My garden is full.


I have 200 metres squared of vegetable garden and there is no room left for anything else. Although it’s not full yet, it will be in a couple of weeks, and I need more space.


I’m torn between adding another vegetable plot or adding raised beds.

I quite like the idea of raised beds. Less bending. Also, less digging, less turning, less weeding. I can put down a layer of weed suppressant, some newspaper and some soil, and it is done.

If I dig, I have to clear turf first, then improve the soil, then weed.

And weed.

And weed.

Of course, there are some disadvantages. Raised beds can dry out more in the summer. I’d need to mulch like crazy. It’s been nine whole days of dry weather and the soil is already too dry to dig.

Normally, too, I leave quite a bit of space between rows and crops – rather than cramming them in. I suspect a raised bed might make me put more in and be more intensive. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

Plus, I won’t be able to easily fork it over in the same way. It will be harder to clear and to do with big tools. I’ll not be able to rotavate, for example.

Not that I do a lot but I like the option.

I won’t have the usual problem that some of my plants will need a deep bed, because they will always be able to go in a deep bed, but that means I’m still going to have three or four raised beds, just so that I can rotate my crops.

The logistics are a little frightening. I need more helpXrs with power tools.

I think the garden last year was further on. By the end of April, virtually all my root crops were not only in but shooting. Here it will take a little time. Luckily, rain is forecast for the weekend, and lots of it, with fairly warm temperatures. This means I don’t have to worry about watering, and everything will grow like mental.

Yesterday was a busy day. Marcus put in a row of red onions, a row of leeks, and a couple of rows of kale that have been sitting about for a while. Shannon and I planted in a load of lettuces and I got busy with the mower again. I think I need a little tractor. I’m coveting a little tractor. The things I could do with a little tractor.

I introduced them to the delights of Pan’s Labyrinth and whilst they were watching that last night, I tidied up the pots outside. I bought a couple of penstemons a couple of weeks ago and put those into my perennial bed, as well as the gladioli and a pink cactus dahlia. I noticed the monarda is going crazy and the Grande Marguerites are huge as well.

Red & Frilly


I think this year there will be fewer annuals in my flowerbed. I’ve planted up some of last year’s scabiosa heads which are now seeding, as well as a couple of packets of zinnia and annual poppies. Most of the flowers go as companion plants for the vegetables… marigolds, zinnia, cosmos, sunflowers. I’ve not been so successful with delphiniums and tomorrow, I am going to stop off at the nursery in Montbron and see if I can find any.

Anyway, Mme V’s daughter is taking my guests to Angoulême today to see if they can find somewhere without a goat. Having heard that there are not one but two people who walk goats through Angoulême I think their chances of leaving Charente with a vision of a rustic citidel filled with eccentric animal-walking residents imprinted on their memories is pretty high.

I’m off to check my seedlings and see that they survived their first night in the wild outdoors.

Enjoy your Wednesday!

8 thoughts on “Reader…

  1. Congratulations, it sounds as though you have achieved a goal, well done. Have you ever thought about wide row planting? You usually get a lot of crops from the same area , less watering, weeding etc?
    Regards Rita

  2. I just got all caught up on the world of Emma. Sounds like all is well, and your epic garden is keeping you very busy. I would love a raised bed myself. Of course it would be minuscule compared to what you’re talking about, but it would make growing things easier for me, as our yard is full of mature maple trees that suck up all the water.

  3. i built raised beds for my mom and dad. supposedly they were styled after japanese gardens. who knows. i made a couple 2″x2″ or 5cmx5cm strips out of some knot free wood. they planted rows just wide enough to put strips between crops. you lay a board down between crops and you you don’t have dirt half way to your elbows. i spent 2 days wheelbarrowing. compost from a abandoned cattle barn. both farmer and i thought that was a good deal. i put a pump in the pond by the beds. mom and dad got 3 crops of just about everything. is there someway to irrigate? put pump in river or use a rain water cistern.

    200 sq. meters. is that 200m by 200m or some combination as in 40m x 50m? 40m x50m is half a football field. 200 sq m is like 4 fields. i assume it is the smaller of the 2. as a child we truck patched flowers. about the size of one football field. i wore hoes out. enjoy.

    peaceup. billy

    1. Yeah, my maths was terrible! I must have been tired! Am going to go back and work out how much it is. Bah. It’s all split up. Getting the raised beds supplies in the next few days and not sure where I will find the top soil yet. Local farmer might give me cow manure – he is pretty helpful.

  4. Well done – it makes me tired just reading about all that work, present and future!!
    My husband was merrily planting things in our refurbished garden till I reminded him there are a few invisible plants in there that need some room, too (hostas, mainly) and he’d better stop before it’s crammed to crowding… back to a little light weeding for me LOL (our garden is pretty tiny!).

    1. My garden was tiny in the UK – which is why it’s such fun to have a big garden here – though hard work. Couldn’t have done it without my willing helpers!

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