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Growing Vegetables and Flowers for the Village Show

village show displays

village show displays

Every September something deep inside me is awakened. Maybe it’s the smell. Perhaps it’s the autumn sun glinting off the jam jars and beer bottles. It could of course be the sound of buff coloured raffle tickets being ripped from a book to the tympanic tinkle of change in balding corduroy pockets….. my local village show rouses something primaeval in me. It’s stirs a monstrous hybrid of hunter-gatherer and gladiator and this year I want some of the action. I say this every year but things, life I suppose, gets in the way, and come the following September I once again look on as the same people lift the trophies, walk away with the First Prize cards and get their photo in the local paper. Shouts of ‘great onions this year’ and ‘ bloomin’ ‘eck yer gladdies were summink else’ are aimed at others as I walk down the Main Street to collect the Sunday paper the day after the show. But this year is going to be different. It’s time for change. It’s time for some Greco style wrestling of silverware from the stubborn grip of the usual suspects. Yep, I’m growing vegetables and flowers for the village show and I need all the luck in the world. So this year is going to be different. Should be interesting!

OK, the nitty gritty: I live in the East Midlands with most of the growing ‘action’ will take place in my four raised beds. Each bed is 3m x 1.8m containing good quality soil, ever so slightly on the heavy side, but well drained enough. I’m not sure of the acidity but will get it checked before anything is planted. I’ll report back. The stones and usual soil detritus is apparently going to cause me problems when attempting perfect long carrots and parsnips but I’ll tackle that soon enough. It’s sunny all day ( when the sun shines) and last year the beds produced masses of dahlias and acceptable veg. There are other areas of the garden where flowers predominate and will get planted with what will be hopefully prizewinning specimens, but the centre of my attention will be the raised beds.

Like every gardener I have and will make mistakes. I need to take on any tips you have to help me along the way and likewise, hopefully you might learn something from how I’m growing things. The show is the first week of September. Check your own show. It might be the same.

So, here goes…let the journey begin……

Tatton Park Show Garden '07 Suttons

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