Redesigning a potager

Wait. What? Are you redesigning your gorgeous raised bed potager?

No. I have two.

Well, I inherited two. And the one I have so imaginatively called The Top Potager has been neglected.

It is positioned above the potting shed, across the track and up the mountain. And it came into being centuries ago as there was an underwater spring just further up that fed the soil. There is still a willow tree (mightily pollarded each year) as a reminder of what once was.

The spring has dried up somewhat and the water pressure of my one hose at the house is pathetic. So what gets planted up there does not get much water.

Or much attention.

This year, almost none at all. I harvest asparagus, I look appalled at the weeds, and then back out fast and walk away.

But this winter I have time. I have made time.

Actually that’s a porky pie. I discovered I made a great mistake this summer and have to rectify it fast.

I wanted to smother the weeds using a weed proof fabric. I didn’t have any at the time, so I put an old tarp over a lot of the space. And covered the path next to the asparagus bed with a strip of old swimming pool cover.

The swimming pool cover did a brilliant job. The old tarp disintegrated in the sunshine and has left tiny bits of blue plastic all over the soil. It’s like watching a major pollution event happen on your very own little planet.

And to rectify my big mistake I have been picking tiny bits of blue fabric with freezing fingers for weeks.

From now on, I will be covering the soil to suppress the weeds. But with a proper fabric paid for from a proper landscaping shop. (Well, Gamm Vert, our favourite agricultural supply store, but it sounds like I’m making an effort.)

But first I have to pick up the bits. And then weed the rest. And have a separate weed bucket for the bindweed roots.

Which turned into a weed garbage bin to accommodate the masses of accumulated nasty bindweed tendrils.

Luckily I have help. The Creature is close by in the potting shed and was even tempted to venture forth from the chaise longue and cashmere jumper she has claimed and merrily scampers about when the sun shines.

And then takes to perching on a knee when it’s close to feeding time and why aren’t I attending to her instead of yanking out green stuff?

Here is my gorgeous weedings pile.

I think it looks like cake. And it’s better here than in the middle of the potager.

I have another one to make next to it. And I might have room for one more beside it too. Quite exciting.

To the left is the bindweed pile. In quarantine.

In the place of the weeds I am planning something big. Soft fruit nursery plants big. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

I’m only 80 per cent there with the weeding and then I have the landscaping. And the shifting of all the soil I seem to have accumulated. And that’s too good to waste under a mere path.

The raspberry bed needs improving. The asparagus needs cutting down. The paths made….

Hopefully if I’m not standing with a paintbrush in hand up a ladder attacking some beams and ceiling in the house, I ought to have some nice shots to show you by winter’s end.

Have some shots of the huge painting jobs I have been distracted by.

I’d rather be weeding than painting. And I’d definitely choose pulling out bindweeds than scrubbing a tiled floor with a wire brush and elbow grease.