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Photo Article from the Welsh Hovel - the vegetable garden, the jungle as was

Tom Winnifrith
Thursday 3 June 2021

The area that was once the jungle runs about 60 yards from the back of the snake barn (a huge, green, iron shed whose days are numbered) gently uphill alongside the lane down to the Welsh Hovel. It is about 30 yards wide. And it is now really starting to take shape as you can see below. We start at the bottom, behind the snake barn looking up what is a gradual slope.  The biggest tree, about half of the way up, is a pear tree. On this side of it, the only things planted right now on the main patch are 15 chilli, hot pepper and sweet pepper plants in a row next to the cloches which have only just come off. 

At this end of the garden are the two compost pits which are filling up nicely with vegetable waste from the house, weeds, grass clippings and the odd sack of chicken poo from my friend H. We also have six new fruit bushes around one of the two “Joshua gardens.” The one immediately below the compost pit has radishes, sweetcorn, lettuce and spring onions. the other one has more radishes and lettuces but also marrows, courgettes and pumpkins with a small fennel plant which almost died in the herb patch and so was removed and nursed back to life in my work shed. It went into Joshua’s garden as a substitute for a courgette plant that “went West”


On the non road side above the compost pits there are fruit bushes all the way to the top: raspberry, blueberry, gooseberry, blackberry and one redcurrant and one blackcurrant. It is one row only but I have started planting out a second row at the bottom to increase our output.

Right at the top on the road side are the eight rhubarb plants which are already yielding stalks. In the middle of them is the top cherry tree and we also found a rogue strawberry plant up here which we are supporting.  Surrounding the rhubarb is a ring of lavender bushes which should grow to just under 3 foot tall in due course.

The far half of the garden beyond the pear tree is now full with rows of vegetables. Potatoes, broad beans, onions, spring onions, peas, mange tous and garlic are all flourishing. Runner beans, spinach, lettuce and much else are slowly coming through the surface. The chillies and peppers are now cloche free and look good.

Along the side of the road I planted cherry trees, both sweet and sour, some 19 months ago. The top one is in the rhubarb and they form a line all the way down to well past the snake barn. As you can see, we will have cherries this year. Below the trees there are the lavender plants from this spring. These go down from where they meet those circling round the rhubarb all the way down to just above the snake barn. When that barn comes down, I will plant another cherry and complete the lavender wall which should be 3 foot high when it matures.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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