Trying something new

Posted in All posts, June, on

Today's blog post is the first from the newest member of our blog writing team, Claire...

For me, one of the joys of gardening is trying something new.  Every winter I pour over seed catalogues looking for vegetables and fruit that I haven’t grown before.  Now that I have an allotment there’s more space to experiment and it’s always exciting to discover something that works really well and that we really enjoy eating.

Alongside the new things, I also always try different varieties of old favourites.  Year by year I discover which ones that work best for me, in my corner of the world, my climate and my soil.  Eventually I’ll build up a good selection of  fruit and vegetables that are reliable, taste great and rarely fail.  Although I know I’ll always be tempted to try new varieties as well.

Last year the children grew popping corn, which was a big hit until the badgers discovered it too, and ate everything we hadn’t already picked.  And I tried Japanese wineberries and globe artichokes.  This year we’re trying salsify and scorzonera, and some new-to-us varieties of tomatoes, including Orkado and Maskotka.

One of the best discoveries last year was flowers.  I’ve always been passionate about growing my own food, but other plants have taken more of a back seat.  Last summer, at the children's request, we filled a couple of raised beds with insect-friendly annuals, and to my surprise I was completely bowled over by them.

The garden was never without a bee, and the flowers really were pretty.  It added an extra dimension to the vegetable garden, and no doubt helped immensely with pollination.  And it made the garden a lovely place to linger.  That new discovery is definitely something I’ll be repeating every year from now on.

Thanks for reading,