Garden Improvements

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Well I’ve been very busy in the garden the last few weeks trying to tidy it up and clear a few areas, but unfortunately there is still quite a long way to go. But I’ve accomplished quite a lot…

Compost Bins:

Well the transformation was quite impressive. Originally the area was very overgrown and messy (top left) and although there was meant to be a path along the side of the grass it was completely covered in weeds/grass and the corner section wasn’t actually big enough to house the 2 compost bins.

I wanted to make the path look like an actual path again so I pulled all of the weeds out of the border and levelled out the soil. In the corner section I expanded the border to a diagonal by pulling up the bricks and relaying them further out from the corner (top right). Not the easiest task in the world but most of that was accomplished in a day.

Then time for relaying the border. I put down a weed barrier to hopefully keep the weeds at bay and then laid bark chips on top of it. It looks sooo much neater and nicer now. The corner of the lawn now houses the compost bins and looks very tidy =) (bottom right)

Driveway:

With the whole improving borders thing I wanted to try and de-weed the borders around the driveway. This is a significantly more difficult task… One border is meant to be a stone/pebble border, but most of it is unrecognisable as this.

This requires removing all of the weeds from the border, removing the soil and levelling the border, then separating the soil from the stones, laying a weed barrier and then finally relaying the stones.

Unfortunately the separating stage is quite time consuming as you have to pass the soil through a sieve, and then remove any remaining roots/sticks etc from the stones. So this job is taking a lot longer than the lawn border. But the final result is going to look much neater. You can see I’ve managed to get a few metres of it completed, but I’ve still got a fair way to go.

Top row: The driveway beforehand
Bottom row: the border work in progress

Back bed:

In the past we have wanted to grow vegetables in our back bed (and some have been successful) – before we could use the bed at all we had to turn it all over and remove the ridiculous amount of stones/rocks that were in there. This year I wanted to try growing vegetables in there again but I wanted to clear out the whole bed, including removing the tree roots in the bed. (You can see a massive root that I got out here…)

In order to try growing some root veg, I had a desire to grow carrots and parsnips, or at least to try… I needed to make sure the bed had decent soil, and not just rocks for at least 20cm – 30cm. This is no easy feat and we got a ridiculous amount of rock out of the bed. I think they must have built the bed over a wall…especially since this is the second time I have removed a large amount of rock from the bed…

I decided I was only going to work on 2/3rds of the bed as that would probably be enough size for our vegetables and I didn’t think I had enough compost for the whole bed. Once the stones were removed I forked in a large bag of manure (not the most fun task) and 5 bags of compost.

Top left: The bed after some work removing roots/rocks, Top right: the rocks we got out…
Bottom left: after adding manure and 5 bags of compost, Bottom right: nicely divided after planting

The soil is so much better looking now, which is reassuring. I ‘built’ a small path into the bed so we avoid stepping on the soil when we need to tend to the plants, the foundation for this was some bricks that I found in the bed and then it was topped with pebble and stones that came out of this bed and the other borders when I had been doing the other work.

Now it is nicely planted up with carrots, parsnips, courgette, winter squash and beetroot. So hopefully some of them will start to come up soon. Looking at some of the rest of the veg that we planted a few weeks ago some of them might need to be transplanted into the bed soon as they are growing quite large. Possibly some onions might grow quite nicely in there. I have a few sections of the bed that aren’t planted up yet.

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