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Trying something....

32 comments


I’ve spoken about my plans to remove the raised beds and get them back to ground level. Its going to be a huge job to remove all the top soil and logs, but seems a good idea as watering all of this big area is quite a chore and if I had it at ground level I could create a much needed shady woodland area in what is a very exposed south facing garden.

However….can you imagine the work…just removing and potting up all the plants in there is going to be a massive undertaking. And it all looks lovely this year, and will go on developing for months.

So today as I was weeding in there I trod on a log to get out of the border and the whole thing felt like a sponge. There are horrible Stink Horns growing under there which I regularly remove and their mycelium is running all under the logs too. Anyway, I took out a hammer and started gently removing the wood. I managed to get two logs away and used some of the big rocks at the pond side in their place.

I think it looks OK, I might do the whole thing myself, bit by bit rather than get a landscaper in. My friendly Farmer has offered to bring me some rocks from his big pile at the quarry.

And if I start digging in some good organic stuff in to the clay it should surely improve…but what about my shady area? Undecided.

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Comments

 

now that is a much better idea than bringing in the digger man. lol. like rocks too, they are very natural looking, lucky girl to have a nice farmer with rocks!

31 May, 2017

 

I do like your raised bed Karen,with the rocks it looks great,but it is hard work,good luck.

31 May, 2017

 

Hi Karen, it will save you a lot of work at least, and they will never need replacing, unlike the timber ?, Derek.

31 May, 2017

 

A massive project but I think it will be well worth it. The rocks you have used look really lovely.
Keep us posted please.

31 May, 2017

 

A Ok..seems like we are all agreed that this is a good idea. I'll just be doing it a bit at a time so it will be a long job. But I like the way the rocks provide planting holes, so I can soften it with house leeks etc.

31 May, 2017

 

Sounds like a good idea to me Karen, and if anybody can do it you can ... just take it slowly.

1 Jun, 2017

 

It can be called 'Rock Island' then! I like large stones idea much better than wood or just a flat bed. Looking forward to seeing the progress, everyone seems to like the idea so must be the right one. :O) More importantly how does Scott feel about the rocks?

1 Jun, 2017

 

Scott is fine with the rocks. Especially when he comes home from work and its all done...AND a lovely dinner cooked. How could he not be? ;)

1 Jun, 2017

 

That looks like a great idea. The rocks look like they would blend in really well. Don't try to do it all at once.

1 Jun, 2017

 

Good idea to work with stones instead. When I did my raised beds with logs it was in the hot n dry s of france so the rotting process would have been so much longer. Here it's much more a temporary thing. To avoid constant watering I resorted to a layer of manure, plus a layer of straw topped by cardboard, all my young and older plants and trees went in with that round them and even in that heat I hardly ever watered, as long as you soak before you apply the layers. If I didn't everything died without constand watering. You could experiment with just cardboard and cover with soil so you wouldn't even see it..

1 Jun, 2017

 

Thanks for all that advice Resi. I might actually try gravel because that seems to be excellent at keeping the moisture in the soil in other parts of my garden. :)

1 Jun, 2017

 

The rocks should be a big improvement Karen, and there's no rush. I can say now - I never really liked the logs idea much.

1 Jun, 2017

 

Like the others, I like the rock idea and to have a friendly farmer to supply them, bonus. And as you said, planting in between will look really great.

1 Jun, 2017

 

No Stera...me neither. When the man came to build our gate wall he took photos of it. He thought it was great, and he teaches at the college. But I never liked it much. I mean, in our climate, especially using soft wood trees, you're just asking for fungus infestations.

1 Jun, 2017

 

Thanks Jen. Its going to be a long job. I shant be doing it every day...maybe one a week if that. I think I'll just get OH to drive up to the quarry and bring me a couple of stones each week. The car won't take much more than that.

1 Jun, 2017

 

The rocks look great and slow and steady will get things done eventually. Perhaps you could pile up any sound (ish) logs somewhere out of the way ready for that woodland area sometime in the future. Really jealous of you having free rocks, at least the farmer doesn't expect you to dig them out of his field!

1 Jun, 2017

 

Thanks Honeysuckle. The logs will all be going a long way from here! I'll be glad to see the back of them! If they weren't so rotten we could use them as fuel!

1 Jun, 2017

 

If I'm being honest, although I do like your idea for creating a shady area, I did not like the thought of you going completely flat, all the planting in those beds is coming on so well and must be a grand sight when looking out from your windows, with all you have created and the grassy mounds near the pond, going flat somehow does not fit in with the rest, hope I haven't disappointed you Karen, the rocks will be better though, knowing someone who can provide you with the size you need is definitely a bonus, yes it will take time but its a job you will enjoy and the planting pockets will soften the effect.

1 Jun, 2017

 

Nooo....you haven't disappointed me, not at all Lincslass. Do you know, I hadn't really considered the effect that going flat would have on the view from the house. Thats really confirmed it in my head that we are doing the right thing using boulders. I had it in my head that I would like some small trees there, and that's why I wanted it at ground level. But you're right. Thank you.

1 Jun, 2017

 

haven't read all the comments yet, but first thought, Karen, is: by all means take advantage of the rock available to you. I've noticed that any time I snuggle one of my perennials up against a nice boulder the plant seems to come on well. passive solar heat retention, I think. the rock will hold the soil and help anchor the woodland plants you will introduce. It is fortuitous: you have the rocks available to you at a time you need to replace the rotting wood. there are lots of rocks here abouts and I'm a convert! walls, seats, retainers, they do it all!
One caveat though! If you have a role in placing the rocks be very aware of where your fingers are at all times...placing two rocks in close proximity and not paying close attention to the inertia of the rock can result in some painfull pinches! I wish I was closer: I'd volunteer for a "rock"ing party!... then you could come and help me with mine! lol... keep on rocking! ;-)

2 Jun, 2017

 

I much prefer the idea of the rocks Karen and getting them free appeals to the Yorkshire in me lol! I agree with Lori, do take care of your fingers though. To be honest, I didn't much like the logs either and at least the stones will last. A little moss on them, if it develops will look even better.

2 Jun, 2017

 

Well now we're all being honest, and what relief that you felt the same way Karen! Agree that a change in levels can make all the difference to the feel of a space and I wish had enough imagination and energy to do it here!

2 Jun, 2017

 

Phew!!!!... I nearly took that bit out Karen, then I thought Nope!! lets be straight as we always have over the years, I'm glad it made you look at it again....
You have put so much into it over the years and I know will continue to do so because that's in your nature but now's the time to potter for a while not pull it all apart..

2 Jun, 2017

 

Quite agree Lincslass. Now is the time to enjoy the fruits of your labour Karen.

2 Jun, 2017

 

Gosh..thanks everyone. I really do appreciate your honest comments and all your advice and encouragements. I'll try my best not to get my fingers squished. I think thats one of the teasons for doing it gradually. Doing heavy stuff when tired is dangerous. I have already decided which rocks to shift next, and two of them are right in the back, so will be a long job rolling them to the front. This all gets done when OH isnt around as he just gets antsy!

2 Jun, 2017

 

Thinking about it I can't see why you shouldn't have your woodlandy area without levellling the ground. After a couple of years surely the roots will have gone deep enough for it not to matter, as long as you don't choose very shallow rooted varieties or very thirsty ones?

2 Jun, 2017

 

Hmm..I think what puts me off is the fact that when we came here there was a dead hawthorn and a dying rowan in there. I was just thinking that I actually already have a perfect shady area..the mini orchard. I just need to work out how best to make a feature of it and tie it in with the raised beds in some way. I'm sure I'll think of a solution. :)

2 Jun, 2017

 

you will soon get there a bit at a time Karen, and at least the rocks won't rot. Ive been looking at our little orchard for a shade area so I will be interested to see what you do.

2 Jun, 2017

 

Thanks Sandra...you might beat me to it! :)

3 Jun, 2017

 

Unless you get big trees where is the shade going to come from? It looks a bit exposed to me, from where I'm sitting!
Think the rock idea is a good one, and you could grow some shade lovers on and in the shady side of the rocks, and some ferns maybe.
Gently does it, take care Karen.

6 Jun, 2017

vjd
Vjd
 

i think it looks great and would leave it as is!

6 Jun, 2017

 

Thanks Vjd. That's not an option as the logs are very rotten. Every day I go down and another crow has come and torn lumps off and left rubbish all over the grass trying to get to the insects. Its also sheltering a lot of fungus...which is ok unless its honey-fungus which I haven't seen yet, but don't want to. Also, I notice that the plants at the edge, nearest to the logs, never thrive and I lose a lot every year. I think rocks will be a lot healthier.

6 Jun, 2017

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