Kitchen Garden Plans 2017
Our Kitchen Garden Plans 2017 have been seriously interrupted by Storm Doris, now bashing to bits Scotland and the UK. So far, we on the East Yorkshire coast are snow free, but the wind (or rather gales) are causing a bit of havoc everywhere.
Rivulets of rain are pounding on our Velux windows in our fantastically windproof new kitchen, but the scenes in our garden are slightly messy. One garden umbrella fallen on a fence, so we’ve left it there for now, a few smallish branches scattering the lawn and, the weirdest of all, our green waterproof hammock awing must be at the mercy of some ghostly figure from the past, having a good swing, backwards and forwards, forwards and backwards. The skies are blackening in between odd blue skies and the sudden rays of the sun, which last for a minute or two, and then back to even greyer skies.
Since last week, our Kitchen Garden Plans for 2017 were going great guns. Seeds sorted, seed boxes and see-through lids re-found from the depths of our old potting shed, half-way down the garden. We both worked like Trojans over the weekend to hack and chop the detritus at the very far end of our garden, to get it ready for a big bonfire and then to scatter over the incredibly beautiful Meadow Flower seed mixes that we bought from Sarah Raven.
But we worked so hard and ached so hard that on Monday that we decided to have a less frantic day, and now we have this storm!! Battening down the hatches and going to light the log burner now. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.
Well, would you believe it? The storm has disappeared. From Hornsea, at least. It’s the next day, with a blue sky, still a bit chilly but no wind or lashing rain at all! Thank goodness. So this morning I have actually been planting some seeds for the Kitchen Garden. Quite a few from Sarah Raven, as I find she gives such good information and help, with the vegetable seeds and also with the flower seeds. Her catalogues are a mine of information, as is her website.
I decided to sit outside our new kitchen, hoping that the sun would be warm enough to do this messy deed. Because a lot of these seeds are tiny, I cannot plant them with gloves on, so hoped my hands wouldn’t be too cold. It was warm enough to begin with, but I confess I was a bit chilly after a while. Determined to get some seeds planted, I tried to convince myself that my fingers wouldn’t freeze up.
I began by planting the Artichoke ‘Violet de Provence’. Not only a brilliant early artichoke, but it makes a majestic plant in your garden. Almost sculptural, with it’s big leaves, and purple flowers (or is it fruits?)
Another favourite of mine from Sarah is Chard ‘Bright Lights’ and Chard ‘White Silver’. These are very easy to grow, and the ‘Bright Lights’ look amazing either in lines in the soil or in individual pots, with their multi-coloured stems ranging from pale yellow, bright orange, shocking pink and vivid crimson. The picture below is from Thompson & Morgan, another favourite for my Kitchen Garden. I wanted to show you the fantastic stem colours. All edible as well.
Chard is so good to eat, and we pick either the small leaves for salads or the larger leaves to turn into a fabulous Chard Gratin. It is a cut and come again plant, lasting many months. Click on the Chard Gratin link for the recipe and more info about this great vegetable.
One of my new favourite plants, to both grow and eat, is Cavolo Nero, a very healthy and handsome plant. Sarah Raven calls it ‘Nero di Toscana’, and it grows so strongly through even the toughest winter. It always reminds me of the Prince of Wales feather emblem, and looks amazing in a large stone or terracotta garden tub. So in went the seeds this morning, after which time my fingers had turned to ice!
So I chickened out of sowing my seeds for today, and will have to work a bit harder, or be a lot tougher, to further our Kitchen Garden Plans for 2017. I am seriously excited, though, at the thought of all these fantastic vegetables and fruits we will be eating from our own garden this year.
To have a look at Sarah Raven’s seeds and plants catalogues, click here.
To have a look at the Thompson & Morgan catalogues, click here.