Panorama of the Plot

Richard Bell’s Wild West Yorkshire nature diary, Sunday, 20th January, 2008

I THOUGHT THAT now, right at the beginning of the season, would be a good time to make a record of the state of the garden. The vegetable plot isn't at it's best at this time of year but at least it isn't so overgrown that we need to call in Paul the landscape gardener to prune it back into shape.

We're planning to be more productive this year and we should stand a better chance of keeping up with the sowing and harvesting because the groundwork, such as the conversion of the old shrub bed into the extra raised veg bed (above, on the right), has now all been completed.

There are still plenty of leeks left. I've been taking alternate plants to give the remaining ones a bit of space.

A couple of small but solid red cabbages.

The Brussels sprouts are looking good, although I should have taken the trouble to support the plant.

Garlic and Japanese onions are establishing themselves.

There's still enough American land cress and perpetual spinach to make a few batches of soup.

I recently removed the plastic bottle cloches from the spring cabbage plants but they still need protection from pigeons.

Even at this time of year we can go out and pick rosemary and sage.

Some climbing French beans, taken from a pod on the Three Sisters bed.

Plans for the Patio

patioOur neighbours put a conservatory on the back of their house last year which gives us a sheltered south-east-facing corner. The honeysuckle on the trellis has had its day and we're considering putting a fig in a 2ft pot there. Brown Turkey is a recommended variety. Figs are more likely to fruit if their roots are constrained; given chance they'll put their efforts into growth but if they're constrained that encourages them to fruit.

An alternative would be to grow some vegetables that would appreciate a sunny corner, such as aubergines.

This afternoon Julian, our neighbour, removed the larch-lap panel by the conservatory and he's going to put a trellis in for a vine to climb up. I can picture this being a productive little area, the sort of little garden you might see alongside a small Greek taverna.