|The Garden Restaurant|
|OB 1 before and after and with used coffee grounds spread.|
|Next Wednesday’s task OB2 – 3 which will be a right challenge for sure.|
|The Butchery Garden – Brown = Ornamental Beds, Green = Lawns and Orange = Patio Stones.|
|To protect the grass on the lawn we worked on cardboard. We could easily tear grass roots out by treading on the grass when it is this damp. Many winter lawns can cope with it because they are thicker, but courtyard gardens in Sandwich have thinner lawns and more so if they have limited winter sunshine like this one does.|
|This is one of the main wild roses in the garden, it stretches all the way up the wall of the next door house on trellis. it needs an aggressive trim and serious mulching. The spurs [offshoots] you can see at the base need to be removed so as to redirect the energy and the growth to the main plant. In addition to that it has black spot blight which will also have to be addressed.|
|The Butchery Garden|
Friday 06th January
|Last Friday, Suze and l managed to get back to the Butchery Garden to start the overdue but greatly needed undergrowth clear-up. As far as garden layouts go, the Butchery is pretty straightforward. It comprises two small lawns, and four walk-in raised ornamental beds. [By walk-in, l mean that you can walk onto them directly from the lawn]|
Suze and l split the garden into four quarters to make the tasks more accessible. Last Friday, whilst Suze worked on clearing out OB1, l worked on scarifying the lawns, digging out weeds, brushing the moss from the flagstone areas, raking and brushing the leaves up, and finishing off with a small initial de-weeding of OB3. Next Wednesday, we will start OB2.
There is a lot of preparatory undergrowth clearing work in this garden before we can progress appropriately to the significant pruning. However, due to the weather delaying us last month, some trimmings must be done over the next ten days to ensure we are not cutting back too late or too early in the new season, pending interpretation to where we are in the late winter season.
The roses, which the garden has many, desperately need an aggressive trimming over a more straight cut. We need to cut 85% of the roses shrubs down to 15 cm above the ground, although the central trellis wild rose needs only be cut down to 60 cm above the ground, provided we remove the surplus spurs. Then all we need to do is heavily feed the base with excellent mulch. I have suggested they buy in a brand l used a few years ago called Strulch.
I will also feed their soil with used coffee grounds so that the straw-based mulch will sit on the coffee and inside the beds very well. We initially wanted to have the clearing finished by December, but this is the reality of gardening and sometimes being at the mercy of the climate.
So now we must achieve the clear-out and the late winter prunings before the end of this month. It’s not impossible, but with the stages, we need to perform on the allotment, it will be tight.
They have opted to keep the moss present on the flagstone patio, but with all the rains and ice and frosts we have experienced, the moss is ready to leave with the slightest brushstroke. At least it made the removal of the weeds within the cracks easier to lift, and of course, the leaves were eager to be swept up.
After three hours of work, we left in the garden with three bags of fallen leaves, scarified mosses and thatchings from the lawns and all the cuttings and clear-out greens from OB1.
Just in case you are unfamiliar with the terming ‘scarified’, this relates to raking the lawn and freeing off dead organic matter. Materials like moss and thatching, dead grasses, weeds, and leaves always make me think of it as like getting a haircut for grass as it encourages more growth.
The lawn is relatively weak there. Many courtyard gardens in Sandwich, especially those with lawns, need better grass structuring. So I suggest we broadcast grass and clover seed mixes in the spring. The clover which l wrote about the other day would make for a more solid footing underfoot, encourage and aid pollinators, and more so if the lawns were not cut as frequently.
With Suze clearing out the undergrowth, we could see more clearly the task ahead of us for the next few months. Next week when beginning to work with OB2, we shall have our work cut out for us with the trimming down the many rose bushes and cutting back the canna lilies. OB2 is in a much denser condition waste-wise than OB1 was.
The Butchery Garden is a real challenge, and both Suze and l are looking forwards to that time when we can take a step back and admire the work we have done to take it from the state it was before to the condition it will be when we are done.
There is a tremendous sense of joy with something like this – a natural euphoric feeling when you have worked on a project from raw basics to completion and a sense of pride, anticipation, and enthusiasm. We are bringing a garden back from the dead in some respects and breathing new life into it, something Suze and l have a genuine passion for.
I feel this way with the allotment – we both do; l felt it with Gazen Salts and many of the projects l am involved with. You sense it is worthwhile – you are actually making something count. That has become important to me in the last twelve months, especially in making things count and matter.
|Freshly scarified lawns – not much to look at even afterwards on account of the grass being so thin and the ground being so wet. In the months to come you will see a significant change in these two lawns as we sow seed mixes in and the lawns thicken up.|
|I will write about the plants in more detail in future publishings, but in the meantime, thanks for reading and l’ll catch you next time.|
|Earthly Comfort Designs available on my Redbubble Store.|
Collections – Earthen Wurmin, Inspired By Nature and The Autistic Composter
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