This week in the garden, we will be doing a lot of hard landscaping starting with the upper four crop vegetable beds, which need raising to give us a greater depth of soil. The reason for doing this is that deeper beds will help retain moisture and should mean that we don’t need to water as frequently. (The famous ‘greater volume to smaller surface area’ principle strikes again!) We will be raising all the beds by the depth of a board. So all you budding carpenters please come and join us for a spot of woodworking.

Once the boards are securely in place the beds will need topping up with compost ready for planting by the beginning of April.

In addition to the carpentry we have specially designed horticultural ‘Leaky Pipe’ which we are going to lay in all the vegetable beds. We will be digging shallow trenches and placing the leaky hose along the base of these with spacings of around 60cm between each trench.

There are more seeds to be sown in the greenhouses this week. These will include herbs, vegetables and some ornamentals.  ‘Ornamentals’ are plants that are grown for their attractive appearance.  Some of these are both ornamental and edible such as nasturtiums, rainbow chard and cardoons. While on this subject it is interesting to note the garden style called ‘potager’ which is a French word for an ornamental vegetable or kitchen garden, where the plants grown were used for both their aesthetic and their culinary uses and included many herbs. (Vegetable gardens don’t have to look unattractive!)  If you would like to find out more about this style of gardening you can follow this link

We will aim to complete the weaving of the herb spiral. Once this is done, we will be filling it up with soil and planting up with herbs that make good herbal teas such as lemon balm, mint, lavender, calendula, feverfew, hyssop, and chamomile.  Then all we will need to do all summer is lounge around and drink our herbal infusions….or you might feel inspired to create a micro-garden of your own by planting herbs on a balcony or in a window box, because the beauty of herbs is that they don’t need a lot of space! Follow this link for more ideas!