This is how part of my garden looked like before the raised beds were made. The garden is 25m by 7m and so it is not large by any means, but it is large enough to make it into a real great vegetable and herb garden and grow lots of produce. It was no use trying to grow things in the soil surrounding the hedges and trees as the soil was so full of roots that you could not dig at all. So the plan was to make raised bed. Ian, my partner started work on the beds one fine day, we got planks that were used for scaffolding, we bought them locally and no sooner they were delivered than Ian started work. On the right you see three of them finished. There finally were 10 beds altogether so enough space to grow lots of stuff.
Finally the beds are all made, then we had to source topsoil to fill them up, we found a local supplier who brought loads of it, and we were fortunate to receive help from a few young men to bring all the wheelbarrows soil into the garden and into the beds, not an easy job! The topsoil came from a farm and apparently Corn was grown on it. As an after thought we should have been more careful because as it turned out the soil was clay, and full of stones. But Ian had the answer and as soon as the soil was in he started to lighten the soil by adding a layer of greens and digging it in. I had bought green manure (as it is called) and sowed this on some of the bed for the time being, this was then also dug into the soil. The Ph is good, a balanced 7, but even after some work was put in to improve and lighten the soil, it still needs a lot of care and work. One good advantage of the farm soil is that loads of dandelions came growing on the beds, seeds must have been in the soil. I love using Dandelion leaves .
Using the raised beds makes gardening so much easier, and it is so tidy, you are able to plan things better I think. A bed of this and a bed of that…. Towards the back of the garden there are two little sheds, who are in much need of restoration and I am hoping to get help with that soon. That is also the place where we compost things like shredded twigs and hedge clippings, and where the compost bin is situated. There are four trees in the garden, one Chestnut that I grew from a conker, on Silver Birch, a Pine, and a Mediterranean Oak tree. Oh and also my Hawthorn tree that is much smaller. These trees all grow at a fast enough pace, and so does the hedge which is Privet and something else. I’m just now reading a book on pruning and tidying shrubs, trees, and fruit bushes (of which I have several) so I might become better at all that.
The end result, which, of course, is ever changing is a green and lush garden. hedges have been cut since as they were too high and made the garden dark and damp. Flowers do come and grow among my vegetables but that is ok up to a point, they are all happy together.
Wood work has been given a coat of protection for the winter months and it looks great. And so bit by bit I am learning and getting a lot of pleasure from this little garden and eating lots of produce. Improving the soil constantly makes the work interesting, I’m really excited about my composting now that I read more about it and know what is going on there on the micro-organism level. I look forward to a great lot of real good compost in some months to come.