08. February 2020

Oak Hill Cottage Garden - May 2019

I'm making great progress with Oak Hill Cottage Garden, both inside and out. This is what the cottage garden looks like in May!

Every now and then, I can hear the lawnmower outside by the churchyard. That's when I get up from the computer and get some new grass clippings for my beds. I drove some of it home though since I can't use it all here at Oak Hill.

 

I have lived in the little village Kalvsvik in southern Sweden since January 2004, and I can't remember how many times I have passed by this lovely little cottage on my way home. Now and then, the thought of taking it on has crossed my mind. The lot has honestly not been too inspiring though, except for a few months in spring and summer when the garden is covered in windflowers.

 

More about starting a new garden: How to start a flower garden

 

This is what Oak Hill Cottage looked like in May:

 

 

I wanted to get a good start here in the garden, so I decided to start growing leafy greens for an early harvest. Learn more here:

 

 

 

Another way to get an early harvest is to keep a batch of pea shoots available indoors. Pea shoots are amazing and so easy to grow in any troughs or containers you might have around. I'm using regular yellow peas from the supermarket here:

 

 

Pictures from my garden

My camera is full of pictures from my new little cottage garden. Here are a few of them from May:

 

Of course, I didn't plan to buy a house (I wasn't going to start any new projects this year after all!) But since I did, I decided to go slow at first. My goal was to make one bed per month. I tried my best but didn't manage to keep to that rule! I had to take a little break before summer so that I still had some work left to document for the blog.

 

There's plenty of shrubs on the lot. We cut down an old mock-orange and made a nice wreathe. The wreathe is edging one of our new beds.

 

Oak hill

Our neighbors and friends enjoy passing by our little cottage garden. There's always something new and interesting to look at!

 

Oak hill cottage garden

I emptied bag after bag of old plant parts from my neighbor over a layer of newspapers in this bed. Using old plant parts is a great way to optimize your garden in a cheap and simple way. So convenient!

 

The old lawn is transforming and the whole lot looks very different now! I have so many ideas and dreams for this space, but I need to have time and energy for my other projects too of course!

 

Oak hill cottage garden

The woodchips I got in April cover most of the lawn around Oak Hill Cottage. The alliums and wild windflowers on the south side are covered. I actually found a little stone path buried underneath the top layer of soil, this is where I keep my pots.

 

Oak hill cottage garden

I planted mulberries on the south side and I plan to train them.

 

I'm celebrating my beautiful little house with homemade cookies! My mother Ulla made these sweet nut cookies together with my kids. It's the same kind of cookies that she used to make for me and my siblings when we were young. I'm decorating them with violets in spring. There are plenty of violets around the house. We even named a section of the yard Violet Hill.

 

There are plenty of windflowers around my Oak Hill Cottage, especially in this corner. I haven't decided if I'm going to keep them or not. My Herrgård artichokes grow in the bed closest to them.

 

It's only been a month since I got the house and I have so much space that I can grow on. Fortunately, I live right next to the church where I can get plenty of grass clippings for mulch.

 

This bed is mainly for new sowings. I was able to harvest my early leafy greens already in May, just four weeks after getting the house.

 

Oak hill cottage garden

The road is quite close to my lawn, but I don't mind that considering the location and how pretty the house is. The church and the oak trees add a lot of character to the place too!

 

Oak Hill cottage garden

Look at this huge pile of grass clippings! One of the gardeners at the church reads my blog and lets me take as much as I need. Thank you!

 

Oak hill cottage garden

One of the things I love most about Oak Hill is that I can experiment a bit more than at home, where I don't have that much space left. And the rest of the family is not too thrilled about any new ventures that might include interesting new smells or insects. So, experimenting is definitely something very doable out here instead. Here is my new little soil factory filled with bokashi compost.

 

Don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel Sara's Kitchen Garden and hit the notification bell, so that you don't miss any new videos from Oak Hill Cottage!
/Sara Bäckmo

 

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