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Vertical Vegetable Growing

January 23, 2012

With allotment waiting list running at 40 years in parts of London and getting longer all the time in other cities- here’s a truly inspiring blog Mark Ridsdill-Smith demonstrates that with careful planning it’s possible to grow your own in the smallest of spaces. He’s even done the sums and proved that aside from the pleasure and satisfaction of growing edible plants it’s actually cost-effective. He gives advice on containers, compost types, watering schedules, the need to check for weight-bearing and drainage etc. He offers a planting plan as a guide for what to grow where and a time-table of what to plant and when. He’s frank about failures but the images illustrate his project has been hugely successful. Above all he has greened up a small space to the benefit of insects, neighbours, the planet, and at the same time  grown a considerable amount of food for his family.

My neighbour’s wonderful Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’ is about to burst into flower.  The shiny, evergreen leaves are edged in cream which set off the deep pink flowers. It’s sheltered by a wall since it’s prone to cold and positioned near the house to benefit from the delicious scent.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. January 23, 2012 12:17 pm

    The scent of Daphne is my absolute favorite. I love the way it hits you before you can even see the plant

    • January 23, 2012 1:03 pm

      Yes and so welcome in the depth of winter. Meant to say I loved your last interiors post.

  2. January 23, 2012 12:59 pm

    Thank you so much for the vertical veg growing link…We have a large expanse of wall & I’ve often thought about vertical growing possibilities…I’m popping over there now for a look!

  3. January 23, 2012 1:39 pm

    Just been over to the site and have signed up for email updates – although I have a small raised bed section for veg at home plus an allotment – I am always looking for ways to cram as much as I can into small spaces. This site is the inspiration I needed. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

  4. January 24, 2012 1:00 pm

    Thank you so much for the link … if things don’t work out as planned with the allotment that’s what I’ll try!

    Isn’t the scent of Daphne just divine. I have nothing scented here this week but I do have the first of the snowdrops!

  5. January 25, 2012 12:10 am

    Interesting that you’ve found Mark’s site. He used to live around the corner from me so I was able to see his vertical growing at first hand. The sight prompted many conversations on the street outside his house I can tell you – especially the tromboncini courgettes growing up the front of the house! Sadly for our area, Mark moved up north about 6 months ago and I do miss the sight of his tomatoes covering the windows! Mark and his vertical veg also feature in Alex Mitchell’s book ‘The Edible Balcony’.

    • January 25, 2012 9:39 am

      I am off to the library to find the book-thanks for your comment Carolyn.

  6. January 25, 2012 9:14 pm

    Will have to take a look at this site, Sue. We were driving into London last week and I spotted a wall to one of the stations covered in plants it looked so good. I’ve seen them on tv, particularly the ones in Paris so it was good to see one in the flesh. It is inspiring to see what people can do in such small spaces.

    • January 26, 2012 9:23 am

      Yes the station one is probably made up herbaceous plants like the ones in Paris (I’ve only seen images of those – a French designer was one of the first to practice this form of gardening). Mark’s project is for Grow Your Own food in the smallest of spaces. Very inspiring.

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