I'm one of the Brit ex-pats who didn't opt for Spain or France. We chose Western Norway, having had over 30 years of wonderful hiking & natural history holidays here. I was a keen gardener in UK, but had the usual tiny garden of a 1960s bungalow. When we decided to move, it was a huge step & we wanted it to be something to last.
We bought a stretch of hillside, beside a lake. The lake is 214m above sea level, so we are at about 300m. Including woodland, the plot is about an acre (I think - officially 2,500sq metres + the land beside the track to our house). The whole area is ancient moraine, so had some boulders bigger than our car & the fine silt eroded by a glacier.
That was 7 years ago; we have been in the house 6 years, began gardening as soon as the snow was off the land. Each year we have to accept permafrost reaching a metre or more into the soil: The ground is often frozen until early May, compacted with the weight of snow. Last winter we had weeks with temperatures rarely better than minus 20C. On the plus side, once winter is over, we have plenty of rainfall & 24 hours of daylight, which helps make up for the short growing season.
I'm still at the trial & error stage with this veg garden. The errors are things that don't survive our conditions or that we can't protect enough to help them do so. Soil depth is very variable & we get enough rain for the nutrients to leach away almost as fast as we can apply them. Often, when things do well, the deer love them. I'm gradually developing my own techniques to deal with these obstacles & we manage to freeze enough produce to be self-sufficient for most of the winter.
I'm interested in ideas, sympathy &/or advice from others with similar challenging gardens.
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