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a woman of the soil … it’s veggie growing time …

salad leaves

I haven’t just been concentrating on the flower garden in the last few weeks – oh no – I have been planning and scheming and sowing and planting the edible garden too.  At the moment there is just a lot of bare earth with only a few of last years’ crops left – but when they have been cleared I have all manner of things growing in the greenhouse ready to put in their place.

romano cauliflower seedlings

Polyculture is the name of the game – mixing everything up, growing different plants together with a few beneficial flowers into the mix – and bingo you have something that is beautiful as well as edible.

leek seedlings

When room can’t be found I bring containers into play – anything will do, the more decorative the better, and when one crop is finished the soil is refreshed and in goes something else – the garden becomes like a running buffet – always something to pick and nibble.


What can be better than wandering round popping pea pods and eating the peas raw, or a warm tomato fresh from the vine, savouring strawberries that actually taste like strawberries – these are the simple delights of growing your own.


I have already sown one bed with parsnips, carrots, chard and spinach and  the radish and salad leaves are coming through.

broccoli raab seedlilngs

French beans and sugar snap peas have been sown in troughs and you can see below the peas are already starting to climb

sugar snap container peas

It is a busy time of year in the garden for flower and veg gardening – but think of the rewards later on – oh yes – bring it on!


  1. Hello Elaine:

    This all sounds really exciting and very mouth watering. We do agree that there is nothing to compare with home grown fruit and vegetables and love your idea of mixing everything together.

    Now we no longer have a garden we find ourselves fortunate to live a stone's throw away from an excellent outdoor market where fresh produce is brought in daily from the countryside by the growers themselves. A possible future post?!!

  2. All looking and sounding great.. you can't beat the taste of home grown fruit and veg. I can't walk past the peas without picking a pod or 3 to eat on way back down the garden path. :o)

  3. I love the idea of polyculture. My veggie beds are very much part of the garden scene, I need them to look good as well as being productive. Especially as I've just persuaded Mike we need the screening shrubs taken out, they are casting too much shade.

  4. Beautiful little plants. So let me ask you how? We have stated ours and they grow long and leggy, reaching for the light. They are under a grow light in the front window. Andy suggestions for how to get nice compact, normal, straight stems?

  5. I have been checking on my seedlings too - I just love it when they first poke their heads out of the ground, and I can reflect on what lies ahead for such a tiny green shoot.

  6. It's all looking good! Flighty xx

  7. Bring it on indeed Elaine!
    We're such an excitable can hardly contain oneself. :-)

  8. I wish you still wrote the "Woman of the Soil" blog! Container gardening is very much my sort of thing too. I never have enough space for what I want to grow.

  9. Sounds wonderful! It's good you have the room (not to mention the sun) for all of these.

  10. There is nothing better than being able to go out into the garden to look for your next meal and nothing finer than the taste of peas fresh from the pod and sweet seasonal strawberries:)

  11. So very true friend!!! The rewards are well worth all the work and your green plants and sprouts are just fantastic!!! A wonderful day to you! Nicole xo

  12. I look forward to seeing your examples of polyculture. It is something I would like to do more of. Sarah x

  13. Indeed nothing tastes better than home grown vegetables and fruits. I should like to grow more but than I have to dig a piece of lawn again.... I just have not enough space. I wonder how you manage without your plot.

  14. You definitely have green fingers. Lovely to see all the spring seedlings ready to go in.

  15. Your pictures were literally a sight for sore eyes! We are losing more snow everyday, and the robins are back, but it will be a while before that green comes back into my life.

  16. The only thing sown here are my red onion sets (Red Baron). The rest can wait a while.

  17. Oh yes, bring it on!!! It's a wonderful busy time and there is so much anticipation.....I do agree, you can't beat nibbling as you walk around, picking this and that, and everything smells so much more exotic than shop bought too! Your peas are huge compared to mine, they've only just popped out!xxx

  18. Gosh your peas are already well on their way Elaine - they look like giants compared to mine :) I like your description of the veggie garden as a "running buffet" as long as it does not run too fast for me to keep up with it.

  19. Seeing those fresh greens was like consuming a spring tonic :) I think I'm healthier already.

  20. A lovely post, Elaine, about everything starting to happen in the garden. Super photos of your young veg plants, too. I want to plant more beneficial flowers with veg, too, this year - and as for helping myself to fruit and veg to nibble as I wander around - strawberries are definitely my downfall here!

  21. I just wish we had the space to grow our own and don't get me started on the problems we've had trying to come by an allotment!

    My mouth is watering at the thought of fresh picked strawberries :)

  22. I love your philosophy Elaine, and try to do something similar, in particular, always have something to pop in to the gaps - it helps me get over the annoyance of slugs devouring my early broad bean plants or the blackbirds digging up my beetroot seedlings in their hunt for worms and bugs!


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