Tuesday, 20 March 2012


Lovely afternoon, warm enough to work in a t-shirt rather than three layers of fleece and a waterproof. This is March, in Scotland. Weird or what?

Anyway, it was a nice afternoon for a potter and to tidy up a few of the rougher edges. There are still plenty of rough edges of course, given that I'm using  mostly scavanged timber and my woodworking "skills" are pretty dire but still, I'm getting it done.

Usual overview.....

Ground level shot, from the back door looking up to the greenhouse


Going downhill..

It's all looking most promising, no? One thing though...That is a Gnomeo standing all alone in the bottom bed. Princess won him in a draw. Anyone got a lonely Juliet that fancies a change of garden?

Monday, 19 March 2012

Down to the bottom.

I had another productive day down in the garden today. Hubby's car is in the garage which means Hubby has to take my car to go to work and I get stuck at home. Which is okay, actually, as it means I don't have to run around doing errands or taking kids to things. I just had to pull in a few favours for lifts for the kids and then spend the afternoon in the garden.

Here's where I've got to...

Now you may think this is progressing at a snails pace but I'd like to point out that apart from Lad carrying up a bag of compost for me the other day, every single thing has been done by me. And that includes going to B&Q and buying slabs and timber, lugging these into the garden, digging out every last teaspoonful of soil etc etc. So I'm quite proud of the fact that I put the last path slab in today, only a month after I started work in earnest. (We'll ignore the fact I managed to crack that last slab, bah, but I've got a spare.)I have reached the bottom of the terracing, in fact. The beds are all in!

So I've got about another two afternoons of tweaking the woodwork, making the last of the boxed in herb planting areas at the ends of the paths, laying the last three slabs outside the greenhouse, topping off the second bottom bed and giving the place a bit of a sweep and tidy up.

Then? Well, then I can actually plant something. No idea what though...I haven't even drawn up my growing plan for the allotment this year yet. I'm hadrly going to be short of crop space this year though so I think I'll concentrate on making the garden beds pretty and building up the soil fertility this year.

Saturday, 17 March 2012


So, here it is, the raw material. About 8m x 3m, covered in couch grass and weeds, two apple trees and on a slope both sideways and downwards. A mess. It was worse last year though! There was a huge mass of ivy in that corner next to the greenhouse, swamping the greenhouse and extending all the  the way to the first tree. At least that's gone.

So first job was to get rid of some of the couch grass.

I started marking out some of the beds as I worked. Why? Well, digging out a slope means leveling off the paths and you've got to know exactly where to chuck the dug out soil. I also knew from the very start I was going to have to put in raised beds, as the soil is very poor. It's sandy and light, very nutrient deficient. I'm going to have to add a lot of extra organic matter to make it fertile and water retentive. And there's also that slope to contend with. So the general plan is a series of raised beds seperated by paths, in a set of terraced layers. It took me about two weeks to get to the above point and to get the general shape of things to come into my head. After much messing around with a tape measure I eventually decided the beds were going to be about 80-90cm wide. The beds on the allotment are 120cm wide and I can't quite reach across one from a kneeling position and I wanted the garden beds to be fully accessible from just one side, to save me walking round and back so much while working them.

I also decided to bite the bullet and use slabs for the paths. I already had some 40cm wide slabs, wide enough for paths wide enough to walk down and kneel on. It's normally recommended that paths should be 60cm wide so you can wheel a barrow along them but that just isn't going to happen here, so 40cm is quite enough.
Over the course of the following few days I got very bored digging out couch grass and fiddling around with a spirit level and slabs....

Told you it was boring, didn't I? Be grateful it was so driech yesterday and this evening that I couldn't take any more pictures. But I have made progress, honestly.
Update tomorrow!

Long, long time....

I'd sort of forgotten I started this blog five years ago. I had some nice pictures of the apple trees in the garden I suppose, and this vague thought that I might be about to start doing something more interesting with it than just letting the kids trash it and I could blog about it by way of keeping a record. Well, no. It's still trashed. So what's changed?
What's changed is me. Five years older and a whole lot creakier. I've developed a nice range of spinal problems...I'll spare you the details but basically they mean I can't lift things like I used to, I can't dig much, I tire extremely easily and my balance is off, so I keep tripping over things. I take a nice selection of drugs for this and they've been an absolute life saver for pain control and keeping me mobile, belive me, but over the past couple of years I've been having to stop a lot of activities that I used to enjoy. Cycling is difficult because my balance is unreliable when I stop and put a foot down. (And topple sideways into the traffic, eek!) Camping is really tiring, especially the setting up and if it's damp. And the allotment is getting to be a real chore. It's just too big for me these days and too much work.

Which brings me back to the garden. I've decided that this will be my last year of the allotment and that I'm going to start up a veg patch in the garden instead. The allotment rent year ends in November so that's when I'm going to give up my plot. This will give me plenty of time to get some beds established in the garden, take cuttings, move plants from the allotment and sort things out properly so I can hand over the plot in good condition.

So that's what this blog is going to be about. No, not the allotment, it's going to be about setting up my new kitchen garden.