Do you have an allotment or a patch in the garden?
I share my garden with a 14ft trampoline, two swings and a lot of footballs that belong to my two gorgeous children who care only that the garden is a place in which to play, and so it should be. That does not however mean it cannot also be a pretty and productive paradise, loved by pollinators and grown-up people alike!
I grow most of my veg in five raised beds built in the furthest corners from the footballs around the garden. All of the fruit and herbs, with the exception of strawberries which have their own dedicated raised bed, are grown in the borders intermingled with flowers. This brings the obvious companion planting benefits but chives for example, mixed with hostas, are a winning combination aesthetically.
Any favourite veg or fruit you would recommend to others and what experiments did you plan for 2021 in the veg garden?
I love to grow produce to eat and there is no better feeling in the world than lifting homegrown fruit, veg and herbs from plot to plate. I grow potatoes, onions, cabbages, kale, leeks, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, carrots, turnips, peas, lettuce, beetroot, tomatoes, chillies, strawberries, apples, gooseberries, raspberries, chives, rosemary, thyme, basil and parsley among other things.
I grew tree spinach for the first time last year and loved the height and structure it gave so I have sown it this year in a line at the back of one of the veg beds in order to use that height to provide a soft windbreak and to screen off the tool shed and working corner.
For the first time ever I have grown potatoes in pots this year, primarily to free up space in the veg beds to grow more of other crops. They were a little slow to start into growth but once they took off, the growth was prolific. The benefit of growing them in pots is being able to move the pots to our seating area to benefit from the foliage which I have used as a foil for lavender and summer bedding.
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After training as a botanist and gaining her MSc in Crop Protection, Pippa Greenwood spent 11 years in charge of the RHS Wisley plant pathology department. She is the author of countless best-selling books and is a long-standing voice on BBC 4 Gardeners’ Question Time. Here she talks with Daniel Heighes
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Some people have no filter. They’ll conduct the most personal phone conversations at maximum volume on the subway. Or they’ll regale perfect strangers with the excruciating details of their latest medical procedures. Most of us, though, have a better idea of how to maintain privacy for ourselves and our friends. But do you take the same attitude on social media? It’s easy to notice that you’re too loud on the phone in public, but it’s less easy to realize that your settings let any schmo read your social media posts. And yet protecting your privacy on social media is important, in more ways than you may realize.
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