Eddie J

Latest posts by Eddie J

Raised, bordered vegatable beds (Something to think about)

Posted: 29/01/2012 at 17:51

The construction and material choice for raised or bordered bed systems is seemingly vast and endless, as are the opinions of material choice and construction methods. Bed size, treated or untreated timber, all lay waiting to confuse anyone wanting to start out.

Detailed below is my chosen method of construction. I'm not saying that it is right or wrong, only that it worked for me.

The vegetable garden hadn't been touched for many many years, and the first job was to clear the site. Bonfires were the order of the day, then a mini digger was used to double the site and install some land drainage pipes. Thankfully the site was pretty much level to begin with, so this made life much easier.





Once the site was clear and level, the setting out process could begin. For once in my life I actually decided to draw the project out as a scale drawing. Something that was well worth doing as it gave me scope to cut out and design the beds sizes just as wanted them.

Through research and asking questions, I decided that the outside pathway should be 900m wide and the the pathways that run throughout the bed system should be 700mm wide, which is ample room for a wheelbarrow. In hindsight I could have just made the outside pathways 700m as well.

The first job was to set out the outside pathway edging. The material choice for this was 100mm x 25mm sawn pressure treated timber and the pegs to fix it were 47mm x 47mm sawn pressure timber. To save money I bought the timber for this in 5.4m long lengths and then cut and pointed them my self to suit. This saved quite a junk of money. The edging board was joined together in one long length, set in position using steel pins, then leveled using a laser level. Peg distance were set at 650mm centres, and positioned by first making a whole with a steel crow bar, then they wee banged in to a flush level, fixed with two screws per peg, then finally a back weather was cut using a hand saw.


 Lovely sleet and rain!



Posted: 28/01/2012 at 09:15

Another vote for the Dr. Hessayon books. Just enough info without baffling you with detail. Worth every penny.

The soil test kit is a another brilliant idea, sadly though through my own experience the kits seem very hit and miss. Two test kits from the same manufacturer can give differing results.

A Gardeners World back to back test feature would be good.

Work in Progress

Posted: 25/01/2012 at 22:21

Hi Daniel. Thank you for the kind words.

I can't deny that it hasn't been and isn't hard work, but the main hard landscaping aspect of the garden is now drawing to a close.

Oddly despite all that I have achieved, I am still disappointed in the result so far. I actually prefer smaller gardens, the smaller the better. Some of the best designs have been achieved in areas as small as a balcony on a flat for example.

I love the intimacy and vibrancy that can be created in a small space. Sadly unless you have a bottomless pit of money, and a 100 year time slot spare to create it, you just don't get that effect with large gardens. Visually, I'm sure that in many respects you can spend more time looking at a small garden than a big one.

Part of the problem with this garden is the time to create it and the time to maintain it. I can't do both, so currently the shrub and flower boarders around the lawn areas are very tight and straight. Once I have finished the hard work, I can then start to create wider beds that meander and flow. Sadly it currently an unbalanced compromise.

The large logstack with the arched seat would probably not have been started had I known how long that it took to build. There is approx 18 cubic metres of logs in it, and I spent nearly three months of winter Sunday mornings building it.

Even the Honey Pot one took a week to make. Having said that, it did collapse and I had to start all over again! I quiet enjoyed making that one though, and found it a very good way to just relax and clear the mind. I have a big problem with being indoors during day light hours, I just can't do it and need to be outside doing something, no matter what it is.

Anyway, that is enough rambling from me!!

One collapsed logstack.


Tip to save money in your garden

Posted: 25/01/2012 at 21:39

I have just remembered the most important money saving idea.

The washing machine drum fire pit.


Tip to save money in your garden

Posted: 25/01/2012 at 17:03

Here are a few more money saving ideas..

A nice and simple tomato plant support made from half a pallet and a bit of old water pipe.



 This shed only cost £70.00 to build and will probably out last all of us. The £70.00 cost went on ballast/cement and steel for the concrete base. The rest is was pretty much sourced from skip diving.


 For free storage you can do alot worse than get hold of the front of a luton lorry body. Commercial vehicle breakers yards are glad to get rid of them. I keep meaning to make up some doors for it, but it isn't high on my list of jobs.


Another way to get cheap but strong storage, is to get hold of old industrial building cladding.


  Fold out runner bean frames is another good one. Whilst there is an initial cost to purchase the wood, they can be used year after year with no cost. Simply pick them up and store them through the winter. With my design, I can use them either way up, and they are self supporting.



Shed Base

Posted: 23/01/2012 at 21:04

Simply because I work within the construction industry, I have never used anything other than reinforced concrete, and was all set to critise the product that you had linked to as I had never seen it before.

I can't do that though, as after doing a Google search, I reckon that the product could make life much simpler for many people. If you have a level site to begin with, you could well be onto a winner, and thanks for introducing it to me.

Work in Progress

Posted: 23/01/2012 at 20:32

A very grubby bit of oak that I found laying against a bank on the side of a road. I thought that it had great potential to become a seat, and whilst not yet finished, you can get the idea.



 A little mouse.


 Another simple bird table.


 A snake made from pine cones.


 And finally for this evening some nicely finished oak gate posts.


I have no lawn left...help

Posted: 22/01/2012 at 17:28

I'm guessing that there probably isn't a sensible solution without involving some form of hard landscaping, so maybe you could just try fencing of a section the garden off using unobtrusive black plastic deer netting, then move it periodically to suit.

Dry Bank..need suggestions

Posted: 22/01/2012 at 17:15

You could try Vinca 'Minor' or 'Major' http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinca_major 

Both survive very well under harsh conditions, and spread/root freely.

Work in Progress

Posted: 21/01/2012 at 22:24

And a few more photos of the woodwork in the garden.










 Again, there is more to follow.

Discussions started by Eddie J

A few snow shots taken in the garden

Replies: 7    Views: 1644
Last Post: 26/04/2012 at 21:39

Raised, bordered vegatable beds (Something to think about)

Construction of 
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Last Post: 26/04/2012 at 21:45

Work in Progress

Garden redevelopment 
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Last Post: 05/10/2014 at 18:06
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