It's the time of year when I start dreaming dreamy dreams about my garden. It may look particularly brown and bedraggled at the moment, but I have great plans for it in 2017.
What's in my seed tin?
I have a whole tin full up of lovely seeds, some new and some that have been lingering for a while. This is what I'll be growing this year.
Some broad beans from seed I saved, not sure of the variety.
Lazy housewife climbing french bean (Real Seed)
Golden sweet yellow mange tout (Read Seed)
Bijou giant sugar pea (Real Seed)
Pink passion chard (Read Seed)
Red baby leaf bulls beet (The Herbary)
Red russian kale (The Herbary)
Green salad bowl lettuce (The Herbary)
Erbette perpetual spinach beet (The Herbary)
Salad bowl mixed lettuce (Wilkos)
Black seeded simpson lettuce (Premier seeds direct)
Kale nero di toscana (Premier seeds direct)
Little gem lettuce (Premier seeds direct)
Spinach beet (Wilkos)
Greyhound cabbage (Wilkos)
Dwarf green curled kale (Johnsons)
Bright lights chard (Johnsons)
Pink flamingo Swiss chard (J&L Gourmet vegetable seed)
Iceberg lettuce 2 (Johnsons)
Lilia purple spring onion (Premier seeds direct)
Tokyo long white bunching onion (Premier seeds direct)
Chives (Premier seeds direct)
Chinese/garlic chives (Premier seeds direct)
North Holland bloodred redmate spring onion (Premier seeds direct)
Ramsons/wild garlic (Just seed)
Musselburgh leek (Premier seeds direct)
Bulgarian giant leek (Real seeds)
Mortgage lifter (Premier seeds direct)
Tiny Tim (Premier seeds direct)
San Marzano 2 (Premier seeds direct)
Patisson blanc patty pan squash (Real Seed)
Verde di Milano courgette (Real Seed)
Minipop F1 (Unwins)
Rainbow mix (Premier seeds direct)
Rat's tail radish (Elfskin edibles)
I have lots of flower seeds too! As you can see I have waaaaay too many leafy things seeds, I'm going to experiment with growing micro-greens this year and try to use up the surplus of seed.
I buy my seed online usually, and try to buy organic. I like the Real Seed Company and I buy from Ebay too, I particularly like Premier Seeds Direct who sell lots of organic seed, but I've bought from The Herbary and Elfskin Edibles too.
New year, new compost bin?
I've decided the compost bin I bought when we moved here was an expensive mistake. It's way too big and kind of hard to open, I'm waiting for a dry day to empty, disassemble and clean it, then I'll try to sell it or pass it on. I have a slot together compost bin that I've inherited from my mum, so I'll use that, and my freecycled wormery, but what I really, really, really want and kind of NEED is a Hotbin. Have you seen them? They hot compost garden and food waste, get up to 60 degrees centigrade and there's a vent at the top to let out steam! It's super duper expensive, £185, I'm dithering over buying one, if I save my Christmas money and put £20 a month away until April I'd be able to afford one pretty painlessly, I just hope it isn't an expensive gimmick.
Oh maaan, I really need to do something about my soil. I was looking back at old gardeny blog posts and my veggies grew so well when I had a little plot in Mum's garden. Look at this photo, look at the lush, green, large leaves, nothing like what I get from my garden now.
What I get is all yellow-y, and tiny and inevitably gets eaten by slugs. I'm going to add lots of compost, continue with no dig, polyculture gardening methods, make nettle tea, add worm compost and sow green manure in the autumn. I hope that'll do some good.
Garden inspiration for 2017
I've been leafing through my favourite gardening books - the James Wong and Alys Fowler ones are my favourite (Alys Fowler has a Hotbin, so I should definitely get one right?!). I keep going back to Grow a Little Fruit Tree, I still haven't got round to giving my apple trees the chop, but I must do it soon!
I've been rewatching The Edible Garden on BBC i-player, and I like Big Dreams Small Spaces on the TV too.
There are some blogs and instagrams I love looking at for garden inspiration too,
Alys Fowler's Guardian column.
James Wong's Guardian column.
Charles Dowding's Instagram.
Bohemian Raspberry's Instagram.
Urban Veg Patch's Instagram.
Permaculture Girl's Instagram.
You Grow Girl's Instagram.
Bryony Willis' Instagram.
Tricia Eco's Instagram.
Do you have any garden plants for the coming year?