There are loads of discussions about what constitutes a smallholding; whether a large garden counts as one, or at what size does a garden become a smallholding or a smallholding become a farm or a “micro-farm” – so we are going to stick with just “garden”. At about 2,500 sqm in total it’s a pretty large plot in any case plus we have a large field behind the house (on the North side) for a paddock or to grow animal feeding crops.
If you are thinking that we must be “green-fingered” or enthusiastic gardeners you’d be wrong. Yes, when we were younger we did have a garden and grow the regular sort of things like tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, salad stuff, etc. but not as real enthusiasts, out there in every weather weeding and hoeing and planting! And after we moved overseas we did very little gardening until a few years ago when we planted mainly ground cover and flowering climbers in our Dubai garden.
But with such a large plot, and having made the decision that we want to AIM to be pretty self-sufficient in fruit and veg, we are planning to do our best to grow a good variety of produce. You’ll have to follow the blog to find out how well we do!
As you will see from the pictures, the land is very overgrown at present. Nobody has lived here for at least 10 years and so there has been the natural growth/death/decay of grass weeds, bushes and trees. We have a few fruit trees (apples, pears and cherries), a loganberry bush with a trunk like a small oak tree, our own walnut tree (which we are not allowed to cut down) and several patches of thistles – which were 7 feet high when we visited in Summer 2012.
On two of the boundaries (South and West) we have really well developed hedgerows with good sized trees and bushes. We hope to keep much of these as far as possible.