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“My garden is ever growing and ever changing”
Every month at CoirProducts, we run a giveaway where gardeners and growers are in with the chance of being a featured gardener on our website and social media, as well as winning £100 worth of our coir-based products! In October, our Grower of the month was Taira, who you find on Instagram @thegirlgardener. In this blog post, Taira has shared her story of gardening.
Taira begins by telling us how she started her gardening journey and what her first successes were.
“I’ve always been an outdoorsy soul. I spent a lot of time outside, in my mum’s cottage garden as a kid eating blackberries, playing in the dirt and watching bees crawl in and out of lupins. I gardened on my balcony for a long time once I grew up, growing hostas, lupins, mint, and coriander, wishing I’d have my own patch of soil but appreciating what I had, and after 19 years of no garden, I finally have my own that I can make into my own cottage garden, but with my own spin on things!
My very first gardening success was eight years ago, when I grew potatoes on my balcony, in a reclaimed plastic fish tank that my husband brought home from someone throwing it away. I used it as a growing container, and cut one potato into four pieces. I really didn’t give it much attention apart from a little watering and earthing up, but after a while I ended up with 21 delicious potatoes. I have successfully grown potatoes in pots and in the ground since having my garden as well as so many other fruits and vegetables. Some have been extremely successful and others total flukes, like last year I did fantastic on my cucamelons… this year not so much. And last year I lost around 20 tomato plants to blight, this year we did brilliantly on them. Each year we have things that do well and others that don’t. I guess that’s just the growing experience!”
Every gardener has their own unique style of growing, with every garden being different! With hundreds of varieties of plants and crops to grow, you’ll never see the same growing twice. Taira describes what she has been growing, what is on her list to grow next year, and how her garden is always changing.
“This year I have grown tomatoes, chillies, aubergines, squash, marigolds, sunflowers, runner beans, cucumbers, peppers, and herbs. One vegetable that I have especially enjoyed growing is my kohlrabi. They are such a simple but fun-looking and nutritious vegetable to grow and I like that they grow above ground instead of below, so I can always see if they’re being chomped on and make changes to protect them. One thing I have learnt from growing kohlrabi is that as long as they’re netted over, they will be alright!
Something that I would love to grow is celeriac. I did try it this year but with no success, so it’s on my next year’s growing list. I also have plans to grow a wider range of squash and pumpkins on my growing arches, to make the most of as much space as possible.
My garden is ever growing and ever changing. I am in the process of adding extra growing spaces for next year to grow more food and flowers. My garden goals have always been to create a multifunctional garden and healthy ecosystem that works for me as well as provide a sanctuary for pollinators and other beneficial wildlife”.
Gardening is an amazing activity for everyone to enjoy, and the gardening community is so welcoming and friendly! For those who are just getting into gardening, or perhaps struggling a little, gardeners are always happy to help and share their tips for successful growing. Taira discusses how she shares her gardening within the community and offers advice for budding gardeners.
“I share everything I do on my Instagram page and a little bit on Youtube – although I haven’t gotten over being camera shy – to help and encourage others to get started growing! My page is very transparent, what you see is what you get. You get to see all the successes and failures and where I get all my seeds. I show how to save seeds, conserve water in the garden, how to compost, and very simple chicken keeping, but if there was any advice I could give someone wanting to start growing, it would be to just start. Start with one plant pot and one seed pack.
Don’t feel that in order to garden, you need to have a garden because that was the mindset I had for a long time and it held me back from using the space to its absolute full potential! You can still garden in almost any space you have. If you have a balcony, you have space to grow, any windowsill in any room will be enough to grow something. It doesn’t just have to be the kitchen window. If your bedroom is south facing, then your window will support life, so pop a pot of chillies there. If your living room gets enough warmth and light, then it will support life, just pop a few pots up out of reach of itchy kiddie fingers or pet paws, and you’ve got your grow on!”
Congratulations to Taira again for winning Grower of the Month and for sharing her gardening journey! You can follow Taira on Instagram @thegirlgardener and her youtube channel is called The Girl Gardener.
Want to become our next Grower of the Month? Keep an eye on our social media channels to find out how!