Category Archives: gardening

A Saturday morning planting of Kale, Dill and Mint with Curtis Mayfield

It rained a lot yesterday, there was a real down pour for about 2 hours which really gave the garden a good soaking. This morning I went into the garden to check for weeds and to check up on the growth of the plants and vegetables I have planted this year. The lettuces look simply divine at the moment, wet from the rain and so emerald-green. Radish roots are poking up out of the soil and the salad mixes I have planted in the containers are ready to harvest. Long live these salads and radish roots that are so simple to sow and simple to harvest.


This morning I planted 4 Red Russian Kale plants which I got at a bargain price for 60p from the local farmers market, I also planted in 3 green curled kale, both will look beautiful come the Autumn and will see me right through until the end of Winter next year. I also planted out some herbs, a lime scented mint which will be used for drinks in the summer and maybe the odd Mojito as well as a Dill plant which will be used to enhance fish as an aromatic, a herby omelette and summer soups. Tomorrow the chickens will be cleaned out, I will use the wood chip bedding for mulch and anything left over will enrich the compost heap.



As I walked round my small urban garden I started whistling Curtis Mayfield – Move On Up. I am happy as a pig in shit to be doing these things and bringing food from the garden into the kitchen. It’s the little things with home growing and these little accomplishments keep me from reaching to the entrance of the supermarket, my improved wellbeing of watching the garden grow cannot be accomplished or measured with a trolley or a checkout till no matter how much the supermarkets tell us in their lifestyle friendly adverts. I am not even close to where I want to be with Self and Roots but I am hunting solutions out, finding different routes to grow erm roots.

Last night I met a friend at my local allotment who gave me a tour of his own allotment patch, he handed me the keys to tend to it while he is away on holiday for 2 weeks. There were all manner of things growing in his and his wifes raggedy patch – we were offered in return of a fortnight worth of upkeep the chance to take anything that was available, there are a lot of leeks but we also might get some early strawberries if we are lucky too. Moving on up indeed.



The joy of salad



As we are coming into salad season I’ve taken advantage of growing space before the additional Summer crops are planted in. Catch crops like salad onions, a second sowing of radish, lettuce and a salad mix of rocket, mustard and mizuna have all featured. I hope these will stay in the garden until September, after that it’ll be Winter Salad leaves, something I’m new to and very excited about.



But before then, I optimistically look forward to colourful leaves with basil and lemon dressing, fresh eggs to be made into a summer frittata eaten in the back garden after work.

An April evening


This has to be the driest April since I can remember, Spring so far has not felt like a flash in the pan but more a seasonal event which has stayed with us. Today I walked through Oxford city centre to a work meeting, the last of the magnolia flowers were showing from the university gardens and it was truly warm, it was almost t-shirt weather.

With this kind of weather I made a gardeners risk two weeks ago with planting some butterhead lettuce seedlings in the raised bed, my overly eager gardening intuition had worked thankfully, the anticipated frosts had not come which could have killed them. The eight lettuces (good for small spaces too) are starting to grow well. Last weekend I also filled a container with a greek salad mix for the summer months, these salad leaves will be cut and come again and will serve the kitchen with leaves that are full of tastes, textures and colours.

When I eventually did get home tonight I checked the lettuces and gave them a water, in the container the seedlings had germinated in the short time of five days which also indicated to me that the soil has warmed up nicely. Due to this I decided to sow two rows of carrots in the sunniest part of the garden, these rows I hope will have as much luck as my salad leaves.

To be able to come home to Birmingham from a busy and overly packed late train and to have a little potter in the garden was calm inducing. The birds in the wood near to a house were also singing their roosting songs adding to a beautiful evening of quiet peacefulness.