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Crockham Hill garden goings on

Good morning everyone. Has there have been other people on here starting threads on their own gardens I thought I'd start one myself. I'm a complete novice gardener and only really started getting into gardening when I moved into my ground floor flat 10 years ago.

I've done odd bits in the garden already but progress is very slow and sporadic as I can't commit very much money to it...only £10-20 a month. So most things have to be very cheap or even better free so a lot of scavenging and skip diving goes on.

Anyway the Easter weekend was a busy one here as I replaced my old raised veg bed with a new one but for bee, butterfly & bird friendly flowers this time and also a wildlife pond.

First pics show the old bed gradually rotting away. Even though this was treated timber it rotted very quickly as I had laid it straight onto the soil. This is heavy clay so it was always wet.

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So I dug the old one up and then a trench ready to receive the new one. This trench was filled with lots of coffee/tea mugs that were being chucked out from my workplace and then crushed up to give some drainage but I did add an extra layer of gravel in as well to help get things level.

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I had started building the new raised bed at my workplace as then I could do it in the dry and keep things as level and straight as I could. The timber was rescued from a building being demolished next to my workplace and it was roofing joists. They were a bit warped and twisted but beggars can't be choosers and they weren't too bad. It was built in sections that I could take apart and then do final fixing once in place at home.

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Then it was just a matter of getting it back home...fixing together the base and side sections first and then building up the sides all the way around.

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It also got 2 layers of membrane around the inside. This I hope will help stop the timber staying wet and rotting. I'm also going to have a thin layer of gravel between the sides and the soil all the way up to help with drainage as well. All I need to do now is get some gravel boards to make a capping all the way around to make it look tidy. Then it's a matter of filling it up with all the soil I dug out in the first place...which is sitting in the garden shed at the moment.

Also yet to be installed, because it's full of soil at the moment, is the large plastic planter tub which will be the wildlife pond and sit at one end of the bed.

Another job I was able to get finished off was the potting table I bui

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  • TesniTesni Posts: 159

    It's looking great, well done! I love seeing photos like this.

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 22,767

    A good start.  There's another garden blog on here by Happy Marion showing her year in her Bristol garden.   There's also a garden photos thread for us to share what's looking good at the mo and another for garden visits.

    Recycling materials is a good way to go.  There's a thread on here about things you can do with pallets to make planters, benches, tables and all sorts.    Old zinc laundry pots make great planters if you can find them and old enamel cooking pits, colanders and steamers make good small containers for herbs and succulents or alpines.  Have a look in car boot sales for other containers you can adapt and also people selling spare seedlings and divisions. 

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Logan4Logan4 West MidlandsPosts: 2,305

    Jetmorgan, very impressive.

  • Well done!

    The problem with friends and family is that they look at something like this and go "oh that's nice" without really knowing just how much horrible backbreaking labour went into it.  Congratulations on diggjng an enormous trench in horrendous soil  image

  • Jetmorgan I have planter envy...that is fantastic!image

  • JetmorganJetmorgan Posts: 79

    Good morning all...well the bank holiday weekend has arrived and I won't be going into work for any firewood chopping so it's out in the garden. Main job is to start filling up the raised bed. image

    Bags of 20mm gravel for a column up the sides to help with the drainage. I have a couple of bags of 10mm gravel as well to mix in with the clay soil to help break it up and make it easier to work. It should have been 3 bags but for some reason although I bought 3 bags I only transported 2 bags back from the builders merchant...my mother always said my maths was never good!!!

    I also have a couple of bags of sharp sand for the plastic tub that will become the wildlife pond to sit on, whether I get as far as that I don't know has that plastic tub is full of the soil that will be going back into the raised bed so needs to be emptied first.

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    And bags of compost to add to break up the soil a bit. I didn't realize that the compost had a high peat content...I had done some internet searching and everyone seemed to be raving about this brand and it did seem to be the cheaper of the options at the nursey/garden centre. I'm trying to garden as environmentally as possible so would have preferred peat free, but this is my own fault for not looking properly but it will get used and mixed in with other soil and my own compost as I also don't really have the time to get it back and exchange it.

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    Also had some new seed packets arrive on Friday, all able to sow in April and May so there is that to get done and I'm still waiting on some lucky dip perennial plant plugs from T & M...hoping they will turn up today.

  • JetmorganJetmorgan Posts: 79

    Well quick update while I'm having my lunch. The plug plants did turn up, many thanks T & M and for the voucher as well because there weren't the variety of plants. That will get spent as soon as I can afford to.

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    It does mean that I now have lots of Verbena & Coreopsis but the plants will all get used. Well it was a lucky dip after all.

    Right I have got the plastic planter tub emptied and now it's in the rough place where it will become the wildlife pond. Just needs a good clean out and a level bed of sand to sit on.

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    With all the things going on with the back garden I'm forgetting about the front. Not much will be happening in the front but my Spirea seems to be going great guns at the moment. Will have to try getting some cuttings from it.

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  • JetmorganJetmorgan Posts: 79

    Well Sunday morning and the weather is nice...despite the forecast for rain, so more time out in the garden although not all the time as I have other jobs to get done this weekend.

    Checking on my first post I noticed that some of the photos and text have been chopped off. I understand there is a size limit to postings so if they have too many pics or too much text then they get chopped. So here are the pics again of the finished potting table I built out of recycled timber from a garden shed and wood pallets from work. Just finished it off with a set of shelves to hold some window sill planters...yet to be planted at the moment.

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    Also my recycled soil sieve...actually the cover from a large desk fan that was being thrown out.

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    I've got patent pending on that so don't the rest of you get any ideas!!!

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 22,767

    Looking good.  On the rare occasions I sieve compost, I use an old enamel colander but it's currently home to some indoor hyacinth bulbs I've put outside while they feed their bulbs and die down.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • TesniTesni Posts: 159

    Great idea for the soil sieve! I love the potting table, great pics.

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