Japanese anemone in the garden by the fence

Making the most of the space in our garden [AD]

Getting the garden the way you want it really is an ongoing job isn’t it? Most people seem to have at least a few jobs they’d like to do, if time or money permitted. Our garden has been a well used space over the past few years. We’ve made a few major changes, each of which has been brilliant for a time. The first big one was our decking. The whole of the back garden was on multiple levels. So, over seven years ago, my dad and my husband decked the whole area so it was flat. Next came our front garden. It went from the front door to the road on one side of the house and we simply didn’t use it. It wasn’t fenced off so the children couldn’t play in it so it was just a wasted area. At the beginning of the first lockdown, we got that fenced off and it transformed our use of the garden. But now, it’s time for another change. So, what next?

Garden hydrangea bush loaded with flowers
Our hydrangeas always put on a beautiful show

Growing more vegetables in limited space

I expected the children to enjoy having space for a swing and a trampoline in the garden. But what has surprised me is how much they’ve loved growing vegetables. This year, we didn’t have as much variety as last year because most of it was taken up with potatoes. We also had a minor disaster with the strawberries because the slugs ate most of them. So next year, we’ll be planting a few more things and expanding the growing area. The potatoes will have their own patch away from the rest of the veg and we aim to become more productive. We don’t really have much more space to spare for vegetables, so I’m thinking of getting a vertical veg planter. We already compost our kitchen waste, so planting things straight into it would make a lot of sense.

I also like reclaimed items as plant pots. Our decking is a real sun trap, so I’d like to make good use of that by putting some vegetable pots there. The only problem is, they’d have to be cat and dog proof. We used to have a blueberry bush on the decking in the sunshine, but as soon as the blueberries got anywhere near to ripe, the dog would tuck into them. The bush is now in our vegetable patch which is fenced off so the dog can’t get to it unsupervised. The cat is also a problem unfortunately. Like most cats, he will sit on anything. So, I’ll have to hang things on the wall too high for him to jump. Or, use something like an old bottle that is too unstable for him.

Yellow bee friendly garden flowers
I have no idea what these yellow flowers are but the bees love them

An eco themed garden

Another idea we have had is to dedicate a small area of our garden to wild flowers. This will be brilliant for the bees but it’s great for us too. There’s already a small bench there that was made from reclaimed wood. With a few wild flowers around it, it will become a lovely place to sit.

Garden grass with orange flowers
Another plant that I don’t know the name of that produces beautiful orange flowers

Continuing on that theme, I’ll be sourcing eco friendly plant pots where I can’t use a reclaimed household object. Mostly though, I prefer to plant things straight into the ground. Every spring, I empty our compost bin a few weeks before we start planting. We dig all the compost into the ground and our kitchen waste quickly becomes food for anything we put in.

Next year, I’ll be planning our vegetable patch a little better and making sure we have space for all the things I want to grow. Finding time to do it during the correct month is always difficult too, so that will go in my diary. We’re really looking forward to having a more productive garden next year. One day perhaps we’ll be able to stop messing about with it and just sit out and enjoy it. But we’re not there yet. I’d love to hear your tips for making the most of limited space for growing vegetables.

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