Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Why I've come over all Heirloom!

I hinted in my last post that I was concentrating on heirloom varieties this year and I thought I would write a short post on why.
I am allotmentless which is a bizarre and uncomfortable state of affairs but one I am having to learn to live with for now, but I do have a new garden. Obviously having a new garden is exciting but it is the typical garden of a rented house, with lots of lawn that has never been looked after, and some odd bits and pieces of plants that make little sense and have never been looked after, so all need a blooming good prune to stop them flowering 30ft in the air! They have all had a bit of a remedial prune but until I have seen them through a season, I don't want to do too harsh a prune although I am going to lose a couple of things because they are completely out of control. We have already found one border that we didn't realise was there, and there are a couple of other places where the lawn has obviously had borders begun to be dug out, but that are now just full of weeds. Those will be my next bit to tackle. But the odd, and yet interesting bit about the garden is it is on two levels, with the bottom level and the bottom lawn having a large, semi raised, south facing bed in it which will be perfect for veg. So at the moment the plan is to put veg in the lower part and ornamentals in the top. I am never quite sure where the line between veg and ornamentals is so there will, inevitably, be some cross over, but that, at the moment, is the basic, very simplistic, plan.
Some of last year's harvest.
So I am going from full sized allotment plot to an area that is probably 4/5m sq so my usual habit of buying seeds I like the look of a flinging them in needs to be controlled. There is no point sowing trays and trays of seedlings that just won't get used, and although they could obviously be used for Incredible Edible Bristol beds, there also needs to be a line between that and what I do at home, so limiting myself is really necessary. Knowing that I have been gifted the American heirloom seeds that are #RonsToms and that I am taking part in Rob Smith's seed trials of heirloom varieties, it seems sensible to continue that theme of heirloom varieties in order to limit myself and stick with a plan that can also be a bit of an ongoing project in terms of looking at how they perform and documenting that.
The Lower Terrace!!
What I am most interested in is how long varieties have been in production and what the seed merchants say are the redeeming features that make them worth keeping going, as well as how easy they are to grow and whether or not they taste good, or in any way different from more modern varieties. And I want to know what they look like because what I really want is a beautiful area that is also productive because I am determined this garden will be stunning.
But before I can do this I need to barrow in a ton of soil to the veg beds!! Back soon.....

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