Notes from the garden shed - January 2017

The gardens team here at the Skip garden has decided to make 2017 a celebration of world vegetables.  We started well with a show at Somerset House where we had a board game asking people to guess not only what the six fruit and vegetables were (easy) but then to say where they originated from in the world (actually quite difficult).  We had a few people who knew one or two but nobody got them all.  My favourite ‘stab in the dark’ was that carrots come from Scandinavia (not).  Spain seems to be, in most people’s minds anyway, the source of most fruit & vegetables – understandable as we get most of our winter veg from there – wrong of course!

Okay so here’s a little test for you – where do these fruit and veg originate from in the world?

Apple, Orange, Tomato, Sweet Potato, Carrot, Maize (sweet corn) – the answers will be somewhere at the end of this months newsletter.

The garden team choose the above fruit and vegetables as our world leaders and will grow them in the Skip garden over the summer. If you’ve never seen a sweet potato growing do come for a visit – if we’re luckily we’ll have some rather lovely flowers on the sweet potato vines.

Our fruit trees in the orchard Skip and other beds need some cold weather to grow stronger the following summer so this freeze we’ve been getting is good for something!

Strangely we’ve had quite a lot of action from our honeybees this winter, especially on bright days even when the air temperature has been very low. Perhaps us gardeners should make sure we plant some winter flowering stock to support these cold day flyers. A good one is a winter flowering clematis ‘freckles’ that had feeding on it (on the 29th December), two bumble bees, and bluebottle fly and one honey bee – extraordinary.

Happy New Year to you all and happy snowdrop spotting (come and see ours in the Orchard Skip)  

Libby, one our Twilight Gardeners, wrote to us to share her delight at seeing the first snowdrop in her garden:

"This morning I looked out on my balcony and noticed that the first snowdrop has come up in the tulip alarm clock that I made in my last Twilight Gardening session of 2016. It has made me so happy to see its smiling white face that I wanted to get in touch to thank you again for the sessions and for introducing me to a love of gardening. I find the winter very hard (don't we all!) but that little white snowdrop has made me so happy I could cry. I hope you don't think that mad - I thought you would understand!"