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So, this is gardening eh?


Well, here goes…Not sure which is harder, developing the garden or writing a blog – both new to me this year!!

Myself, (Darren), and my fiance, Alison, moved in to our home in September last year and one of the things Alison really wanted was a greenhouse and veg patch. Having never had any interest in gardening and working long hours, I played along with her whim. Only it wasn’t a whim….and she wasn’t playing! She had kept a greenhouse in her previous home and had tried growing veg over the years with some success – so she told me…

Anyway, after much persuasion, I purchased a greenhouse online and between one very excited lady and one very reserved guy, we started to form ideas of what we would like the garden to look like. Alison’s enthusiasm was, I have to say, very infectious and I found myself being carried along on the wave of excitement she held for her ‘new gift’. We decided to have a veg patch in front of our decking with the greenhouse behind and after I suggested building 2 large squares out of timber to drop onto the patch and have as raised veg planters, Alison decided she would like me to construct ‘something different’, like she had seen in a gardening magazine. Now we are talking about ME here….I manage a large menswear store….I don’t really do construction on any level and this seemed like a pretty tall order. We purchased the timber and…..well, the following photo’s will give some idea of how it all started!

Bear in mind, the base for the greenhouse was laid, by me!! in October last year and then weather and work, delayed the assembly of the actual GH itself. That went up in April and involved a day of extreme swearing as I tried to construct it. At one point, we had the frame and side panels in and resting on the grass to insert the roof panels, and the Chinese do not make these things easy. Also stuck her head through the door way of the GH and, an a vain attempt to make me laugh, said ‘What you growing in here then mate?’ I merely replied: ‘Impatient!’

This side is currently looking the same, pretty much but the image below, shows Alison’s hard work on digging the veg plot over – VERY sticky and totally clay! The infamous greenhouse is also below but it looks good now it’s up.

The next few pics show the development, over a few days, of the raised veg planters I made, in the design that Ali gave me. I was quite impressed with myself as that type of thing is really not my bag.

A bit of fence paint and quality compost and ta-da…the finished article! Notice the runner bean box at the side of the GH as well! My I am doing well – LOL!

This section of the garden has come on ten-fold since we started in April and I will return later to update with more pics of the development and what our plans are going forward. Won’t bore you any longer though for now!

Unfortunately, Alison was diagnosed with Swine Flu yesterday so I’ve been banished from work by my team so will be home for a few days looking after Ali and avoiding her where possible – not nice for me as she’s lovely! I can also update this blog to hopefully bring anyone who’s interested, up to date with current pics etc and talk about the manyvisitors to our garden.

More blog posts by oddbillie

Next post: So, this is gardening eh? # 2



Hi Oddbillie and welcome to GoY - you've certainly made an impressive start with your new garden and I'm sure that Alison is delighted! Hope she is feeling better soon. Look forward to seeing the next blog. and reading about the veggies you are growing.

26 Jul, 2009


Thanks Moon grower. She feels better today after taking 3 lots of Tamiflu so far, but still looks and sounds rough, bless her. I've actually just been out to pick some veg for lunch so that may give you some indication as to how it's doing!

Incidentally, to continue this blog, do I just start a new one with the same title or is their a way of continuing this one?

Never done this blog thing before!

26 Jul, 2009


Probably best to start a new blog and title it something like "So this is gardening # 2'

26 Jul, 2009


Wow OB youv'e done a fantastic job of, Well everything. The raised bed design is Brill with plenty of room to pick your veg and its hard to believe it only took one day for your Ghouse, well done, ive known peeps to take a week and then find somethings back to front hahaha.. welcome to goy by the way and i would write a second blog entitled.. So this is gardening 2. .. Dee..

26 Jul, 2009


Ahh posted at the same time Moongrower :))

26 Jul, 2009


Hi Darren :)

Great blog here and Alison's very lucky to have someone like you who'll 'have a go'.
Not only have a go but make a really good job of everything too !
Your garden's looking so good :)

Re adding onto the blog ... i think you just click on to 'Edit' don't you ?
That allows you to make changes :)

26 Jul, 2009


Wow! Thanks for all your kind comments. Just been to check on the girl and she's not 'oinking' so that's encouraging!

There's loads to do in the garden but it obviously takes time and money but it's coming slowly. You've now all inspired me to do the next part of this blog as there are lots of pics to show, to bring you all bang up to date. Then, when I have brought mine up to date, I can start checking out all your pics and gardens.

Meantime, I'd better start with the next chapter!

Thnaks again all.

26 Jul, 2009


You seem to make a very good team, Darren. Alison with some fine ideas for the creation of the garden and you to bring them to reality. I particularly empathise with the construction of the greenhouse.
Hope Alison is better soon and that you can both get back together in the garden
This was a nicely written blog but gardening IS easier.

26 Jul, 2009


just found your photos and am v impressed with your excellent handywork! can't wait to see how it's progressed.Slightly envious of people creating a garden from scratch as we had to create order out of chaos in an old established garden..........still trying to! Hope Alison is feeling ok now and hasn't passed it on to you!

26 Jul, 2009


Very enjoyable blog,I think with Alisons ideas and working together as you obviously do, you make a great team,I like your raised beds and once you get them planted up and growing it will give you a feeling of satisfaction.Hope Alison is better soon and out there with you, Well done......

26 Jul, 2009


You've got a blank canvas there to do whatever you want with...many people inherit a ready made garden...lucky you I say! The raised beds look great much better than trying to fight with clay. Good luck with the rest. :0)

26 Jul, 2009


Despite your many protestations, you seem to be enjoying this gardening "lark" are doing a very good job. Hope Ali recovers very soon.....well she has to get back to supervising the Good luck:))

26 Jul, 2009


Thanks all for the comments on the raised beds. I really didn't think I could do it as growing up, it was always my dad and brother who were good with their hands whilst I had other interests. But, it's suprising what a bit of thought and some determination can achieve.

Ali was over the moon with them so it was worth it and deep down, I was somewhat chuffed too.

I've posted my follow up blog to this one and will be working on my next blogs in the coming days. I've also started looking at your bits as well so look out for some questions going forward all.

26 Jul, 2009


You're right Darren :)
Determination's a very powerful thing !!!!

26 Jul, 2009


I am very impressed with your raised beds and the greenhouse looks great in spite of your difficulties with it. I get the feeling you are beginning to enjoy youself! Hope Ali is recovering from the swine flu and that you haven't succombed.

26 Jul, 2009


Thanks Gee19. Not sure how long they will last as not the thickest timber but looking to re-make them in a year or two only thicker timber and a bit higher. I actually enjoyed making them in the end....more than contructing the GH, that's for sure!!

Ali has been sleeping this afternoon and says she feels a little more alert than yesterday so that's got to be good.

I just hope I stay 'swine-free' as it were. I'm off for 2 weeks from a week today so with my team in work telling me NOT to return this week as some of them have kids, looks like I've got 3 weeks to work on the garden - money & weather permitting!

Thanks again everyone for your kind comments. This is turning out to be rather enjoyable and something I never thought I'd see myself doing. GREAT STUFF!

26 Jul, 2009


Wow! Who's a clever boy, then? LOL! Really impressive!
Hope Ali's alright, poor girl!

2 Aug, 2009

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