So to celebrate getting to the 100th day of the year and the 100th picture and comment for the year I am sure something more exciting than a old plastic crate. However this is now my next project for the garden. A colleague was talking about their micropond attracting wildlife in their garden and that they now had frogspawn in it. This set me wondering to how to create a similar haven in my garden. Cue a search of the internet and something made of solid plastic that won’t rot seemed ideal. So, the plan is to line this crate, sink it to ground level, put in some levelling for shallow access and some plants and have some rocks etc around the edge to hide the plastic. I’ll let you know later in the year how this all works out.
Despite some inclement weather today (light rain for most of the late afternoon), I’ve managed to get the second new top frame up and connected to the grapevine arches. There are still a couple of small things to do for it to be totally finalised, but the important parts are now complete. The remainder will have to wait for better weather. Hopefully this will mean that I don’t need to work on this part of the garden for a number of years.
So with the wood ready to put in place I’ve replaced one set (two cross beams and 6 connecting batons) of the grapevine arches top frame. Happily enough, just about everything matched up and while it’s not quite perfect, most of the major connections lined up and I was able to remove and replace in a relatively short period of time. I should be able to get the second set up before the end of the weekend.
As well as replacing a number of the raised beds I have for the vegetable patch, I have discovered that a number of parts of the wooden arches I have need replacing. They have two different grapevines climbing up them so they need to be relatively strong and some of the cross beams have rotted though, as well as their connecting beams. (As these are areas that water can more easily connect this isn’t a major surprise). So I’ve purchase more wood, as well as used some that I had from previous work. The intersections of these need to lock together and for this some chiselling of the beams to create that locking connection is needed. My previous chisel wasn’t really up to the job so I’ve purchased a couple of new ones to help with building the replacement top frame for the arches. (In line with current blogging practice, I should point out that I am not being paid by Trojan to mention their product or brand).
I have turned the raw materials (decking and a fence post) that I bought a while back into a replacement raised bed. I’m very happy with the result and while at close inspection it shows that it is home made, when it is sitting at the bottom of the garden, even from the mid level it will look as good as anything else that’s there. I’ve also added an internal lining of bin-bags to hopefully extend the lifetime of the wood and stop it rotting too quickly. There is the added bonus with some of the other raised beds starting to fall apart, it is good to know that I can produce a replacement at a reasonable price within a few hours.
Having replaced 2 of the 3 rotting sleeper based raised beds that I have, I decided that I would have a go at building one myself as it would be cheaper. There are some quite cheap raised beds available to buy but the material isn’t always great, so I opted for cheaper than the ones I normally buy. I managed to achieve that with what I bought from the store. In the picture are 4 planks of decking which will be cut in half to provide double the height of one and thus a deeper bed, and a wooden fence post for securing the corners.
This is what has replaced the sleeper based raised bed. It’s roughly the same size (maybe a little bit smaller) in terms of content, but as can be seen, the border itself is not as wide. I will get some turf in a few weeks time to make the area look nicer. It has made me realise that if I wanted to, I could probably move the raised beds a little closer and fit another 3 in, but for the time being I’ll make do with the 12 that I have.