After the fun of the bashing the concrete then followed a week of clearing the debris. It did come to an end with a cleared area ready to do what ever we fancied. I decided on two beds one being 4 feet by 6 and the other 3 by 6. That will give the thinner bed by the fence and the big one mostly where a big screen bush is currently planted. Mel Bartholomew of the Square Foot Gardening fame suggests frames of 4×4 feet which gives you 16 bed squares which he says is a good way to go with most of the beds being on the side and the bed being able to be managed without having to stand on any of it. I don’t mind a bit of stretching and the sizes I have come up may possibly not be the best for the produce being grown but they are the best for the space we have here. The green bush has to go as the bed will just go over the top of it, along with a rose bush and a number of bluebell bulbs that are yet to flower. I will mostly see if I can move them all, but who knows if they will take it.
The wood I have used consists of a couple of scaffolding planks that have been sitting in the garden for a number of years. The plan for these was to make shelves for the house and indeed this still is the plan and has been the plan for many of the planks that we got hold of a number of years back. These ones though seemed to be quite warped and so using them for the beds here seemed fine. A little bit heavy duty for a raised bed but at least it is not going to move very far!
Once built, we moved the bed into its final place with a quarter of its width over the top of the existing flower bed. You notice that here we have moved the green bush and the rose is now within the box. Tom here is just checking the level, it looks all wonky on this photo but it is straight beleive me, honest. You can now see how the smaller 3 foot wide bed will go next to this big one near the fence with just enough space inbetween to be able to walk along.
Tom and Jack here are lining the bottom of the bed with cardboard boxes flattened out. It seems (and I have not read the complete Square Foot Gardening book yet so I may well be wrong) the suggestion is to close off the bottom of the beds and so make them completely separate from the land they are sitting on, hence no weeds or worry. I read somewhere else though is that another way to stop weeds is to line the bottom with cardboard which does the same sort of job, is cheap (free) and over time will biodegrade at which point any weeds that would had come up are way dead. Time will tell.
We still have that rose bush to move… but apart from that it would be hard to notice that we have chopped off a foot of the flower bed.