As we pass the spring equinox the time for getting out into the garden is nigh!
After an abnormally mild winter, blossom is starting to show and plants are starting to sprout new growth and the daffodils are out in force. Now is the time to get outside and start work in the allotment, garden, patio or window box.
This article wouldn’t really have a place on this site if we didn’t start with a book right?
There are so many good gardening books. I started my allotment life with ‘Grow your own vegetables’ by Joy Larkham. It has no pictures and is quite dense but it’s been my vegetable bible and I’d highly recommend looking out for a copy.
Having said that everyone has their own favorite. Here’s a few that we have on the shelves at the moment (bear in mind they might sell!):
Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening, Pauline Pears (DK 2005), our Price £2.50
A great ‘everything you need to know’ book on gardening without chemicals. There’s excellent advice on garden design, soil care, ponds, weeds and container gardening as well a vegetable A-Z and an in depth pets and disease section.
Really Small Gardens, Jill Billington (RHS 1998), our price £3.
An imaginative book full of photographs and excellent ideas for gardening in a small space. Lots of design suggestions plus tried and tested plants for different situations
The Kitchen Gardener, Alan Titchmarsh (BBC, 2008) our price £1.25.
We aren’t sure we don’t find Alan Titchmarch slightly too smug but for those that like him this is a great A-Z fruit and vegetable guide going into how to grow and harvest each crop and choose between all the different varieties available.
Once you’ve acquired the books you will also need seeds and equipment.
Local Garden Centres:
For North Bristol Gardner’s, Gardiner Haskins garden department has lots of seeds, plants, bulbs and gardening supplies as well as all manor of strange patio furniture, concrete frogs and LED lighting.
For those south of the river, Riverside Garden Centre comes highly recommended and is much more comprehensive than Gardiner Haskins.
For heritage and heirloom vegetable seeds including some really interesting vegetables you probably haven’t heard of try the welsh based Real Seed Company
For organic flowers and vegetables plus lots of other useful supplies, try the Organic Gardening Catalogue
Don’t even have space for a pot?
Don’t let a lack of your own space put you off gardening. Bristol is full of community growing projects that always want volunteers.
Some examples are:
Feed Bristol is a large scale community growing project up in Stapleton. As well as having volunteer sessions they run lots of courses and information days http://www.avonwildlifetrust.org.uk/feedbristol
Sims Hill run a community veg share scheme and as a member you can work for your veg.
Happy growing everyone!