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The Grow Your Own Gardening Class

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It was a weekend ago that I decided to do the grow your own gardening course. And whilst the weather turned good I had to wait ’til now to do my synopsis of it.

How did it go…?

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The attendees in this case were 75% [approximate] apartment dwellers/ balcony owners. the other 25% only wished to garden that same amount of space [unless Nick came up with a great idea 😉 ]. Of course, if everyone had allotments/ waned to garden a larger space – parsley *and parsnip would have been covered. In this case a logic decision to skip most of the root crops was taken…. think rotovator and balcony!

I covered all that I intended and felt was needed from sowing seeds – what, which and why to watering. Onto potatoes, onions, sets growing in window boxes and to plants in a small space such as herbs and the pruning, growing and selecting of so that they could be kept there. I could beat on but Louise really does summise it very well.

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From an alternate perspective. Did the €60 cover charge multiplied by 7 people make it worth my while to do so. No. Not on your nelly. The reason why? We did demonstrations and all of the products [one each of everything] used were taken away. I knew to make money, how I should do it and a comment on the garden blog confirms that.  That and the twitter message. No offence Geoff mate 😉

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Try it yourself. Go into a garden centre, pick up some seed potatoes, onion sets, 2/3 window boxes, some pots, compost and seeds and see how much it costs…. growing your own can be cheap… when you know how 😉 If I’m to talk however on garden design with zero overheads…. Ye know yourself. Moving on….

The flip side of that however is something very different. Did I enjoy it ? More than you realise. I really am so pleased that such a nice group of people collated so I could talk about something  I love so much.

I know that doesn’t pay the bills. It doesn’t even cover the time spent baking and collecting the products we did use. And yes if I wish to do it again and again I need to refine. But then I knew that already. It was always to be a trial. A way of noting and timing. Perfecting one could say. Perfecting for those those who do attend.

Now I’m just wondering if there’s another 9 or 10 people who’d be interested…. While I brew on that… I’ll go water my own seeds.

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note: it was Jason’s idea that I did this in the first place. Thanks mate. I also borrowed some of his images for this post.

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thomas… thursday garden guest #10

If you would like to know more about Thursday Garden Guest time – click here

For the moment the writer in the finalé of this series is Thomas & Máire of Irish Allotments. It’s quite fitting that through the series of articles we have had the botantist, the plant hobby-ist right down to the one who just like to view a pretty world and smile. *Irish Allotments* summise all of that. But this is Thomas and Máire’s story of *their* garden. Enjoy 🙂

The Garden- What I like about…

beardies

beardies

In March, we brought two new babies into our home, Max and Sparky – tiny one month old Australian Bearded Dragons.

Despite being the length of my thumb, our two little boys (which we found out about two months later!) had big appetites! For the first few months they mostly eat crickets, a lot of them! Actually at some point the shop could not believe how much food our guys were getting through. Anyhow after a while they started eating more veg, a mix of about 3 greens and 1 or 2 fruits or veggies.

We were buying a ridiculous amount of greens to feed the boys the few shredded leaves they were eating, so we decided to try growing our own. We bought whatever took our fancy on realseeds.co.uk and brownenvelopeseeds.com and this ended up being a lot! These are both great sites, each run by a family who only sell what they grow themselves.

We started out with seed trays on the window sills. We made sure to plant lots of greens, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, pak choi, and cress, herbs like coriander, mint and the boys’ favorite parsley as well as tomatoes, peas, beans and cucumbers.

Pretty quickly we had to move outside to the balcony of our flat. We have 6 grow-bags out there and we got two little plastic hot houses from B and Q.

By May, we no longer had to buy any greens for our boys. As dragons grow, they eat more veggies and less meat (thank goodness!). They are now around a foot long, and we have a great new hobby but the balcony
was just not cutting it so in June we started looking for an allotment.

After an unsuccessful search for information about them in the Cork area, we set up Irishallotments.net, a website to fill that gap. We have met wonderful people in our efforts to expand the website, traveling to
open days and information sessions all over the county. Since then we have tried to get more involved with transition towns, community groups and allotments as our interest for all of them has been growing into a
passion.

Thomas & Maire
IrishAllotments.net