Tuesday, 22 November 2011

preparing the ground for polytunnel and coldframes

A six acre garden that is all wilderness and concrete..... and no budget for landscaping.

The only option before is to think long term and to grow our own garden from seeds, cuttings and divisions.

A necessary part of this madcap scheme is to erect a polytunnel, make cold frames from reused casement windows and to create a fertile and nurturing nursery bed on the root riddled sand that is the former orchard. We will also use our allotment as a further, satellite nursery.

This plan will take three to five years before the gardens begin to resemble anything like our long term vision for the site. I have said before that delayed gratification comes in spadefuls with this project!

We spent from April to September clearing the orchard of its infestation of blackthorn and cherry suckers, oak and other seedlings and vicious tangle of brambles and nettles.

I had hoped that by now we would have had the help of a few pigs to root out the rubbish in the soil and help create the beginnings of a fertile tilth.  That hasn't happened so today I began the slow and heavy job of clearing the soil of roots armed only with a mattock.

Hard work indeed, but the necessary breaks to get my breath back were punctuated by the welcome sound of migratory fieldfares flying south on their journey from Scandinavia. That 'cluck cluck' call high in the sky is such a characteristic winter sound. One fieldfare alighted in a tall birch tree and called for several minutes.

Today I cleared about 30m2  (pictured) which is a small proportion of the ground that will eventually be needed for polytunnel and cold frames.

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