Garden Inspiration for Textile Creations
Well, I suppose it all started last year when my family decided that perhaps it would be a bit of fun to try to grow some of our own vegetables. At first, my other half had designs on digging up the flower borders in his new-found bid at self-sufficiency. Not quite what I had in mind! Time for a compromise. The side lawn had always been used by the kids for football, games etc but they have now outgrown this (too many broken windows suggest this!) so this would be the site for the new vegetable patch.
Now, the proper gardeners out there will be quick to say that this is not really the criteria for choosing a plot, yes I know but sorry, the flower borders stay. The other issue totally irrelevant to gardening that was important is the fact that this area is viewed by passers-by, so my request was for something that looked presentable and not too much like a neglected allotment.
We decided to put in raised beds, with paths between so that vegetables, herbs etc could be harvested easily (getting ahead of ourselves here) and hopefully would be easy to maintain. After several trips to the builder’s merchants, much sawing, hammering, measuring and a little bit of cursing we finally had our raised beds and paths in place and ready for cultivation. My husband thought the hard work was over. So naive!
Seeds were sown, plants purchased and donated and the raised beds started to look the biz. They caught the attention of the neighbours who were impressed with our endeavours and helpfully imparted useful knowledge to help in our efforts at vegetable production.
However, we were soon to discover that there was more to this gardening than we thought! The birds really love the red currants, virtually stripping the bush of their beautiful jewels. Out comes the wood, saw, netting and screws and the bush is enclosed in its own cage! The cabbages suffer a similar fate (but butterflies are smart they somehow manage to squeeze through the netting and still get in to lay their eggs!)Then flies of every colour, well green, white and black anyway, decide our garden looks like a good place to feast. Thinking we have had our share of pests, we also discover that the local cats think we have made them all giant litter trays! Yuk
Not to be deterred my husband soldiers on and we have had some lovely produce, potatoes (grown in pots), beetroot, onions, beans, radishes, spinach, courgettes, various types of lettuce, lots of herbs,rhubarb, red currants( a few anyway) etc. I also manage to turn some into jams, jellies and chutney (I’ll probably talk about these another time, so many good recipes to share) Then one morning we get up to discover a mound of freshly dug earth, a mole has decided to tunnel towards our precious vegetable plot obviously on a mission, bush telegraph has been at work! What else could try to threaten our endeavours?
This year I thought my husband might be re-laying the lawn, but no out comes the wood, saw, screws yet more raised beds are fashioned. They are now showing some signs of growth and our mouths water at the prospect. This year we seem to have attracted another problem, ducks. I think they must have received word of a good place to spend a bit of time feasting. Blackbirds have nested in the hedge and are now raising their fledglings, yes you’ve guessed it digging up the seedlings in their quest for worms in the raised beds.
When I’m not on duck patrol or blackbird watch I have managed to be inspired to create some lovely garden themed fabric covered books. These seem to be popular purchases for people who like to keep diaries, journals, gardening and recipe notes and would make a nice gift for a garden fanatic. They are available to purchase through www.janelightfootdesigns.folksy.com They are individually designed and feature free-machine embroidery. The covers can be slipped off and reused once the notebook is full. A5 hardback notebook is included to get you started.