The posts surrounding the raised bed at the back of our garden were decidedly past their best. Some had toppled of their own accord, and some more only needed a sharp tug to come out, like a loose tooth. I decided to flatten the whole thing, do away with metres of weedy gravel, and create a big vegetable bed where beans, carrots and cabbages could roam free.
Graham accordingly ordered a ton of topsoil from the horticultural company he works at, borrowed a rotavator and a wheelbarrow, and we set to work. The boys enjoyed helping to tip the topsoil off the truck.
|operating the tipper|
Like all these jobs, there's always more to it than you first think. The posts which weren't rotted at the base turned out to be embedded a foot deep, requiring a good deal of hammering and levering with a garden fork. Then the hundreds of bulbs in the old raised bed had to be fished out and stored somewhere, and the two large sedums moved to a new home.
Once we'd cleared the area, Graham wrestled the rotavator across the compacted soil. It skidded and complained and gradually dug in and carved out lumps of clayey dirt. I helped with a fork until the whole bed was dug over.
Surveying the mangled mess that used to be a neat flowerbed, we weren't at all sure we had done the right thing. However, a bit of edging and a few barrows of topsoil improved the look no end. Finally it started to look like a proper vegetable patch, and I was ready to plant.
So far strawberry plants and purple sprouting broccoli have gone in. I might add some kale for the winter, and then... wait for the spring...!