Success is crucial in gardening, where one has so little control over the elements and minibeasts that can scupper the best laid plans,
…and this is why I love growing garlic; it seems to work, growing and doing its thing without any coddling or worrying. You can even grow it in a container if you like (use a 50/50 mix of multi-purpose compost and John Innes no 2 with a few handfuls of grit. Just like other bulbs, it goes in the ground in Autumn or early winter, which is a welcome break from all the chopping, sweeping and raking at this time of year. You need some garlic – there are a million varieties to choose from (order from a specialist such as Really Garlicky or The Garlic Farm rather than just planting supermarket garlic for more varietal choice). Prepare an area that gets a good amount of sunshine, with well-drained soil. Break some good fat cloves off from the bulbs, making sure to retain the flat bit at the bottom of each one and push them, flat side down, into the soil about 2 inches deep and 6 inches apart, cover them up and water if necessary, then wait. You’ll see action in early spring, with tall flowers following. I start digging up bulbs when the leaves begin to go brown. Keep some for immediate use and hang the rest up somewhere cool so that the sap can travel down the stem and swell the bulbs over time.