Friday, March 22, 2013

Raised beds, and excitement.......

It is ridiculous to be as worked up and excited as I am right now. Why? I have just sorted my seeds for planting, and I am raring to go. Trouble is that the weather is of the Arctic Variety. Very, very cold and bleak, snow, sleet and all the rest is forecast for the weekend.

 Groan. Let me loose to dig my hands in the soil and start the seedlings!


But they would freeze. And I have to wait. Even the potatoes are still on the window sill in the kitchen. They should be in the pots. I am WAAAAAAAAAAAAY behind where I usually am. It is the weather. Sigh.


Yesterday, after aquazumba (and therein lies another story - remind me), Jean, Diana and I trundled down to the allotment with a car full of decking and tools and cardboard.


I had made the ends of the raised beds at home - drilled and screwed the cornerposts in place, and drilled all the long boards and wooden bracing pieces

The screwdrivers and rechargeable drill etc were in the bags, and so we assembled 3 stunning raised beds.


I cannot tell you how thrilled I was, and am, with them.


I left legs so Diana dug holes and we buried the legs in place to make them more rigid and to stabilise them.


The ground is not exactly flat and slopes a bit. They went together as planned and within a couple of hours, we had them in place. It did need all 3 of us to hold them in place, believe me. There is no work bench down there. But it didn't matter.

I have to say that I did a lot of hovering and holding and not so much of the heavy work. Rechargeable drills are amazing. They are essential when you have no power source, and I love mine. Daughters are convenient helpers, I find. I love my daughter.


I did take photos though, and then Diana got hold of the camera, and I have to say that I look as if I weigh 599678 pounds. I do not. I am like a kangaroo - my pockets/pouch hold a multitude of bulky things that I needed. I do wish I looked more like Meryl Streep though. Or anyone who is a little slinky. I am padded. Grannies need some padding. That is my excuse. Groan.


Once they were in place, we covered the bases with cardboard I had collected from a friend who owns a cleaning business, and then I cut and stapled weed matting around the sides to deter the growth of weeds. We slung the old carpet offcuts between the beds, which we staggered to accommodate the new compost bins I am going to invent. Watch this space. Linds is on a roll.......

And then Jean, the Star, who was forking through the old compost and muttering about non-compostable  rubbish (which I stuffed into bags and brought home for the garden waste bin here), tossed usable stuff into the new beds, and we also emptied all the bags of soil improvers and compost we had already amassed into the beds. The cardboard will kill any grass or weeds and the worms love it as it rots down.

You will note that it was cold - Jean stayed warm, but that wind was biting. I had on layers, and a cowl and my church boots (that we bought for £5). However, when I got home, I couldn't scrape the mud off the bottom, because there seemed to be something stuck to them. There was. The sole had disintegrated, and the inside of the shoes was hanging out. Give me strength. The socks were also muddy, so the boots didn't make it past the front door. They went in the bin. A shame, because I loved them.


We need lorry loads of soil/compost, but I have plenty in my compost bin at home. There are already 6 (portable) bags here waiting to go. It is a start. Compost is heavy, people.

That should fill half of one. As I said, we need lots. We will get there, and in a few months, you will see photos of my vegetables growing. It was hard work and DIRTY work. I loved it. I could not move afterwards, of course, and I did very little compared to the two Stars.

But I have 3 raised beds, and plans for 3 more. They may have to wait for next year, though.

I am quite sure you have heard enough of my raised beds. If I could have, I would have danced a jig all around them. Such joy. Such delight.

Maybe you had to be there..........

And then today, after I had been to the farm shop for eggs and brussels, I stopped at a building site, because I saw a really nice wooden pallet. I asked the builders what they did with them, and they said they burn them. WHAT????? I asked if I could have it, and he said of course. In fact he even offered to deliver it to my door after work. (Soon.) and I will rip it apart and EUREKA!!! A new FREE raised bed will be born!

I told you I was on a roll.

And rather excitable.

You may have noticed this.

Ah well, spring is coming. It should already be here but it is not. I have 3 piles of seeds on trays. Plant out now. Plant indoors now. Plant on 12 May. (The beans. Never before 12 May, straight into the ground.) Jean's Dad said so, and it is actually on one packet of French beans I have got here.

Anyway - the aqua bit - I was doing just fine in the warm up dances, when our teacher, for some reason, turned up the sound. I was out of the water in seconds, because the bass vibrations tore through me. I did wave but she didn't see me. Until I exited the water, then the pool area, and took refuge in the spa, where I couldn't feel the music. Of course she turned it down for me, and after a couple of dances, I was back in the water. But pain lingers, you know. I try to ignore it. That was why building the beds was good. I kept moving. This week has been a rough week on the CRPS front. But I am still here. And believe it or not, I am now going to go and finish that join-together-as-you-go crocheted blanket.

Just until the pallet arrives. I may start assembling the next bed. You never know......

PS Edith - I save all the old wax from burned out candles in an old pot, and when it is full, I melt it very slowly on the lowest heat on the stove, and then I stick a wick in the cleaned containers, and hold it in place with a peg placed across the top. I pour the melted wax into the containers and fill them almost to the top, because it tends to sink back as it sets. Sometimes, I add a couple of drops of essential oil to the melted wax to scent the candles. It was a complete trial and error thing. I just wanted to use  the wax and not throw it away! And the candles burn for hours. I keep one going in the evenings for at least 3 or 4 nights. So I class that as a roaring success!. Try it! Candles knock out heat - they really do warm up a room.

1 comment:

Vee said...

You all sure look happy for gals digging in the dirt. Well done! I know that you will enjoy them and they will make gardening easier and perhaps even extend the season. All good. Yes, and you can make pallet furniture and everything...