Welcome to my first blog post.

I thought I would share some of my gardening experiences with you, successes and failures. Maybe it will inspire your gardening, and maybe you can give me some pointers for mine.

Like many people, I live in a house that has less garden than I would like – the trade off for a convenient location and not having to spend half my life in the car driving driving to and from work. I do enjoy my garden though and try to make the most of what there is.  Gravel and decking make it low maintenance, but it’s not very exciting, so pots and barrels are the ideal way to green it up a bit.

Three gardens ago I got my first half barrels and had a go at planting some strawberries. They were tasty certainly, and I may have imagined it, but I was convinced that they had a hint of whisky flavour!

Now in this garden, I still have the barrel of strawberries and have been building up a selection of shrubs and flowers To add to them, I though I’d have a go at some herbs and potatoes over the summer and then maybe some leeks to keep the soup pot stocked.

So, first things first; some planters, some dirt and some plants!

Assistant Gardener, Millie

Assistant Gardener, Millie

Ably assisted by my three legged mog, Millie, I started with some gravel for drainage (these planters already had drainage holes in the base), then filled them with a multi-purpose, peat free compost and in the middle sized tub, planted some herbs.

I went for dill, thyme, flat leaf parsley and two types of mint.  To keep the mint under control, I planted them inside plastic tubs first.  The large tub is earmarked for my sweet pea seedlings once they germinate and I’ve got a small Magnolia which I’ll start in the smallest tub.

Set of three planters - stages of planting

Set of three planters – stages of planting

Now for the potatoes.  Following the same process I planted some seed potatoes – nothing fancy; a bag I bought from Aldi and kept in the shed for a while until they had started to sprout a bit, called “chitting” a tip I learned from Jim MacColl on Beechgrove, and if it’s good enough for him, who am I to argue.  I planted five potatoes in the barrel.

potato barrel just planted

potato barrel just planted

I’m intending to plant some Lobelia until the shoots appear to discourage my assistant gardener from exploring the fresh soil!

I’ll let you know how they’re getting on in my next post.  In the meantime, if you have any tips for me, please let me know in the comments.