Monday, 9 March 2009

Gardening in rain and sleet whilst suffering from a cold!

I know I can be a bit linear in my thinking, a little single-minded and determined; those of an unkind disposition may refrain from making comparisons to terriers and bones, I prefer to think of it as being focused. This has led me into the trap of thinking that I cannot do anything else in the garden until all the logs are sorted out. Unfortunately, the weather and sheer volume (weight) of the aforementioned logs means it will be quite some while before that task is completed.

One of the garages is acting as a garden shed/repository for all things horticultural and Husband would really like it back so he can do dirty, messy, engine-oil related things in it. To cut a long story (and many conversations) sideways, we're going to get a shed and greenhouse arranged sooner rather than later. Whilst I am making such Grand Plans, might as well make a serious start on the vegetable area as well.

Which is how, on a wet and sleety Sunday, when my leg bones have been removed and replaced with rubber, and the contents of my skull replaced with cotton wool, I spent a happy afternoon on the sofa in true Blue Peter* style!

This area is 27 foot deep, 31' wide at the back and 37' wide at the front.
3 feet allowed for new hedge
3 feet allowed for all paths (wheelbarrow and trolley width)

1 @ 4 x 24
2 @ 4 x 28
Growing area: 320 square feet
Maximum growing area but not aesthetically pleasing.

9 @ 4 x 8
Growing area: 288 square feet
As above, not very exciting.

8 @ 6 x 6
Growing area: 288 square feet
This has been my favoured layout for ages with plans for a beehive in the centre. Trouble is, when measured accurately, the middle bit is 12' x 12' - too much wasted space.

Variations on the same theme - still all that space in the middle.

Getting carried away with coloured pens . . .

This is today's favourite!

6 @ 4 x 8
6 @ 4 x 4
Growing area: 288 square feet

Pro - 12 beds in total, nothing more than 4 foot wide so easy to reach all bed without every standing on soil, potential for lots of rotation
Cons - probably loads but no-one's pointed them out yet.

Now to toddle off and do the same for the Log Store/Shed/Greenhouse area.

* Valerie Singleton, Peter Purves, John Noakes and Petra. All other presenters were pretenders


  1. Ok, now I'm confused. Where in your garden is the vergetable patch going to be located? I've tried fitting the various hedges and boundaries, as I remember them to the map and can't locate this part of your garden.

    Hope your legs are soon feeling less rubbery.

  2. Sorry, I know where it is so I assumed either you would - or wouldn't care!

    It is right outside the front door - if you come up those steps from the drive, it will be the lawn immediately to your right. Does that make sense?

  3. I'll have a look at this further later on, Bilbo, but one or two things strike me on a first read through
    1) I wouldn't have your beds more than 4' wide or you won't be able to reach into the middle of them unless you have abnormally long arms (I think you're ahead of me on this)
    2) I find that 2' is quite wide enough for a path if you are using a wheelbarrow (but not if you have one of those natty 4 wheel trolley jobbies, I guess)
    3) Just be a bit careful near the hedges as these will rob the soil of nutrients as well as shade the nearest beds.

  4. Hazel, you are an angel and thank you!
    Look forward to any other comments if you do get time to think about this further.

  5. Sorry - forgot to ask - which way is south?

  6. Hi Hazel, existing hedge (orange strip on left-hand side of drawings) faces south east.

    Final hedge height planned to be around 4 foot.

  7. Hi there - just back in land of living following a sinus thingie which resulted in a bout of vertigo this morning. Woken from a 2 hour kip to find you've been playing!

    The only 'con' with the last one is the amount of wood and building requires (if the beds are to be egded).

    I'd go for layout 1 - max growing room, min building - make it aesthetic by growing bean/pea/sweet-pea wigwams for height. How can a bed of veg NOT look beautiful!

  8. Hi Flum, Glad you are "back with us" so to speak. What you are describing sounds like a particularly nasty lurgy, if you were sleeping for two hours in the middle of the day your body must have needed it.

    You made me laugh with your comment - yes, I know it will be a lot of building but when did anything like that stop me? I ~knew~ you'd go for layout # 1, but that's not for us. I was still doodling/developing Hazel's suggestions at midnight last night and by tweaking the width of some of the paths, think I might have come up with something that will work.

  9. Good luck with the job ahead. Will be watching with interest


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