I’ve had that rarest of weekend combinations: no pressing deadlines to meet or places I needed to be, and weather conducive to gardening. It’s even been mostly dry enough in the last week or so that it’s been possible to get on with a few winter projects that I’ve had in mind for a while.
First up, tackling Compost Corner. Somehow, despite have three daleks and the compost mother ship, we’ve reached the point where compost storage capacity has become the limiting factor in most gardening tasks. Our garden is big and still pretty overgrown and so over time the pile of things to be shredded has started to become a feature in its own right (possibly not something that will be appearing at Chelsea any time soon, but you never know) while the bags holding the already shredded material were themselves beginning to disintegrate, where they hadn’t actually been completely devoured by the encroaching nettles.
Having salvaged as much as I could of the shredded material, and spent a satisfying few hour hoicking out nettle roots, we had room enough beside the current dalek army for more composting capacity. Ordering two more bins was tempting, but we know all about induced demand in the cycle campaigning community, so I decided instead to make space for the slightly more efficient management of our composting needs and get away from our use of unsustainable plastic bags: a space to make leaf mould and to store the output from the shredder until it could be mixed into the bins and/or used as mulch.
Having put down a few paving slabs to slow the nettles (I’m not naïve, I know that neither digging out their roots nor laying inch thick concrete slabs will actually stop them, but might give me a bit of a head start), today we managed to bodge together some wire frames to keep the shreddings in, and then spend some time with the shredder filling them up again. Satisfyingly, everything involved in this project was done with stuff that was lying around in piles in the garden or had been stored in the garage in case it came in handy. There is honestly very little in life that brings greater satisfaction than that.
I also managed to plant out some of my rehomed roses in my new rose bed, which in turn has been the partial answer to the question ‘what shall I do with all these stones?’ because, as I may have mentioned before, you cannot put a fork in the ground around here without producing a pile of stones (this is the real reason for drystane dykes, in my opinion).
The only slight downside to all this activity is that the to-be-shredded pile had been waiting for so long that it had started to turn itself into a compost heap in its own right and the resulting partially composted material has taken up all the remaining dalek capacity. Perhaps after all, I will need to order a couple more bins …