This Year vs Last

I’ve had a few people ask to see the whole garden in full-swing and not just a tiny glimpse. So here it is. In all its glory, my tiny plot, in full production. Quite tiny I know. But for a small space we’re harvesting a lot of produce. At the moment we can harvest Potatoes, Onions, Garlic, Cabbage, Green Beans, Cucumbers, Gherkins, Spring Onions, Stawberries, Raspberries, Blackcurrants, Blackberries, Lettuce, Courgettes, Herbs, Sunflowers, Gladioli, Cornflowers, Calendula, Sweetpeas, Echinacea, Sunflowers. And looking forward to Peaches, Apples, Grapes, Tomatoes, Sweetcorn, Leeks, Runner Beans, Pumpkins and Squash. Phew! The big gap you can see in the bottom left hand corner is where the Mangetout went over. I plan to put some Cos Lettuce in there in the next few days.

As luck would have it I took a photo of the garden in full swing at almost the exact same time last year. As you can see a few of the perennials were a little smaller than they are this year, including the Lavenders and especially the Raspberries (running along the left hand side of the bottom left bed). The craziness going on the far left hand wall is the doomed Tomatoes (with a Peach tree in there somewhere!).

How’s your garden going this year? Good, bad, better than last year?

21 Comments on “This Year vs Last

  1. Your garden looks absolutely amazing! Sadly mine has taken on a lot of weeds this summer. With both kids up and running and attempting to escape every moment my eyes are off of them it is sitting on the back burner for now, but next year will be a big year and hopefully some expansions!

    Keep up the great work.

  2. Pleeeeeeease tell me you spent ages tidying and weeding before you took the pics?!?

    Also very impressed by the lack of toys / scooters / child-related clutter getting in the way of the gardening!

  3. You’ve got an amazing garden. Must take you ages to keep it looking that good!

  4. I don’t spend ages in the garden – honestly I don’t. I spend ages ‘thinking’ about the garden but actually working on it – I reckon about half an hour a day. Usually, at 6:30pm when Jackson is having his bath. I’m also the fastest weeder in the West :)

  5. Your garden is lovely. I haven’t grown as many plants as you have, but my plum tree is full of plums, in fact I don’t know what to do with them when they have ripen at the end of August.

  6. Compared to last year, our garden is about 2–3 weeks behind. I’m in Southern Maine (US) and May/June was very cool, rainy, and cloudy. At one point, over a 50-day span, we had only two sunny days.

    Last year (July 27, 2008)

    This year (July 23, 2009)

    Also last year, we did Vegetable Marrow for the first time. It’s basically unheard of here in the US. The leaves were enormous and really spread making the garden look extra lush. To save space I didn’t do marrow this year…but now I wish I had :)

  7. It may be small but it really does look good. I imagine that it being small makes it easier to keep up with. I might try that some day.

    No pictures of my garden this week. No no.

  8. A favourite book of mine is “The Half-hour Allotment” by Lia Leendertz (Royal Horticultural Society).

    Although my little patch of mud is nothing like the size of an allotment, I find the principles work just as well – go out there with a job in mind, (more or less) stick to the job in hand, and don’t worry about all the other things waiting to be done while you are doing that job.

    Unfortunately, my garden has been largely abandoned since the beginning of June, as I have been based in London, visiting my mother in hospital. However, I have been surprised how well it has survived, with just a bit of concentrated work on the few days I have managed to get home – ignoring anything but the vegetable plots themselves. The lawn is a mess, my garden seats have weeds growing through them, but my soaker hoses have kept the garden well watered, and I have come back each time with a harvest of several lettuces, spring onions, broad beans and sugar snap peas (which I have been shelling, like peas, as by the time I pick them they have been quite large).

    Last time I looked, my (outdoor) tomato plants were also hanging in there, with lots of green fruit. Here’s hoping I get back in time to harvest them.

  9. You sure have packed a lot in, it’s very impressive. In my garden this year….it’s been fantastic for currants, and I’ve made about 10 litres of jam and still have 5+kg in the freezer. The gooseberries did well despite the sawfly attack, and the raspberries are doing well but are under attack by wasps: have hung up wasp traps but they like the berries better, and they make it impossible to pick them at the moment it’s that bad. Asparagus started well but faded with the weather. Broad beans, salad leaves, beetroot and courgettes have done brilliantly, as did mange tout and peas (despite best efforts of snails), and runners are doing nicely. Carrots thought soil was too good (not sure how that happened) and so are badly forked/mishapen. Looking good is tomatoes, chili, sweetcorn, squash, pumpkin & parsnips, and shallots are waiting for some sunshine to dry them. Potatoes are quality but quantity not so good. Apple trees well laden but plum tree will have to go after another barren year. Rhubarb was good too, herbs a bit out of control and need hacking back… All in all, not bad for a weekend gardener!

  10. It’s the first year that I’ve had my allotment, so there’s nothing to compare to last year yet. I haven’t cleared the whole of the allotment, but the part which has been cleared and used is producing lots of veg. I’m hoping to get the whole of the allotment in use for next year, and then it will be good to compare it to this year.

  11. Like Jo, I’m in year one of my allotment – so far our carrots have been dire but our potatoes fantastic. We had great strawberries and the transplanted raspberries have even produced a few berries. The Jerusalem artichokes look good, but the test will be when we lift them. Our real surprise this year has been sweetcorn, grown for the first time and looking utterly fantastic. Sadly, we haven’t been up for a week or so, because one of us has swine flu and the other can’t really head up to the plot … it seems a bit hard-hearted to tend veggies and not life-partners!

  12. Well done you! Looks beautiful! Ours is new and young, but it makes me very happy when I sit in it, or when I pull up veg to eat in the kitchen.

  13. Very nice! You sure have it well organised. My garden has so far helped my husband and me eat well this summer: cherry tomatoes, kale, chard, spinach, blueberries, raspberries, zucchini, snow peas, yellow beans, onions, and loads of herbs. We’ve been lucky too, I guess – the caterpillars aren’t as bad as they were last year, and the slugs are just moderately annoying!

  14. …oh, and what’s been your experience drying herbs and herb seeds like coriander? Just curious as it’s time for that out here too!

  15. Wow! You have a great looking garden! It looks very neat and organized. Most of the time by this time of year my garden is a jungled mess.

    I have a fairly small space to work with as well, and try to pack as many veggies in as possible, which is why it becomes something that you might find in the Amazon.

    Also, I love the way you incorporated the dining area in the center. A great way to enjoy a nice meal surrounded by your gorgeous garden.

    Thanks for sharing!


  16. Your garden is amazing! It looks so pretty even though it’s mostly veggies that you’re growing. I’m planning to have all my veggies round the back next year so the front can look pretty and the veg (that don’t) are all hidden away!! From looking at your garden, I guess I just need to plan it better, but this is only our first year.

    For our first year though we are very impressed with ourselves. We were supposed to start small and see how things went but things escalated!! We ended up growing shallots, garlic, onions, lettuce, sugarsnap peas, carrots (round balls and normal), spring onions, potatoes, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, courgette, chillies, green peppers, yellow peppers, cherries (which got trashed in bad weather), strawberries, and then mushrooms (in the cellar!). Also basil, parsley, peppermint, coriander (which I dumped when I discovered I don’t like it fresh!!) and chives. Not bad for a first attempt. Not quite small like we planned, but it was all a huge success. We also already had grapes, raspberries, white raspberries and some other fruit tree that is still to be identified in English!!!

    I can’t wait til next year when we have a proper plan in mind (she’s says, hoping desperately that that’s true!!). If this is what we can do as a first attempt, we’re heading for great things next year!!!

  17. So lovely! I love what you’ve done with such a small, sweet space. It looks like a little version of heaven.

    Our garden is better than last year, although we’re in the midst of a serious drought. And it’s been a cool summer, so I have tomatoes that have been on the vine for three weeks with no signs of ripening.

    I’m curious – how do you grow pumpkins in such a small area??

  18. I wish I had a tiny plot like yours, it looks amazing.
    Instead I have three verandas where I plant the aromatic herbs, the vegetables and a ton of cactus, all in flower-pots!
    Maybe one day, ;).
    Keep on posting your wonderfull photos.