Making Decisions Affecting the Creation of our MicroholdingPart 3 of 3
On the left, you can see the vacant gap in the top half of our developing garden. It is fairly flat, stony and has very little soil. It also sits in line with the pipework for the septic tank, so any digging and backfilling would need to accommodate that.
Looking from my kitchen window, I can see all of what we refer to as the patio. It's basically a concreted area where the old outbuildings once stood, along with what we were told was some sort of lean to greenhouse or old-style tomato house. The main outbuilding has been renovated - this will, one day, become the eco arts studio - and the big hole in the centre filled in to create another garden feature. The colourful flexi-trugs along the wall contain a variety of plants, from fuchsias to beetroot, cabbage and courgettes. So far, the slugs have left these alone!
plastic tubs that have been accrued over the years, each planted up with seeds of one description or another. Next to these are the strawberry tubs that haven't really produced as well as they could have.
They need thinning out and feeding up to ensure they continue to crop in years to come. It is from these tubs that all the runners get potted, so I do tend to have strawberry plants popping up all over the place and am constantly trying to think of where best they can go to ensure they grow, get sunshine and don't get attacked by birds or beasties.
This is how the hole in the concrete 'patio' area is looking now. Last year I
scraped it all out and made a mini-pond, lining it with bubble wrap and feed sacks, surrounding it with rocks and planting it up with cuttings taken from the bottom of the garden by the edge of the stream. I call it the critter garden, as it seems to attract visitors of all description, from toads to lizards and frogs. This is who was in it yesterday.
I added the bird table at the narrowest part and then turned the other half of the crumbling mess into a circular bed, where I planted many of the strawberry runners and then surrounded them with spinach beet to use for feeding the rabbit. Sadly, the rabbit is no more.
Beyond this, off the end of the concreted area, is where I made my blueberry bed for the three little bushes I got last year. This was constructed from the logs cut from a neighbour's conifer and I employed a little bit of eco-artistic licence to the final piece, which I call my log man bird table.
Blueberries like an ericaceous or acidic environment, as do heathers, so I add whatever tea leaves, pine needles and bark chippings I have to help these along. So far, so good - the only thing the slugs and snails have got are the sunflowers, which grew from falling bird seed that must have been there from winter. Behind this lies two old fish crates covered with my half price sun-tunnels. Each crate contains two cucumber plants.
So what is all this really about? We are doing our best to cultivate the wild garden, making the most of whatever can be salvaged and recycled, trying to grow plants from other plants and fighting what often feels like a losing battle against the elements, the insects, the slugs and the snails. What more can we do?
ANSWER - SPOT A BARGAIN AND JUST GO FOR IT!
This is my fantastic bargain that I have been spurred into buying now rather than putting off any longer. It is approximately 15' long (4.5m) and just over 6' with and high (2m), comes complete with a fixing kit and delivery is FREE. Yes, folks, I have finally taken the plunge and bought myself the long awaited frugal poly tunnel! The vacant space in the middle of the garden is ABOUT 8' x 18' once fully cleared and this is what is going to fill that space. Now I know that some folks who may happen to read this post will wonder what the great excitement is all about but, for those of you who know me, you know how much I try to prioritise my spends while living in the middle of a renovation project but this purchase, which was on offer with £100 OFF the price, is something that I will put to great use during my battle with the elements and the critturs that foil my growing plans at every opportunity.
In memory of Jayjay - this will become the hub of my future growing enterprise of microholding and fundraising.