A Garden to Impress

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My new apartment came with a small back yard, most of it is actually the soak-away for my and the toilets in the three stories above me but there is a small area of open ground approx 2m x 5m which I have bordered off and into which I have dug in about 150kg of well rotted horse manure.

Into this I have now planted chives about the Lilly that was in before I started: approx 100 lettuce plants (Tom Thumb and All Year Round) and two rows of spring onions (White Lisbon), approx 100 onions, (Alisa Craig and Red Amposta), 50 Leeks (Blue De Solaise), four rows of carrots (Parisian and Royal Chantenay ) and two double rows of peas (Sugar Snap and Caouby De Muasanne, a mangetout variety) Once the seedlings are up I will plant three melons (Hales Best jumbo) to grow on netting up the north facing wall and two courgettes (Green Bush and Yellow/Golden) to grow over the septic tank. I plan to also cover this concrete with some bark mulch both as decoration and to keep the courgettes dry.

There is also a small strip to the east of the tank into which I have sown scarlet emperor runner beans, rocket and salvaged from the main plot, coriander. Behind the coriander and rocket is the footing of the east wall and for this I have built a seven foot long planter (using waste wood, trimmed off mahogany doors and obtained from a joinery shop) into which I have planted nine codon tomato plants (3 x Amish Paste, 3 x Golden Sunburst 3 x San Marzano 2 ) as well as nine dwarf cherry toms (Pomodora) to hang over the front.

To the west, in front of the kitchen window and under the first floor balcony I have made two smaller planters. Into the larger one I have planted 6 bush tomato (Manmande Superprecpce) and will also plant four yellow sweet peppers (Golden Cal Wonder). The smaller planter sits against the north facing wall, which strangely is the sunniest spot and into which I will plant sweet basil (Genovese)

There is also a chicken house and once I have changed the corrugated roofing sheets for ones the correct size I will plant two courgettes (green bush and Golden) in Nepali bamboo baskets which I will then train up and onto the roof. I was and still am considering getting some chickens for eggs, which I eat as eggs are not chickens but food for chicks with more similarity to milk ( food for calf’s) than with meat. However with the arrival of Pinto (see next post) the house may become a dog kennel.

I have similarly obtained a large bamboo pole for the washing line that I will fix into a round bamboo basket (now re-appropriate as a dog basket) into which I hope to plant Nasturtiums (Bloody Mary) and English Lavender. Thus its not all veg but the nasturtiums are struggling to germinate.

Finally and dependent on my plans materializing to make this a hub for building comprehensive agricultural and environmental projects, I will make a small seating area to the North (between the large bedroom window and the chicken house) as this appears to be the shadiest spot and should similarly be possible to install some fine mosquito netting.

I will finish off with a central planter in which I will put a pole for the washing line and last but not least I will cover the concrete with bark mulch to make it both more attractive, bury the puddles and keep the courgettes off the ground. Hopefully once completed the garden will make a substantial contribution to the life and operations here. Providing a nice addition to diets as well as being functional (the washing line) recreational (the table and chairs) and educational: for I have, through the Nepal Agricultural and Environmental site plans to start a horticultural and garden society so I can teach good crop and soil husbandry. If nothing else it will hopefully impress my landlord and the neighbors.

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