Monday, May 13, 2013
The Surprise Pet Cemetery and Fresh Garden Fun
I can't take it any longer. The itch cannot be ignored. It's time to get into the garden. We no longer live in our sweet little 1950s museum house with the amazing garden. The house is still standing, but not for long.
We have been in this, the shoebox house, for around 6 months now. It was so difficult to be here over summer without a healthy garden bed to stick so much as a seed in. I did manage to console myself to a couple of hanging baskets of herbs perched on the rambling branches of the Manchurian Pear Tree.
I dug around, studied the sun moving across the garden, even chucked a few seeds in a bed to see what happened. The outcomes didn't make me happy. Terrible, terrible soil. The best looking bed completely shaded for most of the day. No seeds struck. At least the chooks were happy. Well, when they're not being bossed out of the coop...
I despaired. And then I noticed the back corner of the garden. I usually ignore it. In my mind it is assigned as chook scratching/cat rolling/poisoned bed of former weeds (the landlord knocked everything off with some handy dandy garden poison).
Then I noticed the sun. Perfect, full, warm sun blazing down on that bare patch, all day long. I asked every one I knew with the teeniest inclination towards gardening about the ongoing presence of that handy dandy garden poison (I have not ever and will never use it). And I dug around to see what the soil was like.
Things started to come together. Apparently the poison doesn't stick around for long. The soil can be cheaply improved with all those ausumn leaves floating about, a bit of gypsum and a planting of green manure. The bark chips can be raked away. The chooks can be told to scratch around elsewhere. It's all good.
Other than the pet cemetery I unearthed, with the help of those scratching chooks. That wasn't so great. But according to yet more (this time expert) advice, the presence of the cemetery is not such a bad thing. Creepy? Yep. Problem for the soil? Not at all, in fact it's good.
So I'm soldiering on with my new bed in the perfectly sunny spot. Albeit with an alternative plan that doesn't involve me improving the soil. I scabbed some abandoned bricks, from a lovely neighbour, to mark out the bed and I'll be adding half a trailer load of veggie mix. Then, instead of growing broad beans to only dig back into the soil, we will get to eat them! And our usual winter greens and spring onions and whatever else I decide to pop into that warm, healthy veggie mix. Yipee!
That photo above is the bed, ready and waiting for the veggie mix. I'm already planning the summer garden and it's not even properly winter yet.