During another busy weekend, we tackled more jobs around the garden. King of the Hill was particularly keen to turn out our compost heaps, and spread their goodness around the kitchen garden if it was workable.
Now I should confess that our compost heaps have been rather left to fend for themselves amidst the chaos of building works and subsequent recovery. KotH originally built two adjacent heaps from sawed up wooden pallets in a hot sunny corner at the bottom of the kitchen garden, and for more than a year we have been piling our garden waste on; first the left one, then the right.
Without aeration from turning, the heaps were left to break down themselves, but seem to have made a good job of it without interference. KotH distributed the contents of the left heap around the kitchen garden, ready to spread further once the plastic tarpaulins are removed, and the greenhouse borders. The topmost matter on the right heap was then turned into the left side, revealing more rather fine crumbly compost further down that heap too.
We were impressed with the structure of our compost, dark and sweet smelling, slightly coarse still in places but full of goodness. After piling it around the garden, we filled some bags and tubs with excess, and I made use of a few bucketfuls to plant pots of summer bulbs, after spending some time first clearing out various overgrown containers around the greenhouse. Spare primroses from one of the stone pots were relocated to the edge of the grass verge out the front, to accompany those that I moved there when I split the primroses last year.
We worked together to plant out three Ben Sarek blackcurrant bushes that I had heeled into one of the vegetable beds when they arrived earlier in the week, and fed them with chicken manure. While KotH put the shredder to work on some branches and prunings, I raided the pile of already composted shreddings, that we keep separate from the compost heaps, to mulch the rows of raspberries.
This weekend also saw the first mowing of the grass, old and new. The scent of mown grass in the spring sunshine was intoxicating, and the results pleasing after the raggedy growth of late autumn. It is hard to believe that most of these areas were only sown or turfed in the autumn, after years buried beneath building debris.
My final tasks as the light began to drain from the sky on Sunday evening were to prune the buddleia and dig a curve of turf to mark the front edge of the field border. The front of this area that I reclaimed from the undergrowth, dug over and planted last summer had lazily blended into the lawn since we sowed grass seed up to the front of the planting. It was hard work for an aching body after a weekend of labour, but I was determined to at least mark the edge before night fell, and quickly dug along the rope I had curved on the ground earlier, loading the turf into a wheelbarrow. A strip of no-man’s land still sits between the new sharp edge and the front of last year’s planting, but now I can look out and see the full shape of the border to come, as well as the work still to do.
I am already itching for the next weekend to come so that I can complete this work, ready to plant the front of the bed. More planting space is always welcome, especially given the extensive lists of seeds already started rather hopefully in the greenhouse.
The weekend came to an end with quite a list of tasks still outstanding, but we certainly made good progress.