I dug so hard I broke my spade. Roots. Some as thick as my arm. I removed a plant that I don’t know the name of: something spiky. Spikes of that size, number and pointiness are not favoured in this garden – for reasons other than the aesthetic. I filled a 35 litre bucket with mature top growth and then filled it three times more with what I dug, pulled, twisted, sliced, hacked at, swore at and eventually dragged out of the ground.
I’m replacing it with a salad cloche at the sunniest end of what will become a small edibles border. My garden deli! 🙂 I said I wasn’t going to grow any vegetables because of the sub-optimum shade/sun ratio but… I unearthed a corner of an old Belfast sink – just a corner – whilst digging out some other unruly plant I didn’t recognise, along with some broken kitchen crockery and a 20 foot metal rod from under the hedge. And one thing led to another…
I stacked a couple of brick and slate-filled gabions at an unretained corner where a straight wall and a curved wall didn’t quite meet. The dug-up bit of sink reminded me that I had two complete pot sinks, one which drains and one which doesn’t, still full of Autumn leaves, languishing at the farthest end of the back border and that one of them might be the right sort of size to occupy the weirdly shaped space where the walls and gabions now meet, a few feet from the kitchen door. I topped the gabions with an old kitchen doorstep which just happened to be lying around, getting in the way, and then finished the short stack off with a jam pan, the full potential of which wasn’t being met or utilised at all in its temporary employment as a gate stop.
The previously unfathomable metal rod, it turns out, is just the right length to run from the gabion end of the straight wall to the cloche end, where the steps to the bird-feeding station interrupt the wall’s otherwise unbroken journey to the back border. If I elevate the rod with supporting stakes, then drape over and secure to it and the ground, fruit-cage netting or chicken wire or some such thing, I could potentially fashion a tent-like solution to protecting any future crops from our resident birds, mice and squirrels. And the height of the top of the wall itself, where the earth is just sitting, waiting to be conditioned, is somewhere between thigh and waist height – which is more or less perfect for planting and picking.
Now, I’m a long-confirmed atheist but even I can’t misconstrue this series of occurrences as anything other than the deliberate and unambiguous signs of the gardening Gods! This garden clearly wants to grow edible produce. So I did a little research into shade-tolerant salad plants and herbs and went and bought some seeds for my newly conceived salad bar!
It seems my thoughts and ideas wander more freely than my feet whenever I take a stroll up the garden path! And this garden definitely has a mind and a will all of its own – and I absolutely love that about it.
The curved wall joined in the conversation too and spoke loudly and clearly. It would like its own hardy annuals border, if that’s not too much trouble. It just so happens that my thoughts and feet wandered off and got somewhat florally distracted when I was in the garden centre choosing spinach seeds; so that would be absolutely no trouble at all! 🙂