I’m so thrilled that our new Kitchen Garden is taking shape.
Believe it or not, a lot of careful planning has gone into this Kitchen Garden. From last January, 2013, when we first moved to Hornsea, we had vast amounts of scrubby undergrowth, out of control hedges strangled with ivy and trees with branches almost to the ground. It was like a dark, unexotic jungle in East Yorkshire. But with the help of friends such as gardeners Steve and Lynne Dexter and our old friend Matt Moran, stage production manager/brilliant tree surgeon, plus lots of hard, physical work from Erik and myself, we have a big space with sunshine flowing and filtering through the trees that is perfect for the job in hand.
The picture above is at the far end of our garden, and this is what is was like when we moved in. At the moment it is filled with about 6 huge piles of debris from the rest of the garden, but come next week, those will be carefully burned, and the ashes spread across the width of the garden to burn the dreadful carpet of weeds that has taken over the grassy area.
It’s incredible to think that this time next year, this area of the Kitchen Garden will be a mini-orchard with a wild-flower meadow to meander down and around in summer, and will look something like this picture, taken from the site of Mas Seeds Limited.
Also next week, we are really starting to change the look of this part of the garden. Down the left hand side, as you walk down the garden from our house, we will be putting in place 8 panels of decorative fencing that I found from a great company in Lincolnshire, Witham Timber. Their products are that much stronger and better made than the local supermarket ones, and we decided that, because we are only going to create this Kitchen Garden once, we would rather wait until we could afford the best products that would last, so these great fence panels will arrive on Friday. Can’t wait!
This run of 8 six foot high panels will run on the east side of the garden, from near the greenhouse (not yet chosen) down the left side, and face the sun, so they will not only tidy up what was a very messy border, but will make the perfect space for my outdoor tomatoes, climbing Courgette Tromboncino plus Climbing Cucumbers with probably a Grape Vine running along the top. The decorative fence panels are very solid, and will also protect the Kitchen Garden from the strong east winds that blow straight off the sea, which is only 6 minutes walk from our garden. This run of fencing will have the posts topped off with Acorn finials, which I thought would be appropriate and fun!
Across the far end of the garden, there is a scrubby hedge (again) which blocks out the light to the neighbours at the end of our garden. When we reach the end of our land, there is a drop of about 15 feet and the neighbours houses and flats are built at the lower level. Their bedroom windows are at same level of our land, and this bit of hedge which is still alive was allowed to grow to about 18 foot high, making their bedrooms very dark. So we are taking out what is left of the hedge, and again putting in our 6 foot decorative panel fencing, with the trellis top, and leaving it in a golden colour. This will give us a proper barrier, and stop both the dog and children from falling down the big drop. Against this I will plant Honeysuckle,
and Wild Roses,
and Blackthorn Bushes for the Sloe Berries.
The Blackthorn Bushes will be in the right hand corner, partly against the new fence but also coming just up the right hand side of the Kitchen Garden, in what is the most vulnerable area of the garden, just alongside the graveyard – not that the residents will object, but the land is higher there against our fence, so we want a bit more security. But I think a combination of all those plants, with their colourful blossoms and berries, will not only help the birds, bees and butterflies, but will also make the neighbours (and us) happy.
Erik’s been busy again. He heard me muttering something about “Why did we collect all these leaves up when we have nothing to put them in?” and ‘Hey Presto’, look what he made me.
He sure knows how to please a girl!
Now all the leaves from our many trees can be turned into brilliant leaf compost and mulch. Whilst he was doing this, we were thrilled to be accompanied by a very friendly and fat lady blackbird who trots between our feet as we are in this part of the garden. Every basket of leaves that was tipped into this leaf store was examined in minute detail by Mummy blackbird for slugs and snails. Must take my camera down there and see if I can take a photo of her – she is just not afraid at all. Luckily our cat doesn’t venture this far down the garden, so hopefully she will be safe.
Plus the Raspberry bed is finished, the Raspberry canes are all in situ, and Erik is designing the default design for our raised beds. This week, the weather is expected to be lovely, and I’m feeling absolutely fit and healthy, therefore I will be mostly planting seeds and apple trees and damson trees and pear trees. So no chance of me slacking off, just yet. Just itching to be Mother Nature, get planting and growing and get our Kitchen Garden well on the way to being productive.
So, as you can see, the Kitchen Garden is really taking shape, and we’re loving it!