Two years ago when I moved into this flat I knew what I wanted to the garden to be and I also knew that it might take me a few years to get anywhere near where I want it to be.
According to my neighbours this garden hasn’t had any love in the last twenty years and in that time Comfrey, Ground elder, Cooch grass, Japanese knotweed, and Blackberry plants had really taken hold and given the urban foxes somewhere cosy to make home. My first job was to take out as much Comfrey, Cooch, and elder as possible choosing to treat the blackberry and the knot weed chemically direct to the plant in a localised way.
I really can’t stress enough how I underestimated how physically difficult it is digging a garden over and removing these weeds, my back was screaming at me and I had a problem getting my body to stand up straight so it might be a good thing to recruit some friends if you have the same problem. Unfortunately that wasn’t an option.
In the first year I filled a small skip with garden waste. Tonnes of bricks where the wall had fallen down and been ignored hidden under years of rotten fallen leaves and over grown with ivy. A shopping trolley or at least I think it was although there was a debate over if it might have been a zimmer frame.
In the second year because of the local council rightly enforcing the conservation area regulations it’s taken a while but I finally managed to get permission to take the trees down and I started re-building the wall which as I expected wasn’t going to be a cheap endeavour because the planners specified the brick, later this year I’ll finish the rest of the wall rebuild to try an achieve that walled garden feel.
As I spent most of 2012 recovering from surgery I really wasn’t able to make much ground on the garden and a the more stubborn weeds started to take over the garden, however, while 2013 will mean more surgery and more down time in recovery I’ll get done as much as a I can in between operations.
Because of my surgical schedule and work I’m really not in a position to hit the garden full tilt and get as much done as I want in the time scale that I’d like but life isn’t perfect and I have to do the best I can in the time I have doing what I can over the weekends which means breaking everything down into bite sized chunks.
This weekend was all about getting direct sowing seed, which means weeding the beds because couldn’t mulch over winter because I was recovering from yet more surgery but out of the seven square meters that were dug over I pulled out 10 40L trugs of my invasive weed collection which actually isn’t that bad if I think back to year one when I took out a skip full.
Mainly Saturday which was the first really nice day we’ve had this year I took the opportunity to catch some Sun and plant the first of the salad crops. By the time I settled in to watch Dr Who I was happy with sowing Cavolo Nero, Rocket, Mixed salad leaves, spinach beet, rainbow chard, a couple of types of radish and two types of beetroot both of which I’ll sow more of in a couple of weeks so I have a constant supply and some spring onions.
Sunday I had this grand plan that I’d weed and turnover the squash beds ready for mucking so that all I have to do is plant out the seedlings when they’re ready. Unfortunately my back gave up half way through and I only managed to get half the job done, ok not even that. I still have half the area to weed and turn and then double dig in some muck, compost or other soil improving matter. I’m hoping that the weather next week is nice enough to allow evening work or a really sunny weekend would be wonderful.