On the second bank holiday weekend, our aching bodies boycotted house-painting for some recuperative work in the garden.
We finally reclaimed a good part of the “lawn” in the back garden. We split down into firewood the stacks of wooden pallets, and restacked the pieces in front of the horse chestnut, where one of our borders will be. In front of this pile along the fence we moved our collection of plants in pots, which had swelled in size as we brought home most of the plants that had been living at my MIL’s for the past two years.
The building hardware stacked in this part of the garden, mostly pipes of various colour and size, was also moved over by the fence. We raked up more than half a dozen barrows full of sawdust from the ground here, strimmed and then mowed the grass that we found underneath and then sowed new grass seed across the rather extensive bare patches. There are still piles of rubble, brick and stone standing on the other half of what will once again be lawn, creeping in on the right of the picture above, and the drainpipes that we removed for painting are still laid out on the path, but now if you stand in the right place with your back to these looking across to the fence and down to the fruit and vegetable patch, you can almost believe that it was a tidy garden… well, if you squint, perhaps.
After this rather satisfying transformation, we went back to the bottom of the garden where we finished digging over the middle vegetable bed by hand, swapped some of the spare rosa rubrifolia that was heeled in here and had come into leaf for some of the plants in the mixed hedge that had not yet burst bud. We re-heeled in some of the excess beech hedging for a little longer, just in case we need to swap any of the beech plants at the front.
Our next task was to rotavate this bed, and dig over and rotavate the final bed which had been beneath plastic for the past month or so.
The eagle-eyed among you may also notice (comparing the last two images) that we also swapped out the rather heavy-duty posts, that we had initially driven in ready to support wires for training the apple espaliers, for some somewhat skinnier (and less over-engineered) posts.
Into the newly churned clay marbles of the middle bed, we planted out the runner beans from the greenhouse at the feet of the support frame that we erected a few weeks ago, a row of dwarf french beans, and some of the sweet peas at the base of a small teepee of bamboo.
Hosepipes and sprinklers were deployed every day in the absence of rain.
I transplanted some lettuce and beetroot plants by the dwarf french beans, and sowed mini-rows of rocket, salad leaves and radishes. The remainder of this bed was earmarked for the squash and sweetcorn.
This weekend has seen even more progress and changes to the garden, but I suspect that this post is already long enough for most, so I shall continue in a further post. It was very gratifying to make such headway though, and I have become rather fond of standing on one leg half way down the garden with my eyes fiercely clenched admiring the verdant lawns and mature borders. Quite a viewpoint…