Right at the end of last year, I started building a raised bed out of sticks leftover from pruning our rather unruly lilac. I got half way up, ran out of sticks, and then it was new year, and then it was snowing, and cold, and dark, and the whole project got put on hold for a while.
A couple of weekends ago I got out there and finished it. This wasn’t as straightforward as it sounds – first I had to do some more (drastic but much-needed) pruning, then saw the branches into pieces, find some that were vaguely straight and the right length, then try to make them stay in the right places. But I managed it, and was left with a lovely hole to fill.
What to put in it? I wasn’t about to buy enough compost to go in there (this was meant to be a frugal project after all). I started with a pile of cardboard from an old Approved Foods order. This has been hanging round for ages waiting for me to rip it into small enough pieces to fit in the recycling box. It’ll do nicely to stop the weeds growing up through the soil.
Then I turned to the compost bin, which it seems I never showed you a finished picture of. You can see it in a half-built state here. I’m rather taken with it – it’s sturdy, and has two compartments, and I can remove the front really easily so occasionally I just turf everything from one side into the other, which helps the whole thing rot down more quickly.
I put a strip of weed-surpressing membrane leftover from the willow hedge round the edge of the sticks to stop the compost falling through, then added a layer of the less-composted stuff from the top of the bin. This was half rotted, but still had some stringy herby bits and the occasional stick.
Since I finished, it’s been either dark or snowing when I’ve been at home, so I’ve not managed to get a decent photograph. You can get the vague idea from this one (slightly fuzzy because I was sensibly staying inside in the warm).
Do you like it? I’ve not decided what to put in it yet. I’d really like a bed of flowers this year, but this is prime sunshiney growing space, so I think it needs vegetables instead. What do you reckon?