Wednesday 12 June 2013

We're on the Edge

Both Liz and I consider ourselves reasonably good gardeners - experienced, knowledgeable, competent, all the good green-fingered things you'd want. We have to admit, though, that we are just rubbish at 'edges'. We always set out well - we know where the edge of the border, bed or patch of grass should be and when we create it it looks nice and neat - a tidy row of stones or logs, some black membrane tucked in or a neatly clipped fringe of grass or hedge.

We always MEAN to keep it that way. "This time" we'll really weed it, trim it, fuss over it and keep it neat. That, however, is where it starts to go wrong. We never do keep those weeds from creeping from here to there, blurring the edges, or that grass from sneaking between the stones. We are more in the Gertrude Jekyll style of the border plants burgeoning over onto paths than the 'parks and gardens' neat clipped, everything in its place, style, though GJ would be horrified to be associated with our laziness and laissez faire work ethic!

So, there we are with two big piles of spoil from the pond-digging, determined to take advantage of the lack of annual weed seeds and perennial weed roots in this subsoil by using them as flower and shrub borders in the pond garden. They have been leveled and raked so that they stand 6-9 inches above the grass level and now covered in compost. We just barrowed the compost on and the chickens have spread it about for us. The edges are just low banks of soil tumbling into the grass. The grass is DEFINITELY going to try to invade the soil and the soil is bound to be scraped down into the grass by the chickens.

Step forward, Mentor Anne and Simon who have got hold of a whole pallet of (80) 2nd hand scaffold boards for use in their own raised beds and generously offered to sell us a few. This meant a chance to roll the roof back on the 2CV, hitch on the trailer and go for a sunny run down the lanes to Anne's place. Liz went into design mode and we laid them out 'roughly' where we wanted them and then set to seating them in place. The soils is still fairly crumbly and loose, being not long out of the pond hole so it was easy enough to mark a straight line, then shovel from the outside up onto the bed, offering the board up a few times to check levels and position.

I had some metal strapping to join the boards, so we did not even need to fix them to posts and drive the  posts in. We are quite pleased with the effect as were the geese, goslings, chickens and young chicks. We are fairly sure that even we can mow right up to the board outside and do any weeding needed inside but time will tell. We eventually sat down to admire the handiwork but also to start to think about whether a buddleia might just 'go' there, or the lilacs here. Maybe the dogwoods, or those spent tulips, some of the freebie seeds from Pud Lady?

No comments: