Upwards and onwards

Lots of spots in the garden are in “project limbo”. It’s all looking a bit scruffy. Getting to grips with this is my top priority at the moment as I need to get my garden back to a place of pleasure, a place to escape to and unwind.

In my previous post I mentioned that I had been trying to sort out the area to the east side of the shed. It had turned into a bit of a quagmire over winter. I’d covered it with black ground cover and large sheets of cardboard to kill off the grass and weeds, and it must have been there for well over a year, slowly deteriorating into a Steptoe-ish junk yard of clobber that I would  “deal with later”. Out of all the projects, this was the most depressing. Every time I looked at it I wished I’d left it as grass, and berated myself for biting off more than I can chew… yet again. It’s a tricky spot, a narrowing triangle sloping between the shed to a walled-drop into the stream. And do I really need more beds? Here, of all places?

One of the reasons I’d got stuck was procrastination over what to put in this east facing growing area. As well as sloping, it is cast by an expanding triangle of shade from mid morning in winter, or later in the afternoon in the height of summer.  I had been considering more currant bushes or raspberry canes. Once planted, I wouldn’t have to replant these extra beds and their permanent root network would help stabilise the now de-grassed soil. And, apart from a bit of pruning and netting at the right times, fruit don’t need much attention. Do they?!

Then, twiddling through Twitter on Sunday morning, I noticed a rather fancy runner bean construction by @WildInDesign which inspired me (I was also reminded that the lovely Beryl at mudandgluts.com has a very impressive construction, painted in YSL Moroccan blue, which she calls a Munty frame). Both of these made me rethink… if I attached poles to the shed it would allow climbing or trainable plants to get up out of the shade and into the sun for most of the day. If I grew something that would trail onto the roof then there would be extra space and warmth there too. And if I built it so that I could walk through underneath it would make dangling delectables easier to pick and make a fun route to the back of the shed.

So, all fired up, I leapt out of bed (the Mediterranean blue sky helped). I got out my bean posts, canes, and a pot of my favourite Auro black wood stain (I like the way it makes structures “disappear” and plants stand out, and it’s eco) out of the shed. I used black ties to fasten the lot together, and secured the roof posts to the shed guttering with some elastic bungee ropes. I spent the whole day yesterday pottering about on this area, and I felt a huge sense of achievement and peace at the end of it.

As with most things in life, just start something and the answers will present themselves along the way. Sometimes those answers just take a while to arrive.

So what do you think I could and should grow here? Any recommendations most welcome! It could be a combination of things, beans and raspberries? Squashes (might need some more thick posts)? It needs to be something that doesn’t require netting, and doesn’t need much work 😉




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