A Long Awaited Return

Im pretty sure I haven’t had a spare weekend in the last six months; or if I had one I slept through the entire thing in a mad bid to recoup some of the sleep I’ve been deprived of.
I have finally, finally found a spare moment to sit down and update you on the goings on at the Fourth Farthing.
Before I begin I must say a GIGANTIC thank you to The Boyfriend. Through thick and thin he has dutifully watered the plants and completed the slug run. He’s my hero, and I really must get him a medal!
Back in February we began our journey with some broad beans, kale and pak choi, as well as some raspberries I rescued from my parents ‘cull’ and a trio of Blueberries, Faith, Hope and Charity. Back then, the garden looked like this:

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As you can see, it wasn’t awful, but it was pretty bland. Not a useful plant in sight, and the soil in both the boarders and the brick planters is pretty poor. We almost broke our backs digging some of these plants out and hauling them into the bin. We arranged for an extra bin to act as a composter, and we dutifully went about digging out weeds and some of the completely depleted soil in order to fill the garden with nutrient rich compost. In hindsight, this was a costly way of starting, and the amount of money we spent on pots, trugs and compost was more than we had hoped; but we’re viewing them as an investment. The plastic pots will last us a few years, and I now know where to go to purchase them. – Pound World! Seriously, huuuuuuge trugs and planters for a pound, compared to the £4 – £6 that Homebase and B&Q wanted. Yes please! With the addition of the compost, we can hopefully build on the soil structure and quality over time to produce a more fruitful environment.
Once our seedlings were big enough we planted them out into trugs and pots in a mix of compost, sand and topsoil. Around April time they were placed outside and covered with a fleece to keep them snug, and were more or less left to their own devices until the ‘Big Reveal’ on the 21st of May (The generic date of the last frost, according to my mother). During the ‘covered’ months we lost a courgette to a stray corner of the fleece which bashed the poor seedling to smithereens. A lesson for next year. However, on the whole, the Big Reveal was a time of joyous shouting and squealing (mainly from myself) as I marvelled at how big the broad beans had grown, and how the lettuce and spinach around them had formed a warming layer. Even the strawberries had survived! I was overjoyed.
During those dark months we also planted kale, more pak choi, more lettuce, more spinach, lambs lettuce, Brussel sprouts, leak, beetroot, asparagus crowns, peas, runner beans, sunflowers, mint, thyme, marjoram, chives, a pear tree, two apple trees, a plum, a cherry, seven tomato plugs and a sweet pepper plug plant. Phew! We have been busy. It has been interesting, as I only see the garden twice monthly, for me to see it develop in stages; some of them slow and weary, and recently, leaping and bounding. I LOVE this place. It gives me such peace and joy to sit out in the garden with a cup of tea, or a glass of homemade elderflower cordial – more on that later – and simply watch, to soak in all that green. The smell of the soil, the buzz of the bees, and the dart of a hoverfly. It leaves me contented, yet longing for more; an odd feeling. Therefore without further ado, please allow me to share with you some picture of our beautiful garden. May they fill your soul with hope and gladness as they do mine.

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All this in under six months! If that’s not inspiration, I dont know what is.

A few weeks back we tasted our first home grown lettuce and spinach, and the flavour was out of this world in comparison to shop bought. It actually HAD flavour for a start! And you could tell the difference between the lettuce and the spinach. I cant wait for the next harvest on the way – Broad Beans, which I’ve never actually tasted! I’ll share that experience with you, and some recipes in the next post.

I’ve not been idle in the last six months, and I cant wait to catch you all up on our trials and triumphs over the next few weeks.

I really hope that the last six months have been kind to you all, and that you’ve been able to find joy, as I have, in this mad thing we call life. Let me know how it’s gone in the comments below if you have a spare moment. 🙂