My main priority at the start of 2016 was to get that raised bed finished. Unfortunately, I got a chest infection through most of February and decided to take it super easy as I had ended up in hospital with one the year before. I did not want a repeat!
Again, I didn’t get properly started in the garden until April. I wasn’t in the best health when I started to dig and weed that raised bed so my dad, brother and husband all offered to give up one of their Saturdays to help me out. Thank goodness they did, as I might have been there until May!
This was a lovely moment (above); one that I vividly remember. Faye painstakingly raked the entire bed while I was sowing seeds in the polytunnel and I remember feeling like we had something so special to be able to share in the building of a new garden.
We decided to plant potatoes in half of the bed as we were making a second triangle-shaped bed. I was really looking forward to eating my own potatoes but I was really surprised by just how much room was needed to grow them.
It was the first year that I really got going with seed sowing as I had acquired a table for the polytunnel at last. Things were going well.
Unfortunately, I didn’t do a very good job of earthing up my potatoes, having sort of left them to their own devices. I’d also managed to grow lots of dock leaves rather than the swiss chard I thought I’d planted! Rather than feel disheartened, I had a good laugh about it. I knew I hadn’t dedicated myself to the garden like I had planned.
It was a year of bad time management for the garden but despite even that, I still managed to grow lots and enjoyed eating it…
In autumn, I decided to get the paint out again to spruce up the area loosely termed ‘the fairy garden’ where Faye and I had planted lots of alpines. My dad stepped in again with some spare bits of wood and fashioned a little staircase up to the fairy garden…
I had enough tomatoes to make my first batch of passata and I even managed to grow some butternut squash. Unfortunately, in true rookie-style, the frost caught me out and I lost most of them.
At the end of December (between Christmas and New Year), Faye and I popped out into the garden to pull up some parsnips for dinner. We just could not believe what we unearthed! Never in my wildest dreams did I think that we would have grown giant parsnips! It was fantastic.
This is still to date one of my absolute favourite photographs. Her little face!
This was the year I realised that in making a huge polytunnel and raised bed, I had unconsciously made a big commitment. This was going to take much more time and effort than I had managed to give it. I had so much to learn (I still do as there is so much information!). I was so lucky to have this space to grow our own food. I promised myself that next year, I would do better.