|The Undecided Cottage Garden|
|Overflowing Compost Units as they were Wednesday morning in the ‘Cottage Garden’.|
|Cottage Garden with compost units being dismantled in the background. There is still a considerable amount of work to be completed here, but the generalised style of whatever it is potentially going to be is taking shape.|
|Wednesday was a hard physical morning’s work at Gazen Salts Nature Reserve. I am still working up in the Cottage Garden near the Nissan Hut, which l believe will be taken down because it is classed as a condemned building. This is good news for the charity as it means they will now have a functional structure [provided it takes little time to be achieved] to base as their operations centre.|
A more secure environment for tools and tractors. It also means that the committee has to pull their proverbial butt plugs out and start making decisions on the items that need to be offloaded from all the work l did last year.
As l briefly discussed last year, I am contemplating whether l will stay here as a volunteer, knowing that l will not be up for the warden’s role. I could fit the position into my weekly schedule even with everything going on. It would mean something would have to give and given everything else going on in my life. The blog would have to go as l would not necessarily have the time to sit down and create content.
I struggle to do that on occasion even now, and whilst the rains are a hindrance as they prevent me from being outside, they also serve as a respite because they allow me time to sit and write.
I love to write, and l love my blog, but l am only sometimes as keen a blogger as some others might be. Primarily because of the time needed to sit and not just write and communicate but also to socialise that communication. It is the socialisation that, at times, l struggle with the most.
Finding the proper equilibrium between my passion and my conflict has been with me since l first started writing a blog in 2017. Only a few people might understand this feeling, but l know l am not alone with these feelings. Everything is about balance. Trying to balance my time between my passions has become more challenging as l age.
It’s strange how the things that matter to people the most change. But it is what it is. I shouldn’t be surprised; l always used to be outside and enjoyed it far more than being cooped up inside.
I need to find an income-earning position this year, and l would love for that to be outside. The reserve’s role of warden would have been ideal, but l need to know what is currently going on with that position. I will stay until February or the next Annual General Meeting and find out what is going on regarding the committee lineup.
The Cottage Garden is starting to look promising and can be a natural area of interest to people. The direction and purpose l feel need a proper sit-down discussion, as it keeps bouncing between a Victorian Kitchen Garden, Herb Garden, Forager’s Garden, Community Cottage Garden, Teaching Garden and Traditional English Garden!
After a while, it gets annoying. However, including this in my CV might be advantageous, especially given how Suze and l are looking to start a gardening business this year. But a decision needs to be made about where they see the area going. With the correct management, we could cover quite a few of these areas in one swoop.
One of my chores on Wednesday, next to shifting ancient logs, concrete blocks, and wood piles, was to resite the compost set-up. I sometimes need clarification on people’s cluelessness concerning research. Considering we live in an age when we have information at the end of our fingertips 24/7, how do some folks need help understanding basic concepts?
Several months ago, I set up the compost heap with clear instructions that only certain materials could be added, that l would need a clear frontal working space and to not block access to the opening doors and, most assuredly, not to heap up one bin to an overflowing status.
The materials NOT to be added l thought wouldn’t need an idiot’s guide. Many of the volunteers are either allotment gardeners or have been and have gardens, yet l was astonished to learn that many didn’t understand the core principles of composting. Materials not to be added included huge branches filled with leaves or logs. That should be common sense.
I discovered that the garden creation had been planted right to the doors of the compost bins, that one of the box segments was overflowing to the point of busting the door, and the doors needed to be more easily accessed. If that wasn’t a problem, the fact that the overflowing heap was filled with heavy-set branches filled with leaves certainly was.
So l have had to decide to knock the whole operation down and re-site it to a completely different part of the garden. This will mean moving two small and one sizeable anaerobic pile – as in compost that has not been turned, so in essence, is fermenting – and tackling two enormous mountains of green discarded growth before l can start the whole composting process and kickstart the aerobic composting process.
I will look into the various composting methods we could adopt in the garden and see if l can somehow work the magic and introduce perhaps a hill culture heap which is a German composting method, admittedly, and so might not fit into the old English gardening culture.
Given the sheer volumes of green waste the reserve can produce, establishing a Hügelkultur – hill culture – would work exceptionally well given the number of logs and bracken we have. If need be, l could hide it at the back of the garden, but whatever happens, it would still serve as an educational function for garden visitors.
Whatever happens, this new feature will be exciting and attractive when it’s completed.
|These two piles of bracken and wood have the potential to be made into a German styled Hill Culture – Hügelkultur|
|The compost units being broken down and the piles and heaps assessed. This will take a considerable period of time to make good and workable again. It might be easier to bag the two fermented piles and dump them on top of my ton compost and then start fresh with the Gazen Salts project.|
|Tales from Gazen Salts Nature Reserve is about my time and stories of my voluntary work with this project.|
I’ll see you next episode. Thanks for reading.
Gazen Salts Nature Reserve
Sandwich, Kent, England, UK