very enthusiastic about it all. Your pictures are lovely, the children look so happy, I want to come and live with you guys!

    PS. I am laughing at Mstr M rolling snails round his mouth, I remember that stage well!!

  • Reply TheMadHouse May 2, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    Love the cress, we grew our sunflowers in eggs. Regarding the rasberries, we had the same issue and some weed sheet did the job

  • Reply Mummy Bear May 3, 2010 at 9:52 am

    I can’t wait until Little Miss P is old enough to grow her own cress and things…in the meantime she is having a ball stomping over our potatoes (sigh). We have SO much to do with our seriously overgrown garden so hoping I find my green fingers soon!

  • Reply Solveig May 3, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    That all looks so lovely – your pots are gorgeous. I am still getting to grips with gardening now that I have one and I’ve been surprised at how much I enjoy it. I thought I’d want something very easy to maintain but I find myself pottering about most weekends – at least, when the weather is nice…!

  • Reply Abby May 4, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    I love the cress idea! Might have to try that out! x

  • Reply Kat May 7, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    @ Vonnie – Good grief!

    @ Young Mummy – nothing like the little things for lifting a tired look :0)

    @ Dab – That’s who I was thinking of using my only issue is I don’t want tomatoes! There is a Hampshire version who I might check out first for sheer local-ease.

    @ Kelly – I have an image of you dashing back from the garden centre on heelies….

    @ Abby – Come on down, sure we could squeeze you in somewhere…

    @ TheMadHouse – sounds sensible and we haven’t planted the beds yet so would be easy enough to do. Thank you!

    @ Mummy Bear – give it a go – wet tissue on a dish. First time we did it Milla wasn’t even 18 months and loved checking every day.

    @ Solveig – it is addictive and is meant to do wonders for your mental health, not that I’m suggesting anything!

    @ Abby – oh do, it’s fun :0)

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