A quick update on the plans for the garden. We had a quote from a couple of different landscapers and we decided to go with the nice chap who runs Littlescapes. We were very impressed with his work ethic, friendliness and all round dedication to the job. Plus he insisted on coming over to meet us face to face before he would give us a quote. Which made us feel special!
However, his quote was a little bit over and above what we had budgeted for. His quote was nearer to Â£10,000 and frankly we needed it to be nearer Â£6000. We did think about postponing the garden work until we could afford it but the thought of one season without anywhere to grow any veg made me feel sick. Plus we had systematically been burning bits of the garden for the last few months in anticipation of the new garden. We had already passed the point of no return. So we decided to knock a few items off the wishlist to bring the cost down. Henceforth, we will be doing without the following: waterfeature (always the first to go), lighting and electricity, cold frame (ouch), compost bins (again ouch), soil preparation plus plants and planting.
What’s left? I hear you ask. Hmm well… obviously the garden still needs clearing and some old stumps need removing. We’ll be doing that ourselves – well when I say we I actually mean Ryan. He’s already started on that – photographic evidence above. Littlescapes will be taking care of leveling the garden which is no small task, preparing the ground for drainage, laying all the pathways, making all the beds, and pruning and shaping plants and shrubs that are left.
Basically, they are doing the hard landscaping which will leave us a framework to work with. We’ll be doing the soil preparation and planting and Ryan will be building the compost bins (that’s my man). I’m still hoping to squeeze my brick-built coldframe in right at the last minute, but only if we can live on Macaroni Cheese between now and then.
Sounds like you’ve struck a good balance between getting the difficult bits done for you, but keeping the final (and fun) touches for yourself. I look forward to seeing how things develop!
You can always have a temporary coldframe for the time being – my son built me one out of wood with a plastic cover and it does the job and was really cheap.
I find the cheep plastic greenhouses really useful and take up less room than a cold frame but there is only really good light on the top shelve! Also we had to tie it to the house wall, my last one blow over but in a small garden this is better than nothing. It is nearly always full of plants and seedlings
Well done for your large name check in Amateur Gardening this weekend (you may not have seen as I must be the only person under 70 to read!)
Its great that your getting your name out there and letting non gardening and more importantly the gardening public know that us youngsters are Growing Our Own!
Keep up the good work – your site rocks!!!
I also saw your mention in Amateur Gardening – thats two of us under 70.
I was really taken with your site and also your helpful guidance on setting up a blog. I have just started one of my own
I’ll follow your progress with interest. You should get good results on ‘virgin’ soil. Well done on the bit in Amateur Gardening. I was thrilled to get a mention in the Guardian a while back (so was my dog!) xx
Im doing a msc in environmental planning and am interested in the area of allotments and health. I was just wondering if anyone had any particular ideas or opinions on the subject, or questions they believe could benefit from some further study or research – as I try to formulate my thesis! thanks..
Hi Julie – I thinks there’s a link between allotments/gardening and relieving stress/depression? It certainly helped me a lot when I was off work with work created stress!
Hi Julie, and mtp – I think in my opinion my allotment has been a life-saver. After having 2 children in 2 years I was stuck at home without a car and only 2.5 hours between playgroup sessions to achieve anything. To get to the allotment once or twice a week and get stuck in for a couple of hours combined all the things I needed: excersise, relaxation, achievment and convienience! It was also cheap and local with great benefits for getting the kids enthusiastic about veg pecking and eating! Mtp – you will be back at an allotment when your offspring reach two I guarantee it!
Julie, maybe you could look into why local councils don’t provide enough allotments for people who want one, in their local area…when they supposedly have a duty to, the waiting list is huge and plots are overgrown or unused! There’s a thesis in there somewhere!
great some ideas anyway to mull over..thanks!