To celebrate National Gardening Week, we caught up with Nomads director Vicky, and her beautiful English country garden.
Duncan and Vicky live in a picturesque village in Cornwall and when she’s not busy working with head designer Kate on new ideas or meeting with our fair trade partners in India, Vicky’s favourite place to be is her quintessential cottage garden - which at this time of year is springing into life after a long, cold winter.
An English cottage garden may look a little bit wild in that it isn’t perfectly symmetrical with everything lined up in a row, but really, it’s quite structured and well thought out according to size of plants, colour and textures.
Self-seeding flowerbeds are characterised with favourites like Forget me nots, Nigella, Honesty and Euphorbia. Terracotta pots in all shapes and sizes are gathered together on the sprawling patio and the vegetable patches, greenhouse and polytunnel are all starting to show results after months of careful planning.
Self-sowing plants are ideal if you want a fuss-free, natural looking bed as they reseed themselves and offer a fresh set of blooms every year without you having to lift a finger – we like the sound of that!
Vicky’s top tip -
Sometimes, self-sown plants pop up in unwanted places, but it’s easy to move them to a better spot. Simply dig up the seedling with a trowel, taking care not to disturb the roots and replant to the same depth in prepared soil. Water well and they will happily continue to flourish in their new spot!
This year National Gardening Week is encouraging everyone to ‘grow your own’, so what fruit and vegetables is Vicky growing this year?
Only onions, broad beans, runner beans, sweetcorn, leeks, garlic, carrots, beetroot, chard, apricots, tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, fennel, aubergine, peppers, French beans, rocket, lettuce, leeks, herbs, peas AND a whole host of soft fruits. Phew!
Vicky’s top tip -
Grow your carrots in a bucket - 'In the past I have had trouble germinating carrot seeds but growing them in a bucket works every time!’
Simply drill drainage holes in the bottom of a bucket and plant the carrot seeds as normal. Thin the carrots out as you go, and you’ll have a healthy supply of homegrown carrots all season.
We’re not all as green fingered as Vicky, so we’ve been checking out the RHS tips and advice on how to grow your own (although we might just wait to enjoy the surplus that Vicky always brings in to the office!).
Vicky’s final top tip –
Overwatering can be as damaging as under-watering. Test the soil by pushing a finger in up to the first knuckle. If the soil feels damp, the plant doesn’t need watering; if dry, then water. Plants in pots can need watering once a day in high summer, but less frequently in the spring. Good drainage is always essential!