So this year I have taken matters into my own hands and have decided to try and learn to garden! The book How To Grow Your Own Drugs by James Wong has been really handy, as it's written for people like me who haven't got the first idea how to get things to stay alive, let alone grow from scratch.
|It's so good to see honey bees again|
It turns out, there's far more to gardening than just getting the plants in the ground. You've really got to take into account where you're planting things, because some plants will only grow in direct sunlight, some like dry soil, some like damp dark conditions, some get huge, some spread across the garden and take over everything else, some need support, some climb, some shoot straight up on their own, some last just one year, some die back and then grow again the next year... I could carry on but I won't.
But actually the gardening started well over a year ago. We put a load of topsoil, grass cuttings and other bits of vegetation in a heap down the bottom of the garden where it's shady and damp. This was really just to get it all out of the way, but a nice side-effect has been that we now have a compost heap, which is very handy for growing stuff as it's basically plant food.
Following James Wong's suggestions, I dug up the veg patch a couple of months ago, broke the soil up and then spread on a layer of 'mulch' from our compost heap. Then today, before I planted my first veg of the year, I dug through it all again and mixed the mulch in. This adds nutrients to the soil, and helps stop it from doing the clay/ceramic thing. To finish I watered it with plenty of plant food.
The flowers are in pots on our patio, since they all need lots of sunlight, and the patio is the only bit of our garden that's in the sun most of the day. And plus, it make the patio look pretty.
And once all this was done, I made myself a cup of tea and sat down in the sun. Hangover? Not gone but certainly all the better for a bit of physical activity and a hearty dose of sunshine.