Inspired Gardening with Barbara Ponder
Growing up, I lived in a tenement building the centre of Glasgow where we never had a garden. Then when I finally got a house with a garden, I had four young children and neither time nor money to do anything with the garden other than to cut the grass and give the children the occasional packet of flower seeds to try and cultivate.
Finally, many years later when I retired I was able to have the time to work in the garden – not that I knew what I was doing you understand – but I did enjoy trying different shrubs, trees and flowers which were mostly given to me by my friends when they divided their own plants.
When I moved to Norfolk, not only did I have a bigger and more established garden, I also inherited a greenhouse in it. Another first and I was not too sure what to do in it but I did manage to grow lots of tomatoes and some cucumbers the first year.
And that sparked my passion for growing things that I could eat and so and friend and I took on a very overgrown allotment and I love it!
We took it on at the very end of 2016 and spent the first several months digging the weeds out from one half of the plot and shaping it into beds suitable for growing vegetables. We managed to grow potatoes, leeks, kale, turnips, swede, carrots, sweet corn, runner beans, peas, spinach and swiss chard last year – mostly more by luck than judgement and with some guidance from the ‘old hands’ on the site.
The other half of the plot revealed a variety of fruit bushes – gooseberry, blackcurrants & redcurrants as well as both early & late raspberry canes. To these we added some blueberry bushes, an apple tree, a plum tree, a cherry tree and lots of strawberries. We pruned the currant bushes and raspberry canes and weeded in between the various shrubs.
As beds emptied in the vegetable allotment at the end of last season, we dug them over, added manure and covered them to keep the weeds down and the heat in ready for planting in the spring.
We also installed compost bins in the allotment ready to make our own green compost and add all our green waste from the allotment as well as food waste from home. I have never tried composting before so this is another first – one of the other allotment owners has offered some worms to help the process.
I also emptied and cleaned out my greenhouse, washing it thoroughly inside and out in readiness for the new seasons plants.
So now I am waiting, not very patiently, for the weather to improve enough to get in there again and start planting!
As I don’t have a heater in the greenhouse it is still too cold to start off any seeds in there, but I have some potatoes chitting on the kitchen window sill (the only one that the cats do not use) and will be starting some seeds off in the propagators next week and put them on a table in the spare bedroom in the hopes that the cats leave it alone.
I am a Spiritual Healer and have been retired for quite a few years from the caring profession.
I have been blessed with 4 wonderful children and 11 grandchildren.
I have a great interest in the natural world around me, believing that we are all brothers and sisters together, and as such, should unite to overcome the many obstacles that prevent us moving forward in love.