Making Mountains (Well, Raised Beds) Out of Molehills

Apologies that this is becoming the ‘all raised beds, all the time’ blog but while I’m doing lots of other things (work, cycling, Pedal on Parliament, lying awake at night fretting about Pedal on Parliament, bending the other half’s ear about how I’m fretting about Pedal on Parliament, being gently reminded that it is always like this Every Single Time in the run up to Pedal on Parliament), none of them are particularly blogworthy, whereas with the raised beds I have a bit of a job on my hands …

… but crucially it’s an eminently doable one.

The plan is to fill the raised beds with cut turf at the bottom (turned upside down in the forlorn hope that this might at least slow the bloody grass down; I realise nothing will stop it from growing as that – like the rest of the countryside around here – is what this garden most wants to do), followed by my birthday bags of well rotted horse manure (towards the bottom because it’s full of grass seed, see previous parentheses), followed by garden compost (ditto), followed by topsoil.

Traditionally, you get your soil from molehills and this year – it’s as if they knew – we’ve got plenty of those.

molehills

Some bigger than others.

large pile of soil

If I’m honest, no small part of the raised bed project has been driven by the need to remove the soil we dug out to put in the greenhouse. In the process, several other piles have had to be created, not least more stones, but today we did manage to at least get five out of the eleven (eek!) raised beds filled, and put a dent in the big pile. I’ve also learned we need to raise our compost game, but that’s a blog post for another day.

five filled raised beds

Veg plot taking shape. And not one of your boring right-angled regular shapes, either … ahem. Right angles are so last century, right?

Now if anyone can think of something to do with several piles of stones, I would be grateful.

pile of stone

9 Responses to Making Mountains (Well, Raised Beds) Out of Molehills

  1. Rebecca says:

    Ooohh, you got so much done! And eleven, wow, that’s ambition for you. I’m impressed. This is completely outside of my experience and I’m finding it as gripping as a tv drama, looking forward to hearing more about the compost, too, lol.

    Aren’t stones supposed to be great for decorative purposes in gardens? Maybe there’s someone who would love nothing better to come and relieve you of them, if you let the local grapevine know about it.

  2. Chris Cooke says:

    Wow, that’ll be a lot of veg, are you planning to open a market stall? Re the stones, you could start a new hobby (you need something to fill in the time, right?) and make pebble pictures like @NowlanSharon Sharon Nowlan’s in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfBP2UNcMX8

  3. welshcyclist says:

    Dry stone walling, a new hobby and definitely de riguer these days. I’ve always fancied a try. But then again I do believe there are dry wall builders schools looking for projects to practice on. Sorry, I’m afraid I take the lazy man approach. The raised beds look magnificent, I have a beautiful set from a couple of years ago in my big shed waiting expectantly to be constructed and bedded in. One day! Keep up the good work, cheers.

  4. disgruntled says:

    @Rebecca – there are so many stones around here, I can’t imagine any gardener who doesn’t have a surplus.
    @Chris – never count your veg until it’s harvested

  5. disgruntled says:

    @welshcyclist – I did try learning how to build a dry stone wall, it’s more technical than you might think https://cityexile.wordpress.com/2009/07/02/technical-terms/

    • welshcyclist says:

      Then there’s hedge making, not with stones obviously, I’m still looking for a hedge building school, a dry stone walling school and not forgetting a gardening school all with keen students dying to make their mark while at the same time sorting out the projects I’d love to complete. Who would I give the credit to? Good question. I’ve already admitted to being a very lazy projecteer, sad to say I lack ethics as well. Have a great day, the sun is shining here in the beautiful Neath valley hope it’s the same in the Bigtown area, cheers.

  6. Charles says:

    If you had somewhere sheltered and south facing that you don’t know what to do with put down some anti weed mat, or old carpet, then cover with stones. In the summer the stones will reflect the heat giving you a warm micro climate where you could grow interesting things in large pots like squashes or courgette or butter nuts. Mind you my south facing areas have all been pressed into service?

    Have your lambs been given life jackets yet, it’s so wet down here the RNLI are giving lessons to young sheep on how to swim.

  7. […] some well-known garden designer create a show garden at Chelsea this year that consists of random piles of stones, landscape fabric, bricks, old railway sleepers and lawn […]

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