Sunday, 3 February 2008

Beds, birds and getting dirty

Sounds like a standard night out for Russel Brand, but alas no, just another day down at the HayWayne - or plot 35 as it's known locally.

Following on from my previous post, I thought I'd just try and explain a little better how the raised beds were made...

1. To make the corners, simply make a cut on opposing lips of the "channel" (I think I'm going to resort to usin tin snips as a hacksaw makes a hell of a racket, and it's bladdy hard work!)

2. Fold one edge "inwards" and the other "outwards" - repeat on both sides of the cut. After doing several of these the heels of your hands will start to hurt, mine did!

3. The next bit is probably the easiest bit. Simply bend the whole thing until it forms a 90 degree angle, like so...

5. To form the long straight edges, just simply bend one lip in, and the other out, as per step 2.

6. Lay them on the floor, position them until they form the size/shape of bed you want, then simply tap them into the ground until they are sturdy enough to stand unsupported. Et, viola!

Having now discovered a better material to make my raised beds (and so they don't look like graves!), I had some left over paving edges, so decided to use them and make a flower bed on a bit of "spare" land. At the front of the plot - outside the fence, where the defunct water tap is, and my boot scraper.

My intention is to plant it with meadow plant/flower seeds that I picked up last year at the Eden Project. Hopefully to brighten it up a bit and provide somewhere for pollenating insects to visit.

Whilst on the subject of insects, I mentioned a while ago that I had been nominated Member of the Month on The Grapevine. Well, as part of my prize, I was given a bug box - something I had been planning on buying myself anyway. I've fixed it to one of my fence posts where it will hopefully provide somewhere for aphid-eating ladybirds and perhaps lacewings to nest. It's also supposed to provide a place for "solitary" bees - who will help with pollenation. No idea if it's in the right place, time will tell I guess.

Speaking of bugs and wildlife - I'm sure I've mentioned Mildred my resident "starling". Well, as I had my camera with me I managed to actually get a photo of her (she was quite happy posing with me no more than 6ft away). As those of you in the know will undoubtedly notice, Mildred is in fact a female blackbird (or so one of my neighbours informed me). Every day's a school day!

In between breaks whilst making my beds I had a bit of a poke around some of the other beds to see how things were doing. My neighbour Lester gave me some over winter peas to plant a few weeks ago and I'd seen no sign of them, so had pretty much given up the ghost. However, I was pulling up a few weeds and noticed that there were two little plants at the end of one of the rows.

Along the rows I also noticed a series of "holes" that are suspiciously spaced at intervals which I'm pretty sure match where I had planted the seeds. Mices! Oh well, looks like I'll have to invest in some form of hawk nest too?!

Before I sign off, here's a quick overall look at the plot in it's current state from the gate end.

..and the opposite corner (you can just make out the garlic in the edged bed nearest to you)

I don't know about anyone else, but I do find the auto-save thing that blogger does a bit annoying. My typing isn't great at the best of times, but as you type blogger autosaves and when you're on an archaic PC like mine at the end of a rural version of wideband it makes the machine stutter, and results in typed words with missing letters - most annoying! It's just taken me 3-4 minutes to go back over this post and check forspelling mistakes - of which there were a few!

Until next time!


Hazel said...

Type your musings in Word, HW, then it's an itty bitty cut and paste jobby into the blogger window, insert your piccies et voila.....

Paul and Melanie said...

That's how I do it too HW, Word is your friend... :)

The plot's looking good tho, those raised beds look very space age!

Sinta said...

That's a nice looking plot you have there :) And nice way of reusing old materials from work. I wonder if I should dive into the skip at work and see what I can find.

Will be back for more updates!

Anonymous said...

Hello Haywayne

Its all looking good. When you sow your winter peas next time, cover them with a fleece/fine mesh cloche and hopefully that will protect against the mice (no guarantee of course). Your raised beds are an inspiration and you are recycling too.

Keep it up as I like to read what you have been up to.