Crops & Compost

Garden Established 2021

Gardening for Beginners

We are still very much beginner gardeners, experimenting each year with what we can grow and the best way we can grow it using methods sustainable both by ourselves and by the planet. We are making lots of discoveries and embracing failure.

We’ve started out concentrating on growing food for our family, and in 2023 my focus is on trying to find a balance between growing crops, caring for nature within our space, and living within the space as a family.

  • Slate Plant Labels

    I made a set of slate plant labels to finish the set up of the new herb bed in the garden and to replace the plastic labels that some of them started out with. As spring arrives and we start to spend some more time in the garden I want to bring our recent additions into feeling a definite part of our space and to add decorative but useful touches to the planting areas were are still working on.

    We set up the herb bed in February, with space for twelve herbs. I’ve gone with most of my favourites for cooking and other home uses, plus a couple of wildcards. I have selected:

    • Parsley
    • Sage
    • Rosemary
    • Thyme
    • Dill
    • Chives
    • Oregano
    • Garlic Chives
    • Curry Plant
    • Pineapple Sage
    • Hot & Spicy Oregano
    • Tuscan Blue Rosemary

    I chose to use slate plant labels as they are made from a natural material and extremely hardwearing, and I am hoping that they will last a lifetime. I made an initial set of labels in my first year of gardening, to ensure that the lettering that I used would not come off. I used a permanent, waterproof vinyl that has not been affected one bit by snow, wind, rain, mud, or anything else, yet I know that if I ever wanted to change the lettering I could weed the vinyl off and add new text (in fact, I did this with the labels from my first season growing as I decided to go for a less sensible and far more fun font choice).

    Cherry Tree with slate plant label to remind me what it is
    Labels made in 2022 so I could remember which fruit tree was which. I still have to check.

    The labels I made today are a smaller version of the larger 20 x 3cm slate plant labels that I use in the vegetable beds and at the bases of my fruit trees. The ones I have worked on today are 15 x 2cm, and better suited to the scale of the new herb bed as it contains 12 smaller sections within it, each requiring a label.

    Set of 12 slate plant labels, each with the name of a herb (given earlier in post)

    I have used the same typeface as for the larger labels, to help tie all of the garden elements together visually, and because it makes me smile every time I see them. Initially the typeface I chose was a beautiful classic font, and would have fit seamlessly into a National Trust garden, but these curly-wurly labels are joyous, and I’m so glad that I went with the joyous choice.

  • New Year, New Garden Calendar (printable)

    For the past year or so I have been looking for a very specific type of calendar for my garden, but I have come to believe that it doesn’t actually exist, so I have made one for myself and have linked to it at the bottom of this post in case anyone else might find…

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