The Potting Bench Diaries – 4th January 2023

This week… has been the first proper week of the new year! Its 2023 and I know we all say this every year but I genuinely know that so much is going to happen this year, both in the garden and in my wider gardening world….so watch this space. I’ve never been one for resolutions or crazy dieting fads etc in the wake of a new year, but I am starting the year full of hope and positivity of what can be done. I might not have any resolutions but there are definitely things I want to do…

And one of those things is…grow tomatoes! Now, this might not be a revelation to those of you that grow them all the time but its a big deal to me. I’m setting out to prove to myself that I can grow enough of certain fruit and veg, to last us for the years worth of them that we’d otherwise be buying from the supermarket.

Other than tomatoes, we’re growing garlic and potatoes again, onions for the first time (see last week’s post for my slowness with these!), blueberries, strawberries and lots of herbs. Our tomatoes will be grown in buckets…thats right, buckets, but more on that another time!

My idea with all of this is that you can really grow veg etc in any sized garden, not matter how small.

And, from one member of the onion family to another – I’m talking about Alliums again this week. Recently I shared that our alliums from the 2022 season were still standing tall in the garden, much drier than at their peak – but they’re there nonetheless.

While having a scout around the garden this week I’ve noticed lots of new shoots coming out from the existing bulbs, which means we’ve got lots of new alliums coming up this year.

This is a wee bit early but I’m glad to see them regardless! I’ve always found alliums to be relatively inexpensive and such fantastic value.

Keeping with bulbs for the moment as we move to looking at Crocus!

The vast majority of my tulips pots and containers have also got a layer of crocus near the top, to enjoy before the tulips come up later in spring. All of our pots have two layers, I think, which just helps to extend the period of colour before I think about using them for something else in summer.

Loads of crocus have been poking their way up through the compost and grit, ready to show their gorgeous colourful faces soon. I estimate that I’ve planted about 250 crocus this year so this should be one hell of a display.

This week I’ve also been looking at the empty space we’ve got at the moment and taking photos so I’ve got something to look back on before its full of colour soon.

Something I’d love to do more this year, is taking more photos of the garden as it develops and comes into its full flow as the seasons go on.

I’m great and taking photo of closeup plants and flowers but I’ve never been good at taking wider photos to show progress, but this is something I hope to do this year. Right now this might look barren but it’ll be awash with green and colour as we go through spring. Once spring is gone this will be full of dahlias and all sorts…

Continuing on with my garden book reviews, this weeks review (coming on Friday) is for Grasping The Nettle by Tamsin Westhorpe.

Tamsin, a past guest on the podcast (listen here) is a fantastic gardener, writer, podcaster and lecturer – and as you’d imagine, she’s got plenty of stories to tell in her book.

Do make sure to come back Friday to read the full review!

In the meantime, I do hope you’ve got exciting things planned for this year and wishing you all the luck for a happy and amazing garden in 2023.

See you Friday!

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