Cottage Inspired Veggie Gardens

Simone - Picnics and Paddocks is talking about growing Beetroot, Cabbage, Carrot, Celery, Herbs, Lettuce, Peas, Radish, Spinach from Northland

Just starting off...

Hi everyone! I’ve been looking forward to this challenge starting for a while now. Last year was my first year of learning how to properly grow my own vegetables and I learnt so much from participating in this challenge. I found it to be such an inspiring and supportive network to be part of. For those very reasons I’m so excited to be participating again. Hopefully this year I’ll be able to give back a bit more too and share a few gems I’ve learnt throughout my gardening journey so far. I’m also looking forward to continuing to learn from other gardeners as I feel I still have so much learning to do! 

We live on a three acre block of land in Northland. While three acres sounds like a lot of land for gardening, I’ve really had to stick to the backyard as the majority of our land is rolling and we’re on clay. I have two large raised gardens, each measuring 4 m x 1.2 m and another two gardens that are each 2 m x 1.2 m. I also have a large garden extension planned. Alongside building raised gardens we’ve been planting a mini backyard orchard. So far we have a double grafted plum (Black Doris and Omega), two apple trees, a lime, lemon, mandarin and dwarf peach. I plan on purchasing a couple more dwarf peach and nectarine trees before it gets too warm. I’ve also been planning a large feijoa hedge, but that may have to wait for now. 

Currently the two large raised vegetable gardens are full! I’ve turned half of one garden into a strawberry and blueberry patch. In the rest of the space in those two gardens I have peas, carrots, radishes, red onions, a mix of lettuces, spinach, celery, bok choy, baby cabbages, lots of herbs and a few different flowers – some edible and some cottage flowers. Those two gardens have been inspired by French kitchen/cottage gardens. Some of the flowers I’ve planted among the vegetables and herbs include – Calendula, Snap Dragons, Cornflower, Canterbury Bells and Violas. Lavender and Borage will come soon. 

I’ve also sowed three trays of seeds including – 14 varieties of tomatoes, salad greens, more peas, bright lights silverbeet, pumpkins, melons, courgettes, glass gem corn and more cottage flowers. I’m really looking forward to seeing how the glass gem corn goes this season. Last year we grew strawberry popping corn, which was a hit with my now three year old. I’ve planted the glass gem corn early as I wanted to allow about six weeks before starting my sweetcorn. Can’t risk the two cross pollinating. It’s only my first round of seed sowing so more to come. Four varieties of potatoes are also busy chitting away on the bench, with hopefully a fifth variety to come very soon! 

My garden goals for September include sowing the rest of my seeds, growing something I haven’t tried to grow before, putting in our 20 metre ‘no dig’ cottage garden extension (it’s going to run the full length of our house) and getting in my dwarf fruit trees before it gets too much warmer.