Saturday, 14 March 2009

How much is enough

Still having a wonderful time playing with plans for raised beds. Thanks to the nice people at The Grapevine, I have found that a traditional 10 pole allotment is 55 x 5½ yards, which is 300 square yards of growing space (that's a lot of space!).

The little corner of front lawn I am looking to convert is roughly 37 x 27 feet, or 12 1/3 x 9 yards - 111 square yards. First off I thought "oh no, "only" a third of a proper allotment, that won't be big enough". Then I had another coffee, slapped meself upside the head and realised I'm going mad again . . . this will not be the only food generating area. Himself wants to put apple trees in the Coppice and turn it into an orchard (the hens should like that ) and I want to put damson, plum, cherry, greengage and other fruit trees all over the place! We're cooking up some amazing plans for a humungous greenhouse which, with a bit of forward planning, should give me salad leaves 365 days a year, plus tomatoes, chilis, peppers, aubergine, cucumber and goodness knows what other loveliness.

And then there is everywhere else - this is a half acre plot and in an ideal world I would like every plant to have a purpose - if it isn't providing food or shelter for some wildlife, or privacy/screening for us, then it can provide something to eat or drink (ah yes, drink . . . haven't made wine for many years but am sure I could start again!)

So there is no need to worry about squeezing every possible bit of space out of "The Veggie Plot". Hazel's suggestion for a Nectar Bar won favour with Himself too, and it will add to the overall appearance of this part of the garden. It is, after all, the bit which has the best views of the Fells and in time it would make sense if this is where we spend most sitting around time. Once The Pond a.k.a. Small Tarn is in place I'll struggle to tear myself away.

Which is how I got to this:

Yes, like Topsy it has growed and is now 37 foot square, all of a sudden it is 150 square yards - half a lottie, eeeeeek. I really want to have beds in multiples of four, however, once I measured this out on the ground it didn't work at all. Coming 10 feet past the fence line* looks awful and cuts badly into the area earmarked for the Pond. Back to the drawing board . . .

* right-hand edge where I've put the lavender bed

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