How the Garden Grows #12

23 January, 2015 0 Comments
The jasmine is so pretty at the moment

The jasmine is so pretty at the moment

It’s been a long, long time since I’ve last blogged about the garden. But I suppose in a space that is as teeny tiny as ours, there’s not a lot you can do once winter appears. Well, there’s not a huge amount to do here. We have been pottering and hopefully we’ll see the spoils of that in the next few months. There’s still a bot of veggies growing around the place such as the broad beans and cabbage (although it looks like it’s too late for a head to form on the cabbage by spring? I’ve never grown them before so I’m not sure how they should be at this time of year). The rainbow chard has been a brilliant success this season and is not only providing us with quite a bit of produce but is probably the brightest and cheeriest thing to see in the garden. I will definitely be growing this again this spring time.

How the Garden Grows

How the Garden Grows

How the Garden Grows

The rhubarb seems to have lost it’s leaves. There does seem to be a head. Will it be ok? I have NO idea. I think I should research the plants I grow rather than sticking them in the ground and hoping for the best.

How the Garden Grows

I also planted some bulbs last autumn. In the ground there should hopefully be narcissi, iris, tulips, allium (I’ve always wanted these in my garden, so I’m so excited about these!), crocus and Dave’s favourite flower, snowdrops. I say hopefully because those damn squirrels keep digging away in my beds so who knows if there are any bulbs there? I think I am most looking forward to seeing the crocus emerge as I’ve planted them into our patch of grass.

How the Garden Grows

There was one other job we did over the winter. It was quite a big job, and it’s possibly one that could be quite controversial. We did something quite dramatic, quite destructive. DON’T JUDGE ME!

Do you remember the ornamental cherry tree in the corner of the garden that gave us beautiful blossom in the spring like this?


We cut it down.

How the Garden Grows

I STILL feel guilty about it. It took a lot of thinking and umm-ing and ah-ing about doing it, but in the end, I want this garden to be as productive as possible. With the exception of some really gorgeous flowers for a couple of weeks, it didn’t do an awful lot. I was worried about the birds and insects who use the tree, but I luckily have a sister who is an ecologist and she reassured me that they would be ok. After all, we are in the ‘burbs and surrounded by lots of other trees and plants, so nothing gets too displaced. Thank you SO much for that talk Julia, because I’d still have the cherry tree growing now, waiting for next winter, STILL wondering if I should cut it down or not. I over-think things.

And what have we done to the space where the cherry was? We’ve concreted it over.

I joke!

We have a new tree! An apple tree! I’ve already forgotten the variety! I don’t know what the rootstock is! But I don’t care, because we have an apple tree! It only cost us a tenner from the garden centre (this was just before Christmas so they were making way for New Shiny Things)! Yeah, I’m quite excited about the new tree. And now I have this song on the brain.

Actually not remembering what tree it was is a bit annoying. But what I can recall from the tag before I lost it, the tree doesn’t need pollinating from me as we’re in an urban area and the rootstock size is just fine for us, so it should work out ok. Actually, when we bought it, there was already a small apple on a branch, so I know it can produce fruit. Lets hope it’ll be productive and the blossom pretty. The new season’s buds are already growing.

How the Garden Grows

Because chopping down a perfectly healthy tree still seems quite senseless to me (I’m a tree-hugging hippy, ok?), we’ve put what we can of the old tree to use. The cherry didn’t have one big trunk, but lots of little ones, more like lots of long thin branches that started from the ground. We have saved quite a few of these to use as garden stakes and a thick chunk of wood has been saved for my brother in law to make a rattle for Arthur with it. All the leaves and twigs and small branches got put in our green wheelie bin, which Enfield council then compost and use in their parks. So nothing has gone to waste, which is nice. Continuing with trying to make the garden as productive as possible, we have also created a log pile with the remainder of the trunk, so hopefully we’ll have a good amount of insects and creepy crawlies making a new home there soon.

How the Garden Grows

22 January, 2015


  1. Reply

    Merlinda Little ( @pixiedusk)

    23 January, 2015

    Awww your apple tree looks promising! Your garden looks like its ready for spring too! #hdygg

  2. Reply

    Catherine Hughes (Growing Family)

    23 January, 2015

    When your space is limited you have to make tough choices sometimes. We cut down a tree last year to give my treasured magnolia the room it needed to thrive, I felt awful at the time but it was the right thing to do. Great idea making a bug haven with the branches, I wish we’d done that!

    Like you I’ve been wanting alliums in our garden for ages and finally planted some last year, can’t wait for them to pop up!

  3. Reply


    23 January, 2015

    Regarding the cabbage it depends on what variety it is! Rhubarb is a perennial so the leaves die back and new growth appears late winter/early spring. It’s worth putting a mulch over it over the winter. Fancy not knowing what apple tree it is! Well done with the log pile. xx

  4. Reply

    Rosie @Eco-Gites of Lenault

    27 January, 2015

    Even if your cabbage does not form a head you can still eat the leaves and it may well be a spring cabbage that only hearts up as the weather warms.

  5. Reply


    29 January, 2015

    Ah RIP cherry tree but hello apple tree! We planted apple trees 4 years ago and last year had enough apples for a few crumbles – sometimes you make tough choices for a productive garden but ultimately it needs to work to fit your needs πŸ™‚
    Thanks for joining in again and sharing x


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