Due to my reluctance to spend a lot of money on the garden because I’m broke most of the time I’ve been making my own raised beds which although they might not look as pretty as some of the raised beds professionally made that you buy in kits and just put together I’ve got the biggest sense of pride in my rough slightly wonky not quite straight beds, I also had the chance to make something the right size for me which is quite handy considering I’m a gangly 6ft tall with a constant bad back, mainly through gardening. I also had the chance to play around with dimensions and layouts and things and I wasn’t constrained by the dimensions in some catalogue.
As I don’t have the money to buy the wood all at once I’ve been a regular at my local timber merchants and for all the times I’ve been in there I’ve never seen another in there and it’s very much the domain of men and when I first walked in there was a little bit of eye rolling at my invasion of this male bastion and I had a sense when I was picking their brains that behind their eyes there was a though of “I think you’re in the wrong place”.
A few weeks later I went back a spoke to the same chap who remembered me and hand a smile on his face as I placed my first wood order.
I’ve since been back twice and this morning was amazing I placed a similar order and bought some screws because he knows I know nothing he took the time to explain the differences and he invested in me as a customer, I paid for everything and then we spent a 10 minutes just making small talk about the garden and what would be the best way to make a chicken coop, and as I’m a now a regular face he’s applying a trade discount and he also hasn’t charged me for cutting.
This is what I bought today, I’ve been using the same wood for all the beds and it’s pretreated so you only have to treat the cut ends, but as I’m painting them I haven’t done anything yet, I think it’ll wait until I’ve made all the beds as the paint isn’t exactly cheap .
25mm x 150mm sawn tanalised 4.8m long £31.33 ex vat
50mm x 50mm sawn tanalised 3m long £5.16 ex vat
4mm x 50mm bronze long life screws exterior screws QTY 200 £7.78 ex vat
Total spend £57.33 inc vat
So far I’ve spent just over £150 and I think I might have to spend another £120 or so and that would include making some cold frames because I can’t afford a greenhouse sadly and even if I had that kind of money I’d spend it on soil for the garden because I need about four tons but that includes enough for the lawn area levelling, filling the beds, and levelling the bottom of the garden but that could run to £800.
Filling the beds on their own could cost up to £400, this is turning into a long term financial investment, I wonder how much the total will be in shopping. The paint which I’m tempted not to count in the total because it doesn’t affect the use of the garden and it’s just dressing but £120 so I think I should. The bark which I’m using to make the paths between the beds will be £200, all of the weed membrane I’ll get for free because I’m ordering so much. I think I round that up to £100.
I’m not a vegetarian or anything but I really do limit my meat intake, I’ve tried to give up meat but I can’t hack it, sometimes slow roasted belly pork with a bottle of warm sake, listening to Miles Davis makes so much sense.
I spend maybe £40 a week on fruit and veg so roughly six months it I could grow everything eventually but that’s not possible, I might have to keep a running total and then try and grow as much of those shopping lists as possible, that could be the evolution of the project.
I really better get back to reading about berries and soft fruit.