Flame and I move out of the city-centre and back to the outskirts, near the hills and woods. This is my old friend Shanti's territory and where I lived for a number of years. Shanti is graceful about sharing it with Flame and they get on like a coupla friendly bitches. There is a garden at the back and a smaller, sunnier garden at the front. Shanti's human, the DJ, agrees to let me convert half of it into an experimental vegetable garden. He also purchases a hoe and wheelbarrow for the job!
I ponder the issue. The garden is on a slope. I could build a terrace in the manner I learnt when in Portugal from where I returned last Summer but haven't (yet) consolidated my experiences into blog posts. It is also there that I met a little Flame :).
Mum takes me to get some compost and seed potatoes. She also has a stretch of wire fencing lying around which goes to the project.
First things first, gotta make the place dog proof! I take the Samurai saw to the woods where I cut post-size sticks from a fallen Scots pine.
With posts firmly embedded in the ground and strengthened with surrounds of little stones and packed mud, I get on with the dog-proof fence.
BTW the third dog in the pic above is Ben the Nut, who happened to be visiting that day.
With the ultra-secure fence up and running, length absolutely perfect for the job - thanks mum - I start removing the top layer of turf with our brand new Chllington.
Realising that lots of heavy soil would not be taken away by the bin-men, I empty the brown bin out again and dry the clumps of turf in the sun. I shake out the dry soil after a few days and put the grass, weeds and roots back into the bin. This works out great and I get a few buckets of decent soil to mix in with compost and horse shit (later).
I feel terrible about the inevitable wormicide that results. I apologise to those I sever and remove those I spot before the blade comes down. Robin hops about devouring the massacred.
I finish taking most of the top layer of soil off. I leave the bottom few feet of the garden untouched. There are two rose bushes, some yellow tulips that bloom every year and loads of bright yellow dandelions that pop up randomly.
As for the ultra-secure dog-proof fence, well that's clearly working out just great ATM innit?
I don't mind TBH. They get in through the hedge which I can easily block. Shanti has a hard time getting back out again and has to come out the front, where the temporary fencing is. Besides, Flame enjoys sitting under the hedge and that's fine by me until planting time.
The height differential between the top and bottom of the cleared section is a few feet. The next task is to find material to build a stone terrace before levelling and prepping the soil prior to finally planting the tatties, which have been chitting away for a few weeks now....TBC...part II here
All images @barge | Thanks for visiting 🙏
|Lens||Nikon AF-S 40mm f2.8 MG|