Visiting Cressing Temple

Visiting Cressing Temple

It may come as no suprise, but i LOVE being outdoors. One of my favourite things to do on a day off is to spend it outside, whether that is in my own garden or visiting some great stately home and its grounds. There is just something about wondering around, where you can forget about the outside world and just be surrounded by the noises of nature.

Back in July, I went along to a local food festival at Cressing Temple. It was right in the middle of summer and the day was absolutely glorious! Cressing Temple is not exactly a large venue, but the crowds were well managed and everyone was in good spirits! One of my favourite parts of the venue is their walled in garden!

It doesn’t take long to walk around, but there is certainly plenty to see. The garden boasts at being one of the few tudor pleasure gardens in the country. The gardens are laid out in intricate patterns that were often seen in tradition tudor gardens, as well as a water fountains and a viewing platform.

July is a truly beautiful time to visit the gardens, all the flowers are in full bloom and the contrast of the bright blue sky and the luscious green foliage is just amazing.

Cressing Temple itself is known for its unique buildings and gardens and was originally given to the Knights Templar in 1137. With its Grade 1 listed Barley and Wheat barns which were built in the 13th Century the venue has a lot of history. They often have people around showing visitors how the barns would have been used back in the tudor times, including how the wheat was ground and plants in the gardens were used, which makes this a great spot to take the kids. It is also free to get in, unless there is an event on – double bonus!

For more information on Cressing Temple Barns or if you would like to visit, click here to visit their site.

Post Plastic Free July

Post Plastic Free July


July is over, and what a month it was! I have never known England to be so hot for so long! My garden flourished (even though the grass turned golden) and my family started getting together to go on bicycle rides at the weekends – including my 2 year old neice who would shout encouragements and sing her favourite song at the moment (right now its Frere Jacques).

But the weather couldn’t last forever and with the start of August the rain returned, the grass and some of the less heat resilient plants are recovering, the green beans are providing me with mountains of beans and the tomatoes are providing me with abundance of glorious ruby fruits.

I also did something that I have been wanting to do for years! I went strawberry picking! It was great fun, and you can take your own containers which is great.

I actually went back a couple of times, and also picked cherries, blackcurrents and raspberries. It is a perfect way to spend a couple of hours when the weather is good! The kids love it, and you only pay for what you pick – so it doesn’t have to cost a lot (although it is easy to get carried away)

At the beginning of July, I set myself the task of trying to go plastic free – which was mainly concentrating on single use plastics, and non recyclable plastics. Before I started I did a little research to find alternative product options and get an idea of areas I might have issues, you can read my introduction here.

Right from the start, there were a few items I struggled with! Pasta and rice being the main culprit! I did a lot of investigations into places I could go to buy these items, and I found plenty of plastic free shops – unfortunately, the closest was over an hour away for me which logistically wasn’t a good option. Instead I tried to reduce how often I had pasta on the menu and in the case of rice, I swapped out the boil in the bag variety back to the loose grain. I was still not able to completely remove plastic but I plan to continue researching possible solutions, including maybe ordering in from bulk stores.

I also had problems when buying meat, although Morrisons (my closest supermarket) have started advertising that they are reducing their plastic, I often found they only had things on the shelf – pre wrapped – or their staff was unsure on the exact guidelines they had to follow, one colleague even opening mocked people who didnt want to use plastic, and stated there was ‘no point and it was a waste of time’ – despite the fact I was infact asking to use my own container at that point. I came across the same issue when trying to purchase produce. Morrisons certainly has the right idea, I just think it is still very early days for them. Farmers markets were great – but when working 9-5 monday to friday, they weren’t the easiest to get to, and when caught off guard or lack of preperation meant that I often had to make do with supermarket produce.

I had better luck away from the supermarket and fresh foods; making the move to soapnuts, a shampoo bar and a soap bar instead of the single use products I was previously using.

My experience with soapnuts are; Clothes arn’t smelling as floral, however I have read that you can add a few drops of things like lavender essense to improve this. One thing i love about them is that once they have stopped being useful for washing, I can add them to my compost bin / veg patch!

My shampoo bar: One thing I am really pleased with since making this change is that unlike when using liquid shampoo, I now don’t feel the need to use conditioner! Before I would have to spend hours carefully brushing my hair if conditioner hadn’t been used, having curly/wavy hair I assumed this would always be the case but was pleasently suprised when I tried the shampoo bar sans conditioner bar I had no problems at all! The one I bought was from LUSH, but now that I have been converted I am planning on looking around for other providers to see what other options are available.

Bar soap: Similar to my assumptions with the shampoo bar, I have always assumed that a bar of soap would dry my skin out, and be a real pain to use, but when thinking more about the soap I wanted, and not just buying the first one I saw I found a lovely natural soap in a TK Max. I’ve never been a big fan of this store, where i have often felt pretty claustrophobic when looking at clothes but when I wondered over to the beauty section (avoiding the clothes rails completely) I have have a treasure trove of products, and hidden among them are often a lot of natural based products, often in glass or paper instead of plastic!

Not all beauty changes were as successful. When I bought the shampoo bar, I also invested in a deohdrent bar, but after using it for a couple of days, I have to admit I was defeated and went and bought my good old faithful branded one. It could be that I just didnt get on with that specific bar, and I am deturmind to give it another go. It might be worth me trying another version as well, either way, I wont give up.

Something I was determind not to do when starting this plasticless adventure was that I wasn’t going to just instantly go out and buy all plastic free (which could be a big chunk of money if bought all at once) My idea was to wait until something ran out, and then when the time came, I would replace it with a more eco friendly version. This is the case of my razor – for years I have bought packs of disposible (the creme de la creme of plastic wastage, I know) and they would last me a long time. But at last I am down to my last one, so the time has come to look at replacing it. I have been looking at the safety razor, doing a bit of research and also keeping an eye out of the cost of them. I think it will be my next investment, so I will let you know how I do.

All in all, the main thing that ‘plastic free July’ did for me was it helped open my eyes to just how much single use plastic is used in todays world, I have removed my consumer tinted glasses off and am making active steps to reduce my plastic use going forward. Changes are happening, one thing at a time. I want to live my life caring for my planet as much as I can. There is only this one after all.

If you have any advise regarding anything Ive mentioned here please feel free to message me, or comment below. I would love to hear about your own experiences and discoveries.

Thanks for reading!

Making your garden into a little homely paradise

Your garden is more than an extra bit of land at the back of your house. It’s an extension of your home. You should treat it in the same way as any other room in your house (the only difference is that it’s outside). It should be a space that you enjoy seeing from the kitchen or bedroom window. You should be able to draw the curtains and smile at the outdoor world that faces you rather than sighing heavily and trying to avoid looking at it. Below are a couple of ideas to help you to make your garden into your little homely paradise.

Picture Source

Start gardening
And I’m talking about more than just mowing the lawn here. You should aim to turn your garden into more than a patch of grass, your garden should express a little of who you are. It’s time to put on your gardening gloves and turn your outside space into your very own living, thriving natural paradise. You can start by pruning  back any bushes or weeds that have grown out of control. Something as simple as clearing back the borders can make a massive difference. As with any other room in your house, the key to keeping your outdoor space tidy is to maintain it regularly. Don’t let it become messy and unwelcoming.

You could start growing some flowers, plants, and perhaps even vegetables in your garden, this can be as big a small a space as you like – remembering that it needs a little upkeep. If you have never had a garden before I would suggest starting with a small patch to begin with, then expanding that if you enjoy it. Flowers are a great way to add some colour and life, there are a vast number of varieties available including sun worshipers or shade lovers. You will soon get into the routine of regularly visiting your garden to take care of it. Starting some garden projects is a great way to get you into the habit of maintaining your outdoor space. You just need to find something that’ll make you interested in your garden again. When you tend to your garden, you’ll be rewarded with a welcoming, peaceful natural space in return.

Picture Source

Fix up the patio
If you have a patio, tidy it up! Having a nice clear patio will encourage you to use it more.  A cosy little patio area provides a place to relax with your family and friends on warm days and evenings during summer. It is also a great place to grow containers, which can be great for flowers and even veg. Like most things, to ensure your patio stays looking nice, its worth keeping it looking its best. There are a number of products out there available for this, but one you could consider getting is brick acid. You use it to clean down your patio every so often and keep it looking brand new.

Create some focal points
Most rooms in your house have focal points, such as a fireplace or a fancy coffee table, your kitchen might have a granite countertop. Focal points can really tie a room together and guide the eye to show the space in the best possible way. Your garden is no different, sometimes a good focal point can make a real difference. You should create a center piece that gives character and personality to the space. Water features  are a great way to create a natural looking center piece, and you don’t have to spend a fortune on a pool or a water fountain; you could create a small pond, even if you dont want to dig one out, you could simulate one by using a large plant pot and using this instead. Some lights are also a great way to create atmosphere and a nice aesthetic in your garden at night. The key is to create some focal points that serve as a cherry on top of an already-fantastic garden.

Whatever you choose to do, remember that your garden can be whatever you want it to be, it can reflect a calm space, or a memory of somewhere you once visited – anything is possible.

How to build a Garden Fire Pit

Pic Credit

It is well known that the summers here in the UK are often short, but if you enjoy sitting outside well into the evenings a perfect way to keep warm is to have a fire pit – which creates a cosy atmosphere while keeping warm. You could always buy a chiminea, which is a type of freestanding chimney, but these can deteriorate fairly quickly (depending on the style, and how much you pay for it). Fire pits can be a real investment, and can last for years and is a great way to add year-round focus to your garden.

You don’t need to be a builder, there are a vast amount of designs that are easy enough to build this blog has fire pit designs with lots of different styles. Regardless of what design you choose, some points you need to remember while building you fire pit are : leave small gaps between your bricks/stones and try to make the pit somewhere between 50 – 100cm diameter for a good sizes, safe fire.

Now that bits out the way, here is how to make a simple brick fire pit :

What Will You Need?

  • Enough bricks to build your pit. For a simple square pit, you will need 28 bricks per layer and around 4 layers, depending on your design, if you want a buried fire pit you may want to do more layers.
  • Gravel
  • A spade
  • Firewood (click here is great for finding local firewood around the UK)
  • A bucket of water or sand, safety first and all that

Where to Build a Fire Pit

Now, it might be obvious to say this but fire is incredibly hot and destructive, you need to take this into account when you choose where to put the fire pit. There shouldn’t be any over hanging branches or bushes nearby that can potentially catch alight. 

Something else to consider when deciding where to build this fire pit is what seating (if any) you plan on having around the pit – you don’t want to build it and then discover there isn’t enough room to sit. You could always use some creativity with your seating – i mention some good ideas here.

It might be worth laying out the chairs before you start building the pit, to check  how much room you have, and if you would be a comfortable distance from the fire, being too close would make it too warm. Thinking about it at this stage, will make the whole process alot easier!

Building the Fire Pit

This simple design is from a wickes design, you can watch the video below to see the step by step instructions on how to build it:

Now you have you pit – how about a fire

Fire building is considered something of an art form, but the basic idea is to start with some sort of kindling. This is  to make the flame catch. Once you have a flame you should start to build up the layers slowly. Then add larger logs once the fire is established, when it comes to building a good fire, the teepee shape is usually successful.

Disclaimer: You must ALWAYS Keep an eye on your fire, and never let your fire get out of control. If you do feel that your fire is getting out of control, put sand over the fiercest parts to calm it down or over the whole thing to extinguish it.

Never leave a fire that is still glowing, use water or sand to make sure that all the flames are gone and have no chance of reigniting.


Now that you have your fire pit ready, its time to toast your success! Get some friends over, open a bottle of wine and talk and laugh the night away! 

If you have great ways to improve your gardens that you want to share, comment or message me! I would love to hear from you!

Easily Liven Up Your Garden In Time For Summer

If you are anything like me, you are probably starting to get a serious hankering to start some little garden projects again now that spring is now finally here. You have likely already begun planting out some of your seedlings and preparing the soil for the coming seasons.

However, you might also want to think about what you can do to make your garden a bit more interesting, and a bit more original to look at. As it happens, there are always plenty of things you can do on this front, and that is worth remembering if you ever find yourself at a loss as to what you should be doing to make your garden more of a lively and interesting place. In this article, I am going to look at some of the best ways to make your garden more lively in time for summer. 

Pictue Credit

Bordering Wildflowers

If you have a couple of beds which you would like to decorate in some way, a good way to do so is to get a seed mix of assorted wildflowers and scatter those around the edges. You can even get some fast-growing ones which will guarantee to bloom within forty days, so if you are in need of some fast flowers that could be the ideal way to go. Having some bordering wildflowers will immediately add a great deal of colour to your garden, especially if you use a mixed pack. What’s more, you will be providing much needed food for our bees, something that I am keen to encourage as much as possible – It’s good for them, and good for your garden.


If you are looking for some decoration not on your beds, but just dotted around your garden, then you might want to think about finding some sculptures. At one point, people might have chosen the classic gnome, these days there is a massive variety of options available to you. It’s up to you – whether you want a gnome, a collection of frog sculptures, or even a single large statement piece in the centre of your garden. Using a feature piece such as a this is a great way of bringing a little extra something to your garden, it can provide a focal point can help bring a theme to the space or just provide some enjoyment. 

Picture Credit

Vegetable Patch

More and more people are growing their own veg these days (hands up to all you grow your own folk), and this really is a great way to reduce produce costs, while also providing you with a hobby that allows you to get outside – the allotment community is always growing! If you are able to grow your own veg, you will find that you spend a lot less at the supermarket and the produce you do grow, will taste so much better.

Growing vegetables is simple: you don’t always need a dedicated vegetable patch I have seen people grow tomatoes between their rose bushes, or cucumbers in containers by their back door, all you need is well-draining soil and a nice sunny spot (depending on what you want to grow). You can even purchase starter plants which removes the need to grow from seed.

As well as being useful and tasty, many vegetables produce beautiful flowers – providing you with a lovely splash of colour. I really would recommend growing your own to anyone looking for a rewarding project this year.

Picture Credit

Bold Statement Flowers

Finally, a brilliant way to really liven up your garden would be to add some bright and bold flowers. A great example of this is the sunflower, which is truly one of the gardener’s best friends for the way in which it grows fast, strong and has such a well-known distinctive and beautiful flower. Bees love sunflowers, they provide brilliant colour to the garden, and once the season is over you can use the seeds either for recipes, a snack or if you have hens, the heads are a great treat for them! 

Could you ask for anything better??

I hope you get some inspiration for your garden, and enjoy the beautiful weather!

Build Your Own Budget-Friendly Decking

Now that the weather is [finally] starting to warm up, if your anything like me, you are going to want to spend more time out in your garden, and what better way then to sit out on a DIY decking!

Decks are great for enjoying the summer sunshine, relaxing with family, and even entertaining guests. As the bridge between your indoor and outdoor life, they are a great way to extend the liveable areas of your home and increasing the value of your property, no matter the size of your garden.

If you’ve always dreamed of having your very own deck, the good news is that building one is possible with enough guidance – even on a budget!

Below are some steps to build your own outdoor sanctuary. So keep scrolling!

Image credit: Thomas J. Story

Step 1: Create your decking plan

Good planning and plenty of research is important to make the most of your available resources and avoid costly mistakes. Study the layout of your garden and where you would get the most from the decking.  Something important to consider is what the primary use will be for the decking – Will it be a hub for your thriving garden herbs, a centre for al fresco dining, a place to simply soak up some sun, or a combination of the three? What you plan on using it for can help decide where you should build it.

You can use decking to enhance your garden as a whole, too. Wood Magazine explains that even the most difficult problems like steep slopes and unsightly views can be easily solved through smart decking.

Image credit: Anthony Tieuli

Decisions like these will guide you when figuring out the size, shape, and layout of your project. Of course, smaller decks will be less expensive to build than larger ones, as is ground-level decking compared to raised or multi-level decking. (It might be worth noting now, that depending on your area and the size of the decking you will be building, you might need to look up your local laws and see whether you need to obtain any building permits)

Step 2: Lay down the foundations

Image credit: This Old House

Decks need a bottom supporting structure to ensure that the boards don’t touch the ground, which is especially necessary in our notoriously wet English climate. This is comprised of rim joists or beams, ledgers, and interior joists. A good foundation also ensures that the structural integrity of your deck will be strong enough for years of family use. I know that all sounds complicated, but with a little research anything is possible – and google is an amazing resource!

Image credit: David Carmack

To start, The Spruce recommends using stakes and a string to outline the shape. Using a shovel remove any grass and weeds within the area and level out the ground. If building next to the house – remove the trim and sliding where the ledger board will go.

As shown in the picture on the right, you cover the exposed sheathing with waterproof membrane to keep moisture out, and then install your ledger boards. These will anchor your deck to your existing house. Cut each joist to the right size you need and screw them together to build your frame. These will provide a level surface for your deck planks.


Step 3: Install decking boards

When it comes to the decking boards themselves, remember to choose carefully depending on how much you’re willing to spend not just during your construction, but also later on for maintenance. Decking boards and kits listed on Screwfix come in a variety of materials and finishes to suit every type of budget. A really popular type is composite boards, which are engineered from wood fibres and plastic that don’t stain or fade for up to 25 years. They’re typically low maintenance but can be a little more expensive initially. On the other hand, wood decking can be less pricey but will weather over time and have higher maintenance costs.

deck and garden of Chris and Mary Beddow
Kailua, Oahu, Hawaii

Image credit: Art Gray

Once the frame and foundations are in place, cut your decking boards.

Methow Valley Cabin

These will be placed perpendicular to the frame using galvanised screws. Depending on the planks you buy, you may need to sand them down to get rid of splinters and rough edges.

An important step that you shouldn’t skip is to varnish your timber to protect your deck from rain and the sun’s heat. It will increase the life expectancy of the wood, and reduce your maintenance costs.

Step 4: Make it liveable

Image credit: Dominique Vorillon

The last step to building your deck is to make it comfortable for you and your family. Sunset Magazine suggests incorporating lighting, fencing, and railing to match your house’s style and suit your needs. You can also choose to add some shade by adding awnings or even training climbers to add shade through a pergola or trellis. Dress up your deck with furnishings, container plants, and even a hammock or two for the warm summer days ahead.

Image credit: Van Chaplin

Are you looking to add more to your backgarden?Maybe you’re thinking of adding a greenhouse and want to makeit yourself?

Check out my guide to building your own greenhouse. Where i provide a step by step review of how I am making it!

Alternatively, if you want to have a little project in the kitchen and enjoy the sweeter things in life, how about making homemade jam?


What ever you’re in the mood for making, have fun and enjoy the coming warm weather!

much love,

Mothers Day gift summary

Mothers Day gift summary

Well, I have to say my homemade gift ended up more homemade than I originally planned!

For those of you who read my blog, with remember that my original plan was to make homemade cream tea (you can read it here) – making the Jam and the scones but planning on buying clotted cream – thinking that it was a big old complicated process. Boy, was I wrong!!

The only things you need to make homemade clotted cream is:

  • double cream (pasterurised, but not ultra pasterurised)
  • A glass dish that is oven friendly – I used 900ml of double cream and it filled the dish by 1.5-2cm bare this in mind when selecting your dish
  • an oven
  • clingfilm
  • a fridge
  • 24 hours! – not kidding, you need this much time!

The instructions are even easier then the list of ingredients.

    1. Preheat your oven to 80C. Pour your cream into the glass dish, making sure that the dish is deep enough to hold it, you want the cream to at least fill 1.5 cm of the dish, but I wouldn’t use one so small that the cream is more than an inch deep.
    2. Leave the cream in the oven for 12 hours! (I did this over night)
    3. Once the time is up, carefully remove for the oven. The cream will have a skin on it and might have a slight smell – but this is ok. Leave it to cool to room temperature. (This is when I made my scones)
    4. Once cooled, cover over with clingfilm and place in fridge. Leave for 12 hours
    5. Its done!

    Once my cream was done, I portioned it off into some glass jars, ready to serve with the still warm scones and the selection of jams I made during the week! Could you imagine a better way to spend your sunday?

  1. I would love to hear back from anyone else who has made their food gifts, and what they made. Just leave a comment below.

Build your own greenhouse – Part 2

Build your own greenhouse – Part 2

Phase Two is complete!

Today I completed the second phase of my little DIY project of building my own greenhouse (view phase one here) .

After the success I had last week (with the help of my family) I wanted to get this part done now, so it doesn’t delay me in the actual building of the greenhouse (I’m on a spring deadline!!)

The most important part of this stage was about not only making sure the slabs were level, but that they were level with each other as well. The timber frame will be sitting directly on these slabs (acting as a stone barrier between the frame and the ground) so if they arn’t level the frame won’t be! This can take longer than you may think as well, especially working on your own and if you have nearly no experience in this sort of thing – like me! I used some sand that had been left in the garden, which is a lot easier to deal with then the soil alone. Little by little I got them all level.

The next stage of the build is the most most exciting bit – to actually build the frame! I have a fair bit of reclaimed wood which I have been collecting in preparation of this project, so I will be building as much of it from that as I can, this is mainly to save as much money as possible, but I think I am going to end up buying some supplies to finish it.

In other news..

I managed to go to the local garden center and picked a couple of things this morning, including a 6.6 ft perma-tunnel ready for some early sowing, plenty of compost and a little ‘mushrooms growing kit’ which I mentioned in an earlier post. My other half doesn’t eat them, so this small kit should provide me with mushrooms for a while – the instructions say you can expect to get 3 harvests from this one kit which will be plenty. If they grow faster than I eat them I will put them in my dehydrator and store them for later use!

I also managed to finally do my seed order – something I have been meaning to do for some time now. I’ve only bought what seeds I need for the next few months, with the idea of spreading the cost by buying the rest nearer the time that they are needed.

I have de-weeded, turned over the soil and constructed the tunnel today as well, it always feels nice to start clearing space ready for the new years growth. I am hoping to sow seeds under the tunnel until the greenhouse is fully set up, as well as using the trough I have nearer the house (which will be used for my carrots and parsnips this year).

All in all, I’ve had a really productive weekend in the garden. This week is due to drop in temperature and there is a good chance of snow, so I’m not sure if I will be able to do much next weekend! If I can’t I will set up my mushrooms and start prepping the first lot of seeds ready to sow.

I would love to hear what you have been working on over the last few weeks in preparation for spring. Leave me a comment or send me an email. Advise is always welcome!


Build your own greenhouse

Build your own greenhouse

Phase One is complete

This last weekend was just beautiful! I spent some much needed time with my sister and niece (a nice start on one of my 2018 goals – see here for more on that) and after weeks and weeks of planning I finally made a start on building my greenhouse (yippee!). It was bitterly cold when we went to the seafront, and walked out as far as we could, we were wrapped up warm, and treated ourselves to a hot drink after!

Now, don’t get too excited phase one is a bit of a boring phase.. but vital! Let me explain.

The spot that I have picked to build my greenhouse is tucked nicely away behind the shed and is in a prime spot for getting lots of sunshine a large part of each day. The only problem with the spot i picked.. was it was already being used – by a big old Laurel and a lovely climber. I had already made a start on clearing the space, but with just a pair of hand cutters and a hand saw it was going to be a very slow and labour intensive job. I ended up buying a chainsaw, and this weekend was the first opportunity I had to get outside and made a real start of clearing the space up.

With such a beautiful (and surprisingly mild) day we had on Sunday I was able to get the whole area cleared! Even the stumps were either dug up or cut right down below ground level and killed off. It was a lot of work, and I had some help doing it but by finishing it all in the day means I can move on to phase two – which is making the ground level and putting down some slabs for the wooden frame to sit on (because I have decided to make my greenhouse out of a wood, I’m conscious that sitting directly on the ground will encourage rot. The plan is to have slabs just around where the frame meets the ground and then have the inside open soil).

It is at this point I have also re thought about the size I want the greenhouse to be. my original design was to have a 5 sized greenhouse (2 long sides against the wall and fence, and then 3 sides facing out) But I have since put my sensible hat on and realised that although that would look super awesome, the size of the overall greenhouse would be relatively small and as this is going to be my first attempt of building one, i should probably stick to a lot simpler designs! So goodbye cute design, hello practical rectangle design!

I would really love to hear from anyone who has build their own greenhouse, what obstacles did you come up against and what do you wish you had done differently?

Just send me a message or leave a comment!

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5 Most common myths of growing your own fruit and vegetables

5 Most common myths of growing your own fruit and vegetables

There is something truly rewarding about cooking with vegetables grown from your own garden. The produce is better in flavour than the shop alternatives and it can (in most cases) end up being a lot more cost effective, but most people still prefer to go to their local supermarket and buy off the shelf. Gardening is often seen as a hobby and some of this I believe is down to a number of long-standing myths.

Below are just the 5 most common reasons give to why they don’t get involved with growing their own.

1 . “I don’t have the time”

It is a common misconception that to have a successful vegetable garden you need to have hours available everyday to tend it. There are vegetables out there they don’t require loads of time and effort. These include Beans, Courgettes, Cucumbers and members of the Squash family.

All of these simply require good soil, sunshine and plenty of water and you will have more than enough to keep you, your family and your neighbours well stocked for the whole season. They are all pretty prolific growers and when stored in the correct way for each can easily see you through the later months too.

2 . “I don’t have the space”

People assume that to have a productive vegetable patch you need a massive garden, but this is just completely untrue! As long as you have a bit of creativity you can make any outside space work for you, a lot of people are making good use of ‘vertical gardening’. That may sound like a new age fad but its popularity is rising and it is easy to see why.

Vertical gardens can take up a lot less space, are easy to maintain and can be used to grow a number of vegetables you may not have thought possible. This sort of gardening is providing people with even the smallest amount of space the opportunity to grow their own produce.

3 . “I can’t grow anything”

No one is born knowing how to have a successful and productive garden. So the key for any beginner is to pick a couple of easy to grow varieties to start, such as courgettes, garlic and onions which only ask for sunshine, good soil and water.

If your not sure about growing something from seed, most garden centres sell starters(or plug) plants which is where they have grown them from a seed for you, so you buy the plants when they are still young usually by the trayfull. You then take those and plant them straight into your garden. This if you dont have the resources to grow from seed.

4 . “I rent / live in a flat so i can’t”

Not everyone has the ability to dig up their gardens to make vegetable patches, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t grow your own fruit and vegetables. There are so many varieties of plant that grow really well in containers – and you can use anything, from large plant pots to old barrels. Any outdoor space can be used for your container garden, as long as it has access to sunshine and you remember to water it. There are a large number of plants that thrive in the container environment; tomatoes, peppers and potatoes to name a few!

For those rented properties that don’t have access to any outdoor space, there are still ways you can grow some of the smaller varieties. You can grow fruit trees such as lemon and a wide variety of salads right there on your windowsill.

5 . “I don’t get enough sun in my garden”

Just because you garden doesn’t get a lot of sunlight, does not mean that nothing will grow! You just need to be a bit more selective with the choices you make! For example, if you are hoping to grow veg such as sweetcorn or peppers which are heavily dependant on the sunshine, you may need to re think your garden goals. However, there are plenty of plants that are forgiving in the sunshine department (this still means the path needs at least 3-6 hours of direct sunlight).Broccoli and Radishes are good examples of this, they don’t mind a bit more shade and will produce good quality produce, even if they are a tad smaller then their sun soaking counterparts.

Although gardeners tend to praise the fact their gardens get plenty of sunshine, there are some advantages to having a slightly shadier plot. For one thing, places that get high temperatures may struggle with their plants being scolded, and having full sun often means that the ground becomes dry quicker meaning more watering.

So as you can see, as long as you put your mind to it, there really isn’t anything stopping you growing your own little spot of heaven.

I would be interested to know if anyone has overcome any of the situations mentioned above and gone on to grow some truly delicious veg! Leave me a comment below!

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