Sunday, 26 October 2014

My garden plan

One or two readers have recently asked me to do a post about what I have grown in my garden this year - as a whole, I mean, rather than writing about each crop separately. Here goes then...

The vegetable-production part of my garden has for many years been based upon six raised beds, each 1 metre wide and 2.4 metres long.

The plot in Early Summer. Note that the cloches and greenhouses have been removed.

These were augmented a couple of years ago by this lovely Woodblocx raised bed, which is roughly the same size but twice as deep.

Parsnips (Carrots not visible, behind)

And of course I squeeze in as many pots and containers as I possibly can.


One of the raised beds has Asparagus in it, so this is a permanent feature, whereas the other beds are the subject of a fairly strict (but not rigid) crop-rotation plan. If I saw a photo of my plot I would probably be able to tell when it was taken just by looking at where the Runner Beans are growing!

This is what I grew this year. [Look at the first photo to understand this.]

Let's call the bed with the tall Runner Beans (furthest from camera) Bed 1. In this bed I had PSB last year, and after it had finished in about April this was replaced by Runner Beans (10 plants of "Scarlet Empire") and climbing French Beans (8 plants - 2 to each cane - of "Cobra").

Runner Beans (left) and French Beans (right)

Going in a clockwise direction from Bed 1, Bed 2 is the one with the Asparagus (supposedly 10, but currently 8 plants of "Gijnlim").

Bed 3 initially had two rows of Broad Beans ("Stereo" and "Witkiem Manita"). These were followed by six Purple Sprouting Broccoli plants, underplanted with Lambs Lettuce and Landcress. The PSB will mature next Spring and will then be followed by Runner Beans (See Bed 1 above).

Broad Beans

Bed 4 has the Brussels Sprouts in it. (2 each of "Napoleon", "Brilliant" and "Bosworth"), underplanted with Curly Endives.

Brussels Sprouts, with Endives underneath them

Bed 5 is the Salads bed, and this year has hosted Lettuces (many different types), Radicchio / Chicory (several different types), Endives (several different types), Basil, Parsley and Beetroot (2 rows of "Boltardy"), as well as a few Turnips ("Milan Purple Top") early in the season.

Salads - Lettuce, Radicchio, Endive, Beetroot etc

Bed 6 is my Winter Veg bed this time, with Swedes ("Ruby"), Leeks ("Toledo") and Cabbages (initially "Predzvest" and "Caramba", latterly "Tundra"). I initially planted 16 Leeks, but as they have been used I have progressively replaced them with more seedlings, so I will be using them for some while to come still.

"Winter Veg" bed, with Beetroot in the foreground

I'll call the big Woodblocx bed Bed 7.This one has Carrots (3 varieties) and Parsnips (2 varieties). The Carrots have mostly been used now, but the Parsnips have not yet been started. I'm anxiously awaiting the chance to dig up the first ones to see what they are like. The Carrots have been very good, and I hope the Parsnips will be too.

Carrots "Early Nantes"

Elsewhere in the garden I have had loads of pots, growing things like Tomatoes, Potatoes, Blueberries, Strawberries, Cucumbers, Leaf Celery and Herbs of many different types.


Cucumbers "Iznik F1"

And don't let's forget my favourite chillis, which are also always grown in pots, so that I can move them around and protect them from the elements when necessary.

Chillis, tomatoes, potatoes

Well, I hope that has given you an impression of what I have grown this year. My policy it to have small quantities of lots of different things, so there is always something new coming along, and no gluts. This is what makes gardening such an interesting and absorbing hobby - as well as a productive one. Next year will always be different, despite some similarities with previous years.


  1. You really are an inspiration Mark! We're moving house in December and I certainly intend to start my veg growing again. The new garden is much more conducive to veg production so be aware that I'll be pestering for you for lots of advice!!! x

    1. Laura, I'm happy to help if I can! Good luck with the house move - never an easy task.

  2. I think you need to be very organised when growing this way as you need to make the most of all the available space. You certainly get plenty out of your garden.

  3. You have si much going on in your garden - it's a real credit to you

  4. Impressive as always Mark. And very tidy as well. Sorry I'm being a stranger, life is getting in the way of blogging and checking up on others...

  5. How nice to have a look round your whole garden, it's lovely, and immaculately maintained. I love the aerial shot, and I like the way you've paved around your raised beds. My paths are grass, and It's a tedious job to clip around the edges of the raised beds all the time. I'm always very impressed with your outdoor chilli growing. And the carrots are fantastic, I'm determined to grow some next year. I always empty a packet or two of seed into the soil, but somehow it never works out.

  6. Thank you Mark for sharing your garden plan. Isn't it amazing just how much can be grown in a reasonably small area with just a bit of thought and organisation - I only hope I can get as many crops as you next year.

  7. I absolutely love your garden - it's so well laid out giving you not only efficiency, but beauty. I'm sure it took some time to get to this stage and it must feel amazing to look around and enjoy the results of what I'm sure is years of tweaking to get things "just right".

    1. Thanks for the compliment, Margaret. Yes, I have done lots to my garden over the years, but no garden is ever complete and mine is definitely far from perfect!

  8. Your garden looks amazing and I like how informative your posts are. I garden in a similar way (raised beds, succession planting, intercropping, small quantities of many different vegetables and varieties) so I know how much attention and love your garden must be getting if it looks like this!

  9. Your garden always looks so beautiful and neat. I strive for that, but it gets out of control all the time. Those plants have a mind of their own.

  10. Great post Mark, really emphasises how much you pack into your patch.


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