I am of course speaking of flower beds. You can never have enough flower beds, the sight of a packed floriferous bed is enough to set your heart singing and make you begin to wax poetical. Here in Spain it can be depressing when you see how many people have tiled or completely gravelled their garden turning it into what looks like a car park or a landing strip. Yes, I know all the reasons, easy maintenance, heat of the Sun etc, but such gardens will never make your heart sing. But the good news is that it can all be reversible, whether its gravel, tiles or grass, new beds can be created. And here is how!
30th April 2022. Things I have been doing lately.
Creating a new flower bed. Now is the perfect time to create a new flower bed in your garden and bring life, vibrancy and wild life into your garden. Gardens are living things and you should not be afraid to make changes. With this spirit in mind I decided to create a new flower bed. And here are the stages you need to undertake; and it is the same for tiles, gravel or grass.
Mark out the shape of your bed. You should never just start digging, as that way lies regret. Instead using a hosepipe to provide an outline try various shapes that you might like your bed to be. If you like take photos of each shape and think about it overnight and consult with your partner. I never discuss aspects of the garden with Cruella (my wife) as her point of reference is always a graveyard. The photos below show my two possible main shapes. Click on each photo for a larger view.
Once you have decided on your basic shape, then you need to mark it out using ground marking spray. If you are digging out a grassed area the it is helpful to spray with weed killer and leave a week. The first photo below shows the marker paint that I use. The second photo shows the site ready for digging out. Click on each photo for a larger view.
Digging out. When you are making a new bed, there is no point scraping a bit of soil away and hoping for the best. You have to create a new soil bed that is rich in nutrients and will last for years. In my case this meant digging down at least four inches, and maybe more if you are digging out a previously gravelled area. The first photo below show my digging out stage.Followed by loading all turf squares into the compost bin. Finally, my fully dug out bed. Click on each photo for a larger view.
Filling the bed with compost. If you do not have a compost bin, then shame on you, but all is not lost just fill the bed with bags of compost. The picture below shows me getting ready to fill my wheelbarrow with the first of 8 loads that were required to fill that little bed.
The first photo below shows the beginning of filling the bed, when you do this it is important that where possible you mix in some of the old soil. The second photo shows the bed filled and finally the last photo shows the boundary stones in place. Click on each photo for a larger view.
Having tea. Stopping and having a pot of tea is one of the most important things a gardener can do. At the end of a tiring task make your self a pot of tea and have one of your favourite biscuits. This not only gives you a well earned rest, it gives the blackbirds time to forage around for insects in your new bed. The first photo shows my Darjeeling leaf tea brewing under my favourite teacosy. The second photo shows my special biscuit warming up over my cup and beautifully melting the syrup in the biscuit. Click on each photo for a larger view.
Finally a picture of Tango the blind lonely Labrador after a hard day watching me work.