'Get Set Grow' this May

Gardening is good for you, and so is growing your own food. But growing anything yourself gives an inordinate amount of pleasure, doesn’t it? Whether it’s runner beans or sunflowers with the kids, flowers to brighten up your space or fruit and veg to eat, the process is enthralling each time.

But it’s also beneficial to our health and wellbeing. It’s rewarding and productive, provides exercise, and if you’re growing edibles eating freshly picked, homegrown, organically grown produce is a way of keeping healthy and saving money too, not to mention the complete lack of air miles.

This is my new monthly linkup, where you can share your gardens and/or gardening posts (old or new) that complement the month’s theme. For May, that’s Get Set Grow.

The linkup will stay open all month, so pop back if your post isn’t published yet, and remember you can link up an old post too.

MAY: GET SET GROW

MAY: GET SET GROW

Get the harvesting high!

Researchers have found that seeing, smelling and picking fruits and berries can release dopamine from the brain’s reward centre, resulting in a feeling of mild euphoria and wellbeing. So there’s the perfect excuse to hit the PYO farms when they open later in the month!

Eat the rainbow

We know that we should be eating five a day, or up to ten a day depending on what advice is flavour of the day, but there’s also benefits to eating different coloured fruits and vegetables as they contain varying beneficial ingredients:

  • Red: Tomatoes, red onions, rhubarb chard, peppers, chillies, strawberries and rhubarbs

  • Orange: Carrots, squash and pumpkin

  • Yellow: Golden courgettes and tomatoes, sweetcorn, yellow beans and peppers

  • Green: Asparagus, spinach, peas, beans, mangetout, rocket, lettuce and salad leaves, kale, cabbage, cucumber and pak choi

  • Blue: Blueberries

  • Purple: Beetroot, broccoli, aubergine, purple beans and asparagus, red cabbage, radish and plums

  • White: Cauliflower, celery, leeks, onions, garlic, shallots, spring onions, potatoes.

Plants of the moment for summer displays and crops

Flowers: Nemesia - I’m sure you’ll know what these look like if you google them, Poppy varieties, Pinks, shrubs including Berberis, choisya, ceanothus with its lilac blue flowers, weigela, lilac and many viburnum.

Young seedling plants: tomatoes, peppers, chillies, cucumbers, strawberries, courgettes and squash.

But there’s dozens of other crops such as salad leaves, beans, rocket, spinach, beetroot and carrots which can be grown from seed, which is even better value.

I now have some seed compost, and I’ve got plenty of seeds, all I need to do is put them together and let the magic happen, what about you?

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The Grow Your Own Garden at the Ideal Home Show

This was one of the garden room sets that I’ve already said I was keen on, and the keen amongst you will realise that that’s because of my penchant for growing my own, but also for the geometric print rug, which is reminiscent of the cushions in my conservatory, and made from recycled plastic straws. But there’s another reason and it’s mostly how four crates have been fastened together to create a good looking and functional table. I’m forever saying I need a small low height garden table, mostly for my gin and tonic, and while this isn’t exactly what I’m after (it’s a little on the large side) I do admire its design.

Crates joined together to make a stylish table.jpg

The garden focuses on sustainability as well as the grow your own element. It shows ways of using your garden space making use of the latest Gardena technology, as well as featuring sustainable designs with items from the decking to the furniture made from recycled plastic bottles, milk cartons and tyres.

Decking, a rug and somewhere to sit.jpg

Which means, that everything might not necessarily be what it seems.

As well as the funky crate table on castors, I’m also quite taken with the raised, slatted looking planter at the rear of the picture above. The vertical struts provide extra growing space, for what looks like herbs, as well as looking stylish. It’s a bit too tall to have alongside my greenhouse - it’d block too much light - but otherwise I think I’d be tempted to look into recreating these raised beds by made from sustainable British timber.

Even the classic shaped Adirondack chairs, another long term favourite, are made from recycled plastic bottles. Which makes a lot more sense - they’re by Polywood if you’re also interested.

Plants in containers

There were plenty of herbs in this garden - as well as the rhubarb amongst the hydrangeas above in planters made from old car tyres - and herbs are no bad thing. They’re great for flavouring food and are a good substitute for salt, as that’s something else that we all more than likely need to cut down on.

Somewhere to rest your garden tools
A cold frame for seedlings

The final thing that caught my eye was this planter full of unruly peas, who look as if they’re arguing with each other about climbing up the cane supports.

Using a milk churn as a planter for sweet peas

On closer inspection the container is a milk churn, which is another way to reuse an container and to introduce some charm to your garden at the same time. It’s one of those garden spaces that has plenty going on, and much of which you don’t spot on first look.

What do you think, are there elements you’d have in your garden?