Earth works

When your primary source of power is human, the last thing your family want to hear is that you feel the first lot of flower beds made have the wrong orientation!  Somehow you have to persuade them that redoing the area is the best thing for the flower growing all year (and promise that another major overhaul is not on the cards).  The first plot beds were originally east-west but as the site has a south facing slope and west prevailing wind, it makes much more sense for access and windbreaks to have the beds going north-south.  The plots since have been like this so it was time to get everything working the same way.

We managed to put a few metres of four beds in last summer as we desperately needed space and it is always easier to barrow in dry weather.  These were immediately planted up and gave a good crop but we needed the existing beds for the season’s flowers.


at planting time

autumn harvest

same beds – autumn harvest

So the re-orientation of the beds had to wait until the autumn to start in earnest. We tried to do as much as possible in the wonderfully dry weather in September whilst keeping the remaining beds in production.  We got a head start with help from some of Sarah’s friends who volunteered for a day billed as “cake, fresh air and exercise”.

more compost

yep – all that before you get cake!

laying new beds

laying new beds

shadier perennials

shadier perennial beds




squeezing beds in

squeezing beds in

Comet, one of our lovely cats was run over on the main road in September and is buried under the new beds.  I will watch out for a great crop of flowers on a certain spot of the bed this year.  She was the cat that anyone who has come on a workshop will be familiar with as she also came out to see who was wandering round the garden, often popping out from under a bush where she had been sun bathing for some fuss, not the least bit fazed by strangers.  Hopeless as a mice/vole catcher as she spent too much time lazing around!







“what mice?”

With all of November, December and January being rain soaked (I kid not), no further work was done.  By February I was beginning to worry that we would be doing this major job at the same time as mad seed sowing and transplanting in March.  Then the rain stopped, the kids were on holiday and we “hustled”.


nearly there


All neat and tidy with a covering of snow at the end

Big jobs always get easier when you see the end in sight.  So that first plot is now 11 x20m beds.  Should have been 12 beds but we have decided that putting another wind break in is worth sacrificing a bed for as we have to replace a storm damaged one anyway.

Ah, yes, that is the next big job – wonder when I should tell them…

Comments 1

  1. It’s fascinating to learn about some of the considerations and hard graft that go into producing your beautiful flowers. They certainly don’t happen by themselves! Sorry to hear about Comet – he looked a very content puss. Hope we get some warmer weather soon and yes, less rain.

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