The planned bed preparation and planting of the henhouse garden will proceed in four stages at the very least, due to unforeseen circumstances.
I felt that some adjustments needed to be made to the garden plan, to ensure there would be a place for filter tanks (second hand bath tubs) near the chill pit, or koi pond cum swimming pool, should they be required in the future. The plantings where the filters may be placed need to be easily transplantable in case I need to clear the area one day. This small garden needed small scale and more detailed mapping out too, so I redrew this section of the garden plan on a larger scale, blowing it up about 20 times.
This section of the garden I called the henhouse garden due to the presence of the henhouse, a dilapidated structure built out of waste materials (very green) but unfortunately, the first thing that confronted the eye on
entering the garden through the back door from the kitchen. It was in short and eyesore which spoiled the whole effect of the garden. After tense times, I managed to persuade my husband to dismantle it, leaving the frame which has the appearance of a split pole pergola. This comprised the first stage of the work.
So finally I was left with the empty plot to work. My husband was away at he time and I started with moving in the hard landscaping elements, laying a path and moving some concrete blocks into place, to build a small concrete table and a seat under the future pergola. I lifted the largest concrete block into the wheelbarrow and felt and immediate mule kick to my lower back.
I continued laying the path but by the time the task was accomplished I was in a lot of pain. This increased for days, till I took some pills recommended by my sister who frequently suffers from such injuries. I took about two weeks to recover properly, before I could continue. If only I had rolled the large concrete blocks along the ground, I would have been finished with the garden long ago. This is what I did when I started on the project again.
Here are the concrete blocks I rolled into place to make a seat and table, the table top is going to be a concrete slab, and I hope it won’t hurt my back bringing it here from down the road where someone is throwing out slabs.
The next thing was to get together all the tools. Diverse buckets and the wheelbarrow for carrying vermicompost, the spade rake and small tools for the details. Sometimes its really wet and slushy in the cape winter and then these wellies are much appreciated.
First I removed the bricks and rubble and piled it up in an area where I would need it later. Then I pulled up the grass, took away the large organic debris like branches, leveled the area with a spade, filled in some hollows with compost I make from fine leef sweepings mixed with urine. Then I raked it. After that I carted two 25 litre buckets and a wheelbarrow full of vermicompost to the site, and raked it flat again. Then I watered thoroughly using about 8 watering cans full of water. I don’t mind lugging things because my writer lifestyle, after 8 years of studying and now blogging, demands movement, and I can’t get enough of it, so garden work kills multiple birds… ew… don’t like that metaphor. Lets just say gardening work accomplishes multiple ends.
I’m leaving the bed like this for a few weeks so that the rain can soak it, and oxygen can take the edge of the urine’s burn before I plant anything.
Please let me know if you have any questions, comments or stories to share on gardening, permaculture, regenerative agriculture, food forests, natural gardening, do nothing gardening, observations about pests and diseases, foraging, dealing with and using weeds constructively, composting and going offgrid.
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