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Raised bed and nasturtium/sweet pea plants

I work voluntary in a community house which has 2 very large raised beds.  I took on board to plant one of the raised beds out growing plants from seed.  At the front I have lettuce and herbs growing then around the outside nasturtium and sweet pea which are all thriving.  At the rear I am putting in flowers such as poached egg, mimulus etc, things that will spread and cover the ground as much as possible but provide some colour too.  Unfortunately we have some little people who use our house and have decided to use the bed as a stepping stone over the nearby fence and gate!  I usually find quite a number of footprints and know they have been having a bit of a race.  I have been thinking this over and wondered if it was possible to create a tunnel of some sort over the top of the bed which is open but provides a structure for the sweet pea and nasturtium to grow up over and possibly prevent people from climbing into the bed itself.  I cannot spend too much money but need something that will last and provide a focal point to the locals that they might be able to enjoy the garden too.  Any suggestions as I am really new to the whole gardening idea and want to make a success of this!


  • Lily PillyLily Pilly Posts: 3,845

    What about just using garden canes, cheap and effective and may deter intruders!

    Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them.”
    A A Milne
  • I have grown them along the edge quite thickly so it would mean using a lot of canes - do I just plant them in the ground beside each sweetpea and nasturtium then train them up it?  I think i would need about 60!!  I could I suppose put some gardening wire between each pole and plant them so far apart between each?  I had the idea that if I could have some way of setting them at an angle over the middle and tie them together which would make the little ones not even attempt to get on top of the soil at all but would canes break using them this way?

  • Lily PillyLily Pilly Posts: 3,845

    Why not google garden canes? You will get masses if photos and idea it's hard to visualise for me

    good luck, I too volunteer at a care home and what you are doing is fab, everyone will love it

    Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them.”
    A A Milne
  • Thank you!  It is hard to see how anyone would appreciate it at the moment!  I have another lower raised bed which I worked on over the winter and my co-workers did like it but there will be more people traffic through the house in summer so I am trying to do something that will create a bit of interest!  We have a large garden shed coming in next week so at present the yard is a bit of an eyesore!  We received some money to provide an overhang with perspex roof and upright timber posts so I have 4 tubs at the bottom of each at present with Clematis - Elizabeth hoping they will trail upwards and meet to hide the ugly posts!  I have some London pride around the clematis at the bottom for eye candy too!  There was a project amongst the locals to grow veg in the other raised bed so they have sweet pea and broccoli in it but it looks sparse and the weeds are growing through it now - when it gets handed back to us I will try and grow more in it to with direct sowing I think.  The lower raised bed has now died back a little and I am thinking of direct sowing small sunflowers, dahlias etc and have sweet william ready to plant out.  Apparently the problem in the past has been maintenance so they are constantly looking to me to ensure it doesn`t get left behind!  I have so planters on feet which I planted with shrubs but one got moved and no-one wants to help me move it back in place again as it is very heavy with the soil in it now but it would be lovely to have it in the back yard again between 2 garden seats we have and a picnic table - just itching to get some final finish on it all now!

  • Lily PillyLily Pilly Posts: 3,845

    You sound as if you are doing a tremendous job but a big task in your own. What about the local scouts or youth group? They should be able to help you. Even if only one Saturday. When I lived in Oz we had working B s at school. A days work rewarded with a barbq. It never failed 

    Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them.”
    A A Milne
  • imageimageimage

    This is my raised bed which as you can see is growing well.  I took some of the lettuce and made this lovely salad with it.  Question now is what to do with the basil, mint and parsley that are growing so well?

  • LynLyn Posts: 22,852

    I freeze Parsley chopped up in a little water in ice cube trays, then you can just add a couple to your casserole or stir fry.

    Basil, I grow basil from seeds and always have a pot around to chop up fresh on a salad, if I have a spare lot, I lay it on kitchen roll with another sheet on top and put it on a sunny window sill and leave to dry, when it's ready crispy, rub it in your fingers and stone in a little glass jar.

    Mint, I just leave in the pot and pick the top few leaves off and put in with potatoes, then you can chop some and add to butter to put on the potatoes.

    Chives,  just get picked and cut up with scissors for salads or any other stir frys etc. I don't like them dried.

    Thats the full extent of my knowledge and use of herbs, I don't grow anything else. 

    Just remembered! I grow tons of sage, always dried and made up into sage and onion stuffing in the freezer. (It's a job crying out to be done at the moment?)

    Last edited: 14 June 2017 17:52:15

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Aww thank you some great tips there!  I didn`t realise you could put the mint on potatoes - someone else has suggested to me lemon, cucumber and mint in a jug of water so I am going to try that too.

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