It's been a while since I did one of my garden updates, but I want to get back into writing about what's happening with my garden. It provides me with a lot of pleasure but also sometimes some food! I'm not getting any food from it at the moment, but I do have a few things growing in the raised beds.
During the autumn I planted some garlic bulbs in one of the raised beds, which are doing very well. 11/12 of the cloves I planted germinated and are growing. I've been worried by the recent frosts in case the mild weather throughout December and January meant that they hadn't been hardened to such cold conditions, but they still seem to be doing ok. I also planted some field beans to act as a green manure in the other raised bed.
I learnt a valuable lesson about composting, which is don't put coriander plants which have gone to seed in the compost!
In the rest of the garden we had a lot of pruning to do over the winter, as we have a lot of trees and shrubs in our small garden. Sadly, one of our shrubs died - I suspect it's been poorly for a long time (since before we moved in 3 years ago) because although it had flowered, it had never had any leaved on it. The one good thing that came out of this, though, is that I was able to clear some space and I actually have a bit of space to plant other things now.
Although I haven't actually tested my soil, I've started to strongly suspect we have slightly acidic soil, judging by the kinds of plants which thrive in the garden, and by some which just haven't taken and have died. I might confirm this with one of those soil tester kits in order to help guide my planting in future.
I had a day off from work today, so decided to take a wander down to our local shops. My local greengrocer's always has a selection of very reasonably placed garden plants out the front and I managed to pick up this erica darleyensis (a type of heather) for £1! A couple of fat bumblebees were going crazy for it as soon as I put it out in the garden today. I'm looking forward to seeing how well it grows in the newly-created space in my border.