Once I had got it into my head that there was going to be a garden on that slab of concrete, I was too impatient. Time was moving on. We had taken the first steps to removing the shed in mid April and planting time was disappearing. I remember when we were first married and had our first garden, Erik told me that his grandad’s rule was that potatoes have to be planted on Good Friday….and it had been Easter Monday before we had taken our first steps towards moving the shed. So I was so eager to get going that I started to sort and sort in the space behind the shed and get the first things sown or planted. This is what I had to sort before I could even get started.
So although the shed was still standing, I had to get rid of all this rubbish. Despite my being fanatical about recycling and re-using, the compost bin had to go. On a concrete jungle, this open based vessel was a liability. It had sat on this waterproof table for over 10 years, the liquid it produced was highly concentrated organic material, but the bench was rotting , and I have designs on a “hot box”….same idea but with a base (and quite expensive so it will have to wait a while). I am not going for a wormery…the idea is exciting, but the only people I know who have tried them have had absolutely no success….so I need to spend my energies on things that have more guarantee of success and when I have them under my belt, a wormery might be attempted! There was actually very little in the compost bin so that was kept to one side and the bin found its new home via the local household waste recycling centre (colloquially the TIP). I know it found a new home because the next time I went, it was no longer part of the “re-useables”.
As is often the case however, I came back from the tip with more than I took (or to be precise some different things….a nice collection of large planters.)
But these were kept waiting for their turn to be useful.
I was so surprised with how much I already had “waiting in the wings”. A collection of wild flowers bought at huge expense at Morrisons (2 for £3); a free tomato plant from a young man at B&Q (we think he had made a mistake); the strawberry plants which had resided in the front garden for the last two years but which were in desperate need of re-potting; a gooseberry bush ( bought by Erik in Poundland on his last ever shopping trip and also residing in the front garden in a blue bucket); and a blackcurrant bush (a present from a family member and recently transported from Dorset).
Containers containers containers….which ones were going to be appropriate.? Strawberries can seemingly grow in strawberry towers with very little space so no need for large vessels; tomatoes seem to do well in the depth of “gro- bags”….so nothing deep needed, but gooseberries and blackcurrants will need to spread, and have good root space. Vegetable baskets, buckets, washing up bowls, bread baskets and a supermarket shopping basket, all came into their own. The point is that I did not have to go searching for any of them, they were all part of the veritable treasure trove that had been left to me by my dearest!
And of course, though all of the Shed of Doom garden is going to be container gardening, I did not want them sitting flat on the concrete, inhibiting drainage, collecting worms and causing me to have to bend all the way down! Stands were needed, but where am I going to find such??? Well of course in exactly the same place that I had found the containers…. behind the shed. The metal frames from some old school tables, thrown out of a children’s nursery years ago, and kindly removed from the premises by the manager’s father (who could see a use for them!);
…….frames from some nursery school chairs (acquired in the same way as the table frames); some milk crates;
……a dead workbench; a wine box from the period when dearly beloved, post clerical retirement, was delivering wine all over the UK,
……..and this, well at least the metal part….the wooden piece is another story.
I have no idea where it came from, but it has been with us for years. I believe it was some kind of hanging rail in a shop but how we came by it and why….your guess is as good as mine. I nearly scrapped it in one of my tidying sessions, but gave in to sentimentality.
The wild flower collection….(have to have some flowers to attract the insects to pollinate the flowers of the vegetables,) was planted in a half barrel (blue plastic one) which had originally been the home of our pond. How do you have a pond in a garden where there is more brick, cement and concrete than soil? You have it in a half barrel which has now been replaced with half a water butt!
And now, with the currant in the supermarket basket, the gooseberry in the red bucket, the strawberries in vegetable baskets and washing up bowls, and the wild flowers in the barrel, I could proudly “display” my first efforts, even with the Shed of Doom still standing.
THE SHED OF DOOM WAS BEGINNING TO BLOOM.