The vegetable garden is centred on a narrow but level piece of ground just next to the house. We set it up by buiding raised beds from railway sleepers. Two of the beds are dominated by roses, mostly David Austins, and the other beds rotate a range of veggies ranging from tomatoes, pumpkins, zucchini, lettuce, corn, beans, carrots, radishes, leeks, garlic, salsify and cabbages. Over the last few months, the gravel we laid out on top of a sheet of black plastic has been perforated by weeds and wild herbs from our adjacent herb garden, where we grow mint, dill, parlsey, oregano, parsley, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, sage and Vietnamese mint.
In 2006, four apple trees were planted on the southern edge of the veggie garden embankment, and all four are espaliered as part of a strategy to provide some wind protection for the vegetables.
It can quickly get out of hand, but it does feel very different from the winter of 2004, when it snowed just weeks before we started working on setting it up.