Back in January, our backyard was not fit to be seen. It looked like this. Then Andy put the polytunnel up and had a good tidy. We planted potatoes very early in March, all down the right hand side. It looked rather bare. Later that month, he built a raised bed inside and made it all nice -
Now, three months on, it all looks like this - click on for a larger look.
The small bed in front of the polytunnel holds broad beans on the left, peas in the middle, salad on the right and two lots of French beans just behind. We can barely get in the tunnel itself for the towering tomato plants and sprawling courgettes (that's zucchini to my US friends). On the left of the garden grow four types of potato, all the way up to the compost bin. And strawberries run riot, growing wherever we let them. We are not big believers in rigid lines.
Sow it close, pack it in, feed it well, water often. Stake when necessary.
Courgettes in pots - - and courgettes in the raised bed under the tomatoes. They are attempting to escape the tunnel and have to be carefully stuffed back when we zip them in for the night. Four types of tomatoes, in tubs and the raised bed jostle for space. I think we may have planted too many. We have big beefsteak Brandywine (courtesy of Janet), bog standard cherries, German Strawberry and Principe Borghese plum tomatoes for sauces.
A little army of frogs and toads police the slugs and snails; they love the polytunnel, safe from cats and moistly warm. Dwarf beans in a tub -
- and at the back, more climbing beans, roses and a couple of types of squash - butternut and a heritage American type called 'Boston Marrow' given to me by a certain LB - if she is by any chance reading this, thank you! They are turning into triffids. Last night after work I taught Andy how to pollinate the female squash flowers. He has even looked after my precious herb and flower pots which annoy him so much when he trips over them. In fact, I have been so swamped with work this year that it is safe to say there would not be a garden if it were not for Andy's diligent and careful tending. Without his constant husbandry, our little back yard would be an untidy weedpatch. So I am awarding him this medal. You've earned your stripes, garden soldier.