A lot has happened the past week or so, and therefore a lot didn’t happen at the same time. One of the things that didn’t happen, was me updating this blog. So, as we speak I’m typing out five different blogposts to entertain you during the week. Some posts about things I promised to post like the capers from dandelion buds for example, but also some general updates on my search on finding a perfect way of living for example, on our trip to Switzerland this past weekend and I’ll start off with an update on our garden, because it’s showing some signs of life and that makes me happy – or satisfied – or keeps me entertained at least.
As said, we did a short trip to Switzerland this weekend, since it was a long holiday weekend here in France due to some christian holidays and liberation day. Eduard had to give a talk yesterday in Stuttgart (Germany) and we decided to combine both and take a bit of a break, since we didn’t have a proper holiday for a long time (this wasn’t a proper holiday, but it will keep us energised till we get one). So on our way to Stuttgart, we visited Geneva, Bern and Lucerne. But I’ll tell you more about this in a later post. Because today is about gardening!
Now I see you scratch your head, this isn’t our garden, you are right. This is – I imagine – a community garden in Bern. I was so impressed by it a few days ago, that I couldn’t stop making pictures. It’s all I want my garden to be, all it will never be. It’s so organised – so Swiss – just perfect. While standing on top of the wall looking over this garden I literary only could drool over it.
What I found most inspiring was that in a cramped city, where things were definitely not built to set up a garden, people do find ways to grow vegetables in the city. This is a perfect example of city gardening. Also – again I’m only imagining this – I find it kind of nice to see that probably that big house on the background once owned this big lot and now it’s sort of given back by the community.
I can be totally wrong, since we didn’t have a tour guide, so I’m just romancing away about gardens in the city of gingerbread rooftops.
Now these inspiring gardens bring me back to our own garden – the village garden. Just before we left Eduard made some new beds in the garden and I cleaned out some wild plants, but before I could place some new things in them it started to pour. So we left it like it was – and I crossed my fingers that when we would come back, miraculously the plants would have doubled in size. Most of them didn’t, surprise – surprise.
Inspired by the Bern gardens I decided to plant some more of the seedlings we had lying around ready to be planted. We now have five beds and half of the garden is dug up I think. It’s growing organically. Although I had big and very precise – swiss like – plans . Yeah, I even drew a map of the garden. Soon we found out that some parts of the garden were pretty un-duggable. So now we just dig as we go and stop where there is too much force from below. ;)
It looks now like the picture above. The view above is from the gate of the vegetable garden. That’s where you walk into the vegetable garden.
We’ve planted some haricots at the beginning, then some corn and then after that you move on to the cabbages. Below you can see the view from the other side. On the left of the cabbages I’ve planted some courgettes and a lost pumpkin (or five ;)). Probably I haven’t given them enough space, but we’ll see. I kind of assume it will be ok. I’m also still working on the stone-marking, I’m halfway or so.
This back part of the garden under the apple tree is more familiar with you I guess, I’ve blogged about it earlier as well (1, 2). These beds have had some more time to grow and there is a lot happening in there. Lot of good things and some wildlings trying to set foot on ground as well.
The lettuce is for example ready to be picked. So this week we will probably eat something from our new garden for the first time. Below you can see some tomato plants, ones we bought (the big ones) and tiny ones that came form seeds. There are also some bigger pepper plants there and a lot of wild plants, which I can’t really remove because I’m not always sure if they should be there or not ;).
Before I started this garden I read a lot about vegetable gardening, one of the things that you can find a lot of information on is how to keep bugs away from the crops. If you want to go green, an advised method is to mix everything up – to let go of the rows and just mix and match colours and types of leafs, consistencies etc etc. This would confuse the bugs and even if they would find the type of plant that they like to eat up, they probably can’t find enough of it close to the first piece they found to survive with a whole colony. So the damage would be only small.
I thought that this above method would fit me. I could randomly, chaotically place things in the garden and then things would be ok. It sounded like a win win situation.
Unfortunatly that’s not the case. If crops are difficult to find for bugs because they are placed randomly in the garden, then probably they are difficult to find for you as well. Especially if you are doing some weeding and want to know if something belongs there or doesn’t belong there. This above method is probably not meant for the intuitive gardner, but would fit better with the organised more advanced gardner that can recognise seedlings and also maps out where every individual plant will grow.
I went back to the simple rows (as you can see above. You can much easier spot things that shouldn’t be there, due to the clear line of the seedlings. And bugs? Well we’ll see, we won’t use any chemical things, I guess if something gets totally eaten, we will just learn from it for next year. Since there wasn’t a garden in this space for years, I assume most of the insects don’t have a fresh memory of where to find yummy beans, carrots, beets and whatever else. I hope at least…
So much for the garden update. But before I close up the blogpost. I have two questions some of you might be able to answer. From now on I hope to post more updates more regularly on the garden. They will be less chunky, I promise ;)
And then the questions, I wonder if you know…
- We have a few bushes like the one above in our garden and they are a bit in the way. Before we take them away, we are kind of wondering what they are. Do you maybe know? The flower looks a bit like jasmin, but I think it’s a bit smaller.
- While weeding out things in the garden I found this root like plant. the top part looks like greens from a carrot. The root smells very much like a carrot, but it’s wild and it definitely isn’t orange (like most carrots). Any idea what it might be? I made a few pictures so that you can have a good look at it.