My name is Yvonne or Eve as I prefer to be called:) I was only called Yvonne as a child when I was in trouble so Eve is definitely the name I prefer. I know my blog name is garden of yvonne but someone else ‘nicked’ garden of eve 😦
I have been a gardener for many many years….too many to tell you as I would then be giving away my age 😉 It is my hobby, my job and my passion…oh and did I mention, my SANITY 😉
I havent always been a good gardener….in fact when I first started gardening I really didnt know the difference between a flower and a weed! Luckily I have come on a long way from that and I am now allowed to do the gardening ALL the time ha ha!! I often get people asking me for advice on gardening especially growing vegetables so I try and help as much as I can but I am also learning more everyday and probably will for the rest of my life….that’s how interesting gardening is!
My interest in growing my own veg came when I started my family….again many years ago. I was very concerned when I started to ween my young children off of milk and onto solid food. What was the best food to feed my children? should I be buying organic? what does GM mean? Why is so much food processed? What is sprayed on the fruit and veg? etc etc etc. I had so many questions and started to do a lot of research….my findings were very frightening and I really started to question why would I want my children to be eating these food products that are covered in poisonous chemicals (strong word poisonous but I feel very strongly about this subject) Organic food has been available in the shops for a few years but it was too expensive for our young family….so what could I do to change this?
So thats where it all began….and I haven’t stopped. I grew up in the UK with my Irish parents and would often follow my father down to his allotment. I have to admit I was a real ‘tom boy’ back then and was more interested in getting dirty and rolling around in the fields than watching and learning from my father and his gardening.
When I got married and started my family I decided to start growing my own vegetables for many reasons: no 1 so I knew what I was feeding my family and also so that my children would know where fruit and veg really came from….not the supermarket 🙂
We bought a 1950’s semi-detached house in the midlands and it had a long 90ft garden which was split into 3 sections. Lawn area, patio area and an area at back of the garden which was really just an overgrown mess. ‘Ding’ I had an idea….I would..OK…we would (my lovely hubby and I) dig it over and make a small veg patch. So this is what we did. It was a real learn for me and I do remember many disasters with trying to grow different vegetables but I didn’t give up and eventually, with lots and lots of perseverance , started to ‘reap the benefits’ and the rewards – healthy home grown, chemical free food!!
We then moved to another house where I really started to think seriously about organic gardening and turned half of the garden into a mini allotment along with 3 green houses and lots and lots of pots. I really started to enjoy my gardening, both flowers and vegetables and found it to be very therapeutic and since then have I never looked back!
After living in the UK for many years our family made the decision to move back to our homeland, Ireland and start a new life in a remote part of the south west. We built our house at the bottom of a mountainside and luckily have lots of land around our home…well a rockery! ‘Ding’….another idea. I had always dreamt of having a really big poly tunnel which was a relatively new thing at the time. No problem I thought but It wasn’t as easy as just buying a poly tunnel and putting it up. Normally you would just put your tunnel onto the ground, dig a few holes for the poles to go in, pop the cover on and away you go. This was not the case for us, we had to get through rock, a lot of rock. Time to call in the rock breakers!! It was a big job both for the rock breakers and for my husband who had to make holes (with a jack hammer) for the poles. There is a lot of water coming down from our mountain too so my hubby had to do some drainage work as well, but it all worked out and the tunnel was up 🙂
As you can imagine we then had the problem of soil (what soil), we didn’t have any as it was ROCK! so we had to bring it in from a neighbour who was doing some ground work at the time. The top soil was from land that had not been touched in many years so it was as good as organic and no i haven’t had it tested but it is treated as organic and I never use chemicals on it, only water from our mountain well!! Raised beds were then built, manure and organic soil went in and….job done!
Very quickly I filled…and I mean filled my tunnel with vegetable plants. I was very ambitious and also turned our back field into an allotment which had been a meadow for EVER!..I planted potatoes and cabbage and lots of cool weather veg but nature soon took over and I found it very hard to control the weeds and grass from growing over everything…I should have covered it over with cardboard and left it for a year or so after it was ploughed…but I didn’t and suffered the consequences….including a really bad back! So back to the tunnel 😉 where I have a controlled environment. I really enjoy growing under cover on raised beds as I have so much more control with every aspect of my gardening from weeds to watering etc, so much so that we now have another tunnel which was erected last year and that is now full too…..and so I think maybe I need another but don’t tell my husband!!
Along with my gardening I am also a very keen cook and would love to share some of my recipes and tips on preserving your homegrown produce. So please follow and subscribe to my videos so that you can ‘reap the benefits’ of GROWING YOUR OWN!