Veg Patch

To read the story of my Veg Patch in chronological order use the links in the Blog Archive

Saturday, 19 April 2014

All about Oakhaven

I don't write blogs as often as I used to , simply because gardening is cyclical, which means every 12 months you do the same thing again. The plot is well established now and so I have been getting everything ready for the summer , but it would get a bit boring if I  just did the same thing over and over again, or grew the same things, so I am always looking for new things to do and grow, to make life a bit challenging. 

This year I have taken on a couple of growing challenges and then I decided I would love to use my hobby to raise money for Oakhaven Hospice. Regular readers will know that I volunteer for them in the local charity shop and have had some success winning a prize in the christmas window competition. I decided it would be a good idea to grow some plants and sell them to raise money. 

I didn't actually realise what a lot of work that simple thought would generate. There was lots to consider. What to grow, When to hold the sale, and how to get people to come. What to grow was pretty easy, I am a seedaholic, I have thousands of them so I riffled through my collection and picked stuff that I thought would sell . Seeds were sown and they grew and grew then the mammoth task of pricking out began. I want to make money so I didn't want to be spending it on things, like flowerpots, so after a fairly successful poster appeal at the shop, I was in possession of a huge array of pots in all shapes, sizes and colours. Then it was just a matter of getting on with it. 

As you can see its been a huge job, but its pretty much finished now, all I want is for the seedlings to grow to a decent size. 

That is only a small number of the plants I have, they are all over the place keeping snug waiting to go to new homes. In a moment of foresight, at the end of last year I took loads of penstemon and fuchsia cuttings. I don't know why but the idea must have already been in the back of my brain. They are all nice health plants now and ready to be sold.

I hope it will be a success and raise a few hundred pounds. I have mounted a poster campaign locally and as we live on a regular dog walkers route Jim has planted some signposts in the front lawn . Lets hope the people turn up or else I am going to be left with an awful lot of plants. If you live reasonably locally and wish to come along email me at and I will send you the details. I wouldn't recomend travelling any great distance to come, they are all plants you can grow yourself if you get the seeds from Ben at Higgledygarden 

So moving on, my own garden has also required attention and I have been busy doing all the usual jobs, Potatoes were planted some weeks ago and are already up .

I even have one growing out of the front of one of my compost bins. I was about to remove it then thought it would be an interesting experiment to see how they grow so I have left it there.

My autumn sown flowers are well and truly established and already producing flowers. 

And the good old rhubarb is huge

I have also planted my hanging baskets ready to put out as soon as there is no chance of frost

Last week on of my neighbours was saying that although she loves a daffodil it would be nice to have some different flowers in the house. I have been encouraging my neighbours not to buy imported flowers and they are sort of onboard. I was amazed, as her garden if full of the most beautiful flowers and shrubs so I took the challenge and using my excellent training from the Flower Farmer came up with these little jam jar posies. 

I have come to realise that there is always something to pick in the garden. you don't have to buy supermarket flowers at all. 

That's about all from the garden for now, but in other news, two people I have got to know via twitter and seedypenpals have both made bids to become famous. One by writing a book and the other by appearing on TV.

So the book first. Carl Legge who started the Seedypenpals scheme is well know as as expert on all things food and foraging related. He has written a brilliant cookbook which I have already read from cover to cover and shall be experimenting with soon. 

If you want a copy of the book you can buy it from Carls website, the link is in the sidebar of my blog, or you can get it from Amazon

And now the other bid for fame. Pete Taylor, who is one half of the duo known as the Vegetablist who run a website Vegetablism  has been appearing on your Tv this week. I have written about Pete quite often here as he was my first seedypenpal, and since then we have been in regular contact and I have managed to get involved in his various non competitions on his website. Along with his best mate Gary, who seems to know what he is doing, they are contestants on the new BBC2 TV show The Big Allotment Challenge

They spent months growing things now each week there are a series of challenges . The first challenge was a bit of a disappointment for them, as their radish was declared " a bit woody" by the judge . But the boys triumphed in the preserving section when they won best in show with their Petalberry Jam and Fruit Curd. In fact you can now make the jam yourself as the BBC have published it. You can find the recipe here . Make sure you watch the next episode on Tuesday Night and support them . 

Well thats about all for now here is the obligatory picture of Gibson enjoying a bit of sunshine on the beach

Have a great week and if you celebrate it, have a Happy Easter. 


  1. I hope the sale goes well after you have put in so much work!

  2. I know what work is involved in plant sales - I used to grow for a plant sale at our school carnival when I was teaching. It all had to be at its best on the second Saturday in July and it really pushed my personal gardening into second place,

    I'm afraid I really didn't enjoy the Big Allotment Challenge. I wonder if it is what your friend imagined it would be?

  3. That looks an impressive array of plants, hope you raise lots of money! I'm hoping that the Big Allotment Challenge starts showing a bit more about the growing stuff side of things to give me some tips.

  4. You have been busy, and your greenhouse looks very well organised. Good luck with the Plant sale, I am sure it will do well.

    Like yours my Penstemon cuttings taken last your have grown very well, sadly my Fushia cuttings did not survive.