Growing Veg at Plot No. 12

In January 2018, I became the proud custodian of Plot No. 12 at Winterbourne House and Garden.  I don’t really know very much about gardening, let alone growing produce. My journey is very much going to be one of exploration and experimentation. In this series I will be sharing every step, success and failure at Plot No. 12.

I can just about find my way around the garden.  I have some understanding of green-fingered things, but not much.  Even so, I long to grow produce. I want to nurture it and cheer it on, cook with it and take delight in the food that I’ve raised. When the opportunity arose to tend a growing space of my own at Winterbourne House and Garden, I jumped at the chance.

I’ve been waiting for a traditional allotment space for over three years now and to be honest, I’m quite glad that Plot No.12 became available first. I actually wouldn’t have the time or physical wellbeing to clear, plant and maintain a large scale growing space. The plot is big enough to allow me to grow enough food for Mr SV and I, but small enough for me to tend during lunchtimes.

The Plot

The plot is tucked around the back of the formal gardens, amongst the glass houses and general behind the scenes action.  I’m a nosey parker, so just being able to spy the goings-on really excites me.

Plot 12 measures 5 metres by 3 metres and was previously tended to really well, so although it needs a good tidy and planting up, the soil is well looked after and nutrient heavy.

Included with my plot is glasshouse space.  I’m really excited about this as it means I can grow from seed and can’t wait to plant up veg and flowers for the plot and for at home too.

Surrounding the growing spaces are a collection of plum and crab apple trees that provide as much fruit as you can manage for my fellow growers and I. I feel plum crumbles will be a popular dish this year.

It’s such a beautiful spot to spend my lunch times and when it comes to the sunshine harvesting season, I can’t think of anything lovelier than taking a picnic and gathering up the day’s ripe produce.

But for now, there is hard work ahead.  I’ve been identifying what is on my list of food I would like to grow and then will research to form that into a planting plan for the year.

My Plot No. 12 Wish-list

  • Thyme
  • Sage
  • Flat leaf parsley
  • Chives
  • Basil
  • Dill
  • Potatoes
  • Garlic
  • Rainbow Carrots
  • Yellow and green corguettes
  • Leeks
  • Shallots
  • Radishes
  • Pumpkins and squashes
  • Cucumber
  • Tomatoes
  • Strawberries
  • Lettuce

From that very long list I now need to look at what I’ve got space and conditions for.  I may even opt for growing salad at home at keep the plot for vegetables and fruits.

I will also be using the glasshouse to start off my Sweet peas, Dahlias, Sunflowers and Cosmos, though I think they may be for planting in the garden, rather than for cutting flowers.

So now it’s time to get started.  Ive started to collect some seeds for potting up and will start clearing the patch next week, ready to start planting as it warms up.  I do want do record my progress to  help me to reflect, and maybe to inspire someone to grow their own produce themselves.

After all, if I manage to succeed in growing vegetables that are fit for human consumption, you can too.

Until the next instalment of progress at Plot No. 12!