Last year we had a great swathe of the garden paved. Our patio means you can get to most places in the garden without getting bogged down in mud, and was designed to draw you out of the house and turn the garden into an outdoor ‘room’. It does that job really well, and we love it. There’s no paving inbetween the raised beds; the ones we finished last year have a weed fabric and bark chip path. The newer set had grass and mud. But that changed yesterday when Ryan dug over the area and laid some paving slabs that we’ve recycled from my parent’s garden. It’s a gardener’s path – meant merely for practicality and not for show. You can’t see it unless you’re almost on top of it, but it means I can reach all of the beds from a garden path. Which is good – we’ve had enough rain this year that the garden has been a quagmire for much of it.
We need to collect some more slabs and then we’ll do the other side of the garden the same.
On the outside of the raised beds there’s a strip along the fence that I want to plant up. We’ll need some smaller slabs to put in little paths to get down to the water butts but leave enough of a border to keep the plants happy.
The patio my parents have replaced (because it was wearing out) was in place when they moved into the house a few years ago. It never occurred to me that the slabs might be anything other than grey (they’re some sort of concrete mix), but when Ryan decided to get out the pressure washer he discovered that they were originally buff! So now our new garden path is nice and clean!
Whilst Ryan was working on the garden paths I was doing various plant-related things. I had potted on one of my trio of tomatoes into a larger pot a while back; yesterday I did the other two to match and then fed them all with my homemade pong-free comfrey fertiliser. I did some weeding in the raised beds. It’s interesting to see what’s arising as weeds in this garden – as well as the inevitable dandelions and some plants I can’t identify, I’m getting wild strawberries, Fat Hen and Tree Spinach. I left the wild strawberries in place for now, although whether they’ll find a permanent home in the raised beds is doubtful; there are plenty in the front garden.
I’m gradually clearing the containers of onions I planted (I think) in the autumn of 2014 when we moved in. They should have been harvested last year, but they weren’t. They’re flowering now, having split into dual bulbs (on their way to forming clumps). They’re a bit fiddly to prepare – small, and the flower stalk is tough and needs to be removed – but they’re good eating and we’re happy to be eating things from the garden and not wasting them. I’ve started harvesting the onions I planted last autumn, and am drying them out for storage. Grown in a raised bed, and well fed, they are much, much larger 😉
This blog post was written by Emma Cooper and was published on The Unconventional Gardener website. If you're reading it elsewhere you may want to navigate away from plagiarised content.