After a day off yesterday (what with one thing and another) i was back out there again, this afternoon. After knocking up a quick batch of bread and breakfast, i started by finishing that second bed. It was much quicker to finish than i thought, to be honest – especially with Michiel (bless his soul) helping me.
[more photos behind the cut]
I stuck some more weeds in the bottom of the bed, then started work on shifting the remaining compost into the bed. Michiel came out to help me, and we quickly got the final three buckets done, before i said “If you think you can lift the bag and tip the rest in at any point, go ahead”, so he did. there and then. LOL. We grabbed the rake and fork and set about smoothing it out. Then Michiel grabbed the camera, while i started shovelling the rest of the topsoil onto the bed. Even this went much more quickly than i had anticipated: the most time consuming part was putting sods of earth into the gaps in the side of the bed that weren’t in the bed to help brace the wooden sides. This is definetly where i went wrong last time. Its very hard, when you’re working with rough grass and not proper lawn, to create proper hard edging, and no matter what you do with the wood you will wind up with gaps down the side. Just tipping some soil and leftover sods of earth help with that. If you look at the picture with both beds in you can see the wood in bed one (the polytunnel covered one) slopes to the side, and filling in the gaps help with that. Once the polytunnel’s off i may well go back and address that.
Once that was done (and i’d had a drink – it was warm out there) i got to work on creating a small bed between bed one and bed two. This is easily small enough to step over, and is lower in the ground, and although its edged with wood, at the moment it just contains my lil bay tree. I may put some bedding plants either side for a bit of colour, or maybe some cornflowers.
After that, i started work on my sweetpea bed. It was hard going, however, and very hot, so i didn’t get very far. Its full of roots, which will need digging up. It really is a necessary bed, though, because in order to give Jess full roam of the garden, that side area needs blocking off – she can (and has) jumped over the wall at the back and run out of the gate before now. The side fence (that seperates us from our neighbour) also needs addressing but i think i can do that with more upwards growing plants, and the greenhouse, and that will help sort that out. With luck Jess will be able to roam freely round most of the garden, thankfully, she doesn’t run over my beds, but i’ll be keeping an eye on her (she doesn’t always think when a motorbike goes by, for example).
It being good weather as well the local kids are out playing football. In some ways i dread the summer months: the constant bang bang bang of the football against the factory wall. I have had an email from someone who pointed out the possibility, no matter how remote, of someone local actually reading my blog and realising i am me, so, in order to avoid trouble, I’m going to try to be a lil nicer from now on about my neighbours. I have to say, that although some of them do create trouble, there are some nice ones around too. There’s a lady a few doors down, an irish lady, who sent us a christmas card and who i’ve had some lovely chats with, and even the children aren’t all bad. There’s a little girl who lives around the corner who is absolutely in love with Jess (well who wouldn’t be) and who loves to come and stand in next door’s garden and talk with/play with Jess. She and i had a lovely conversation over the fence about 10 minutes ago, about her dog, Jess, what we’re growing, and so on. Every time i get one sullen teenager shouting god knows what, i get a lovely little girl like that.
Tomorrow is shopping day – and rain is scheduled – so i don’t know if i’ll get any more done. But i’ll certainly try to get out there. Little and often, that’s the way.