As much as I’d love to start this post with a Muppet-related joke, for the sake of decency I won’t . Instead, this is all about my impending gardening adventure! Wooooo! I’m a firm believer that adding the word ‘adventure’ to anything takes it from the mundane to the awesome.
I’m lucky to have a large, if ‘rugged’, back garden, and this is the year I finally do something with it. Last year I tried laying some grass seed in the hope that a lawn might magically appear like some kind of lush green carpet, but given the fact that the garden is a) really lumpy and uneven, and b) covered in weeds and random plants, what I’ve ended up with is slightly greener scrubland. The sheer amount of work it would need to make a bowling green style lawn is beyond me, so instead I intend to get my ‘Good Life’ on and grow me some food.
I’ve already planned what’s going where, and although that’ll no doubt change in no time at all, I’ve already made a start. I got out in the garden last weekend with a cultivator and spade and started to dig the first rectangular bed. Hours later, and in a lot of pain, I was a bit further forward, but came up against my first real obstacle – the old extension.
When the old extension on the back of the house was knocked down the rubble was used to build the garden up, so there’s about an inch (if that) of top soil before it’s rock city; and I don’t mean Detroit. As much as I love Rock, the broken bricks, blocks and tiles make it impossible to get a spade in without hitting something solid, and by the end of the afternoon my hands were killing me from hitting stone after stone. However, not being one to be beaten easily, I have a plan of action.
Firstly I’m going to invest in a decent garden fork in order to break the ground up properly and get the biggest of the rubble out. After that I’m going to line the edge of the beds with boards (having a friend who works for a timber yard has its bonuses), and finally I’ll top the beds up with compost. This will effectively give me slightly raised beds, but will also help give a few inches for my vegetable bounty to take root. Once the really hard work’s out of the way we should be on our way into Spring, and I’ll be able to get the seeds and bulbs into the ground.
So far my crop will consist of peas, corn, garlic, broccoli, potatoes, chillies, carrots and spring onions on the vegetable front, and I’ll be planting raspberries, apples (I know, long-term plans), cherries and anything else I can think of and have room for. The rear garden gets more sunshine than the front which is why it’s all getting planted out there. This does mean I’ll have to turn the front garden into a lawn, but it’s going to be less of a mission than the back. I can’t wait to be picking things and eating them fresh at summer barbecues.
Pictures of progress to follow, loyal people-so-bored-they-read-this.