Tuesday 16 June 2020

Random Ramblings :: The Beds have arrived!

Hi there everyone πŸ˜€

Well, this is exciting news ... although I can fully appreciate that the term 'exciting' may be up for debate πŸ˜€

Back in March, at the very beginning of lockdown, with our April and May holidays postponed and some glorious weather, we spent a lot of time in the garden ... to good effect, getting lots of the annual maintenance jobs done.

Before long we’d fallen back in love with the idea of growing our own, having not done that much over the last few years ... just really green beans and a few pretty unsuccessful tomatoes.

Treating myself to a gardening magazine with a stash of free seeds set us off on a bit of a planting spree, which lead to us working out how we could fit some more raised beds in the garden, with not much effort and within the constraints of lockdown.

A spot of 'Googling' and I found something totally different to what we’ve had before and we both started to get excited and before long an order was submitted ... this was back in the middle of April with an expected delivery date of the end of the month.

It was time to start thinking about how we would fill them and we got really lucky as a friend's neighbour had a lot of soil to get rid of and didn’t want to pay for a skip. I have to confess that we did make a few trips that may have been considered non essential to pick up about 48 compost sized bags of soil, which we proceeded to riddle and has been sitting in some huge white bags on the patio ever since.

The original delivery date came and went ... pushed back to early May, then Mid-May ... by when the weather had started to change and we were trying to find other options for planting on our leeks and other bits and bobs that seriously needed getting into the ground.

Martin emailed to find out when they would be due ... with a sob story about our veg being desperate and the wife seriously fed up of looking at bags of dirt on the patio.

Finally ... 3 June they arrived and we were so excited ...

It then pretty much rained non stop for what felt like ages ... but in between the showers we built them up and messed about with different shapes and sizes and different options of how to position them.

Finally we decided on the sizes and the location and, last week, Martin got them fully built up and all of the protective film removed and they started looking a bit more like we were expecting ... 

... A cross between an old tin bath and an Anderson shelter ...

This Sunday we had a small window of opportunity to dig out the turf for the first one ... 

We then had the problem of how to edge it to solve ... our main concern being about Bill, our grass cutting man, strimming right up to them and damaging the paintwork.

We tried lots of options ... could we just have a strip of soil, should we fill it with pebbles, should we brick edge it? Nothing felt quite right ... we wanted something easy and whilst a brick edge to match the rest of the garden will be our long term plan we just want something fairly easy that we can do ourselves and will work for now ... but will look good too.

After a lot of faffing about and chopping and changing I decided to try just positioning a few terra cotta pots on a border of raised bricks, salvaged from round the back of the shed, and all of a sudden it all seemed to feel right ... so right size, right place and right edging ...

We left it there for Sunday ... happy to have a plan in place.

Monday morning we had a quick trip to the garden centre to buy some weed proof membrane and some pebbles to infill the gap between the bricks and the planter. Martin's job for Monday afternoon, whilst I was at food bank, was to level up the bricks ... ready for popping down the weed proof membrane and finally placing the bricks and filling in the pebbles ... before filling with a mixture of some of our donated top soil, farmyard manure and compost ...

Tuesday we made the most of a dry morning trying to get a few bits and pieces planted and have now filled this bed with a courgette, some leeks, iceberg lettuce and beetroot ...

We now need to fill in the turf gap and re-position the stepping stones across the lawn and then repeat with the second bed. Sadly there are no more bricks lurking at the back of the shed so the next job is to try and source something similar.

So ... so far, so good. It's not perfect ... not by a long means ... the bricks are a bit wobbly and we wish we'd put a bit more soil in ... but it's fine and will certainly serve a purpose. It also looks in keeping with the style of the garden and the positioning feels quite balanced. 

I think long term we may opt for a more permanent and professionally finished brick edge, but for now ... we're both looking forward to reaping plenty fresh fruit and veg over the summer πŸ…πŸ’πŸ“



  1. !!!!!!you are good gardeners!

  2. It has been lovely to get to spend more time that usual in the garden ... I think it has kept us sane and made lockdown quite an enjoyable experience for us Elena πŸ˜€


Thanks for taking time to comment on my blog. I love to hear what people think about what Martin and I have been up to.