Sunday 2 June 2013

Back in the Garden

The 1st of June brought with it a day of fine sunshine and an early knock on the door from the postman. I have to admit I was enjoying a Saturday morning bath whilst reading a copy of Gardeners World so it was quite appropriate that it was a rather splendid children's gardening set from BritMums and

My daughter squealed with delight when she saw the contents of the kit and wanted to start sowing seeds straight away. First things first and we needed to have breakfast before we ventured out. Many people think that gardening means constant expense but in true JibberJabberUK fashion I have a few tips to keep those costs down and be a bit eco-friendly at the same time. Therefore, once breakfast had been consumed the egg shells and tea bags went straight in the compost.

It didn't take long for my daughter to get the gloves on and start planning who was going to plant what seeds. She immediately went for 'Pretty Flower Family'.

To start with we already had a tray of French beans that needed planted on. French beans are an excellent crop to grow, particularly if you have small plot. They are easy to grow and the seeds are a good size for little fingers to push into the soil. The yield is good and you can get several crops throughout the season if keep planting seeds every couple of weeks. I've kept excess seeds for the next year and still got masses of tasty beans.
Both the pot and the bamboo sticks have been used year after year. My son couldn't wait to use the watering can!

Once my son had used the watering can my daughter wanted to use it too so I told her to give my new lime mint plant a water. I bought this herb last week at the garden centre at RHS Wisley. So you're thinking it must have been quite expensive. Indeed not – it cost £1.99 for a strong and unusual plant. It also has the added benefit of attracting bees and butterflies. Don't be afraid of good quality garden centres because if you look hard there's plenty of good value stuff about. Be prepared to buy small and have the pleasure of seeing it grow.

Another good source of cheap plants are clearance sections. True some specimens should be officially classed as 'dead' but many simply need to planted in the ground or a bigger pot and watered. With the weather being so terrible this year I've noticed (and taken advantage of) several large clearance areas in different shops. Some years ago I rescued a twig with a couple of green shoots on it from Sainsbury's for 10p. It's now a thriving gooseberry bush and the kids love a crumble made with freshly picked fruits.

If you're keeping an eye on the pennies who can't get better than free. Aquilegias seed themselves to the extent they could almost be classed as a weed. Ask neighbours, friends and family if they have any spare they can dig up and give to you. They make excellent bed fillers, need no special care and come back year after year.

Our strawberry plants were also free courtesy of an offer from a newspaper that I buy anyway (I subscribe so get a discount, of course). I just had to go my local DIY store to claim them. To help keep the slugs I put the grounds from my husband's coffee around them.

Onto our seed planting! My son couldn't believe his luck when he picked up a trowel and started digging into the bag of compost without being told to stop! Thankfully he was quite happy at getting as little soil as possible in the trough rather than eating it.

Once my daughter managed to fill the trough with some soil it was time to get some seeds in. Although her brother was happy at getting his hands as mucky as possible my daughter was taking no chances and insisted on wearing her gloves! A helping hand from Daddy was required.

After a little persuading my daughter took her gloves off and made sure we knew what we had just planted by writing out some plant tags. Don't be boring and write in black – go multicoloured! I take no responsibility for any spelling mistakes.

My son was literally on hand when it came to the watering of the seeds but this time his big sister was firmly in charge.

Once the seeds were all sown it was time to tidy up and admire our hard work.

After all that it was time to claim our reward of some lemon, ricotta and almond bundt cake and a well earned cuppa!

This post is an entry for BritMums' #KidsGrowWild Challenge. The gardening kit was sent to me for free and no payment was received for writing this post.


  1. Lovely pictures and some good tips too.
    Commenting on behalf of BritMums and thanking you for taking part

    1. Thanks for sending the kit! We were back out in the garden yesterday and the kids love having the water the seeds.


I appreciate your comments. If you have any tips, tricks or tweaks please pass them on!