Saturday, 29 January 2011

Good for mind, body and wallet.

I’ve been banging on for years at how great gardening is. My friends groan at me sometimes. A few people listen, most don’t I guess. It’s the plus points that people miss that saddens me. Ok, so we get pretty flowers and provide habitat for wildlife in a concrete suburbia. We grow our own fruit and vegetables and have a great outdoor entertainment area. But what else you ask?

We all seem to either love or hate gardening. But the bonus plus points to it are missed, even by the ones that love it.

All winter, echoes of “I’m so cold” and “I need to get to the gym” ring alongside “I’m skint” and ”gas bills gone up again”. Well, gardening answers some of it! Ten minutes digging a vegetable patch, in even the coldest of temperatures, will have you peeling off those layers of clothing due to the unbearable heat your body is generating. Then, when you get back into the house, the last thing you will want is the heating on! You will be glowing like a beacon and happy to sit and cool off.

So here we have my big missed plus to gardening. You just prepared some ground ready for growing vegetables, with just pence invested in seed. The pounds you will save in grocery shopping eh? You have less demand on your central heating as you get used to ‘real cold’ and are happy to have the house a few degrees lower. Gym membership becomes something your friends waste their money on trying to get ‘abs’, and your digging generated leaner physique.

So there we have it. Gardening can bless us with lower grocery bills, a healthier lifestyle, and a much fatter wallet. Not to mention the eco benefit of the ‘lower carbon footprint’ thingy due to saving food miles and gas energy.

I have had this on my mind for weeks now. It’s not my imagination running away with me. It’s a fact that I just wanted to put across to make a point. So many people miss understand the ways gardening can have a positive effect on life. Not to mention the pride it gives. Gardening, good for mind, body and wallet!!!

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Still here. Been busy. Still busy!!

Shame on me. It has been twelve months since my last blog post. My initial idea of a post each week failed on a grand scale. Therefore, I am left with the need to update a whole years progress. I must dedicate one night a week to blog!

First failure was getting a lawn down! I ended up so busy at work my spare time required me to concentrate on growing things. Food and flowers dominated my year. My love hate relationship with bedding plants turned into a love love one! The garden was transformed with ease (I’m thinking here I should learn to input a photo onto blog). Zinnias, Cosmos, Petunia, Marigold, Verbena, Lobelia in all colours and sizes transformed the drab extremities of the garden, as well as the rockery I created.

A full complement of typical allotment veg managed to bless the vegetable patch too. I filled my allotment at the old house with potatoes saving the new veg patch at Blackgates for the brassicas, beans, onions, squashes, sweetcorn, pea, celery, lettuce, leeks and greenhouses with tomatoes, peppers and cucumber. The soft fruit harvest was bountiful too. Black, red and white currants. Strawberries, raspberries and gooseberries to name most. The apple trees were generous; the pear had great blossom but failed to be pollinated (more pear bought this year).

The garden is to get 12 new fruit trees planted this year, plum, apple and pear. I need to lose some vegetable garden to do this so will keep the allotment on as well. Not the intention but my little boy loves picking and eating fruit so have to plant more trees! I intend to fence off the orchard area and let some chickens roam underneath the trees.

Off to try and figure out my seed sowing plan now. Nearly seventy packets to wade through! Seed compost mixed, pots cleaned and ready to go. Dahlias started and on their way. So all in all, off to a good start.
Take care, and make the most of that room outside.
P.s. The compost tumbler was not as good as I had hoped. Will stick to traditional method.