Making the beds 1: location, location, location

In order to grow successfully, I need a dedicated space that:

1. Has lots of direct sunlight,

2. Has good soil, and

3. Is convenient to maintain.

Of these 3, in our UK climate, number one is most important. My garden is small, and surrounded by orchard. To get enough sunlight through the growing season, one of the old apple trees will have to go.

I organise a professional gardener, Chris, to come round and cut down the bigger one.

Chris removed the stump and all the roots near the surface. He sawed up the trunk and big branches into logs to dry out for my wood burner. The smaller branches are piled neatly in the corner. He did a fabulously tidy job in day’s work. You wouldn’t know there’d been a tree there.

I marked out with string where I’d like the raised beds to be, 6m x 4m (6×1.2m sq beds, plus 50cm wide paths around and between), and, while I’m at work, I get Chris in to do more heavy labour. He removes the grass, stacks the turfs, and digs out the remaining surface roots.

I now have a perfect oblong of what looks like beautiful, quality soil. It’s a start, but I realise it’s only the beginning of a project that’s going to take many man-hours.  Even though Chris was incredible value, I just can’t afford to employ someone else to do it. I need to use every spare moment to get it finished in time for the second delivery of the Constant Garden.

I’m going to do it all myself from now on.


I bought the raised beds for this first stage of the garden from
They often have very good deals on these pressure treated, FSC wooden beds… Click here to be taken directly to their selection of Raised Beds. The ones I bought were 120x120cm (4’x4′). They come unpainted, flat packed, with all the screws, and are easy to put together (although I recommend you use an electric screwdriver to make it quicker).

I painted the beds with two coats of Black eco woodstain from

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