Background to Liz’s Project
In her first post for us, in the depths of winter, albeit a mild one as it turned out, Liz was making the most of the winter sun to create a couple of large, affordable raised beds. using old apple bins that she sourced locally from her native Kent countryside.
The bins were lined, holes were cut in the base and plenty of old bricks, broken pieces of terracotta pots and stones, were added to improve drainage and prevent the base of the bins rotting.
The bins were then filled with leaves from around the garden, the theory being that this would save on having to find or buy expensive top soil and utilise all the fallen autumn leaves.
Having let everything to settle for a week or so to decay a little more and drop in level, more leaves were added and finally the call was made to finish off with a layer of top soil.
These beautiful geums were the first blooms to appear in the late spring.
And just take a look at the photos below and have a read through Liz’s final update to see just what the summer sun combined with Liz’s hard work has produced.
“It’s been a scorcher of a summer so far, here in Kent. We’ve enjoyed absolutely beautiful, wall to wall blue skies for what feels like months. Thanks to these lovely long summer days, as well as a good dose of watering most evenings, our mini meadows have come on leaps and bounds.
They have been such a welcome addition to the garden and I’ve become increasingly attached to them. Early in the morning, before anyone else is up, or after a particularly busy day, I’ve found myself nipping up the garden path, just to take a look at how they are fairing. And they never disappoint.
New buds and blooms have appeared every day and they look set to continue for some weeks to come. Despite the fact that these beds are formed from apple bins – which are fairly small in size, they have pack a punch in terms of biodiversity.
A continuous flow of butterflies, bees and bugs zoom in and around the flowers throughout the day. Being raised up has kept the flowers and foliage pretty much perfect. They’ve avoided the curse of the stray football. This time last year, these beds didn’t exist, but now, I can’t imagine our garden without them and I’m already planning next steps. This includes cutting back in the autumn, and then seeing how things fair over winter.
I’ll probably mulch and add a top dressing of compost, made up again of leaf mould, over the winter period. Then next Spring (around May time), I’ll add in some more wildflower seeds to top up whatever remains from this year. And off we go again.
I’m well and truly hooked on this style of gardening. It is so easy, stress free and just plain enjoyable. Plans include adding another apple bin to a damp, shadier corner of the garden and finding a mix of wildflowers that suit a more boggy environment. But for now, all I need to do is simply water, admire and enjoy.”
Guest Post, all images courtesy if Liz at Denys & Fielding