Richard Bell's Wild West Yorkshire nature diary


Tuesday, 30th January, 2007


GETTING RID of an overgrown shrub bed on the right between the greenhouse and shed has given us an opportunity to extend the veg beds. The obvious way to do this would be by extending the first two veg beds (below, left) to the right but this would give an utilitarian allotment look to the garden (not that there’s anything wrong with allotments).

With Paul the landscape gardener able to fit in a session this morning I had to finalise our plans yesterday evening. Despite having the SketchUp program for 3D design, when I really needed to sort things out I found that I wanted to sit down with pen and few pieces of scrap paper to puzzle it out. Sitting on the sofa drawing little rectangles to build up a pattern is so relaxing. More relaxing than sitting at the computer with a 3D program that I still haven't mastered.

This design is inspired by the Grow Your Own Veg Royal Horticultural Society plot that I mentioned last week; they made a 3 metre square vegetable patch in the form of an L-shape hugging a smaller square.

veg beds
plan 'A'
plan 'B'

These are the deep veg beds as they are at present. Having four identical beds means that it should be easy to rotate crops but in fact we soon forget what was planted in a bed in the previous year, since each bed is so similar.

In this first design I’ve cut into the two pairs of beds to produce two of the ‘L hugging a square’ beds, as in the RHS plan. But the whole thing is looking bitty. Those little beds would be great for some special purpose though; such as herbs, salad leaves or putting a cold frame on.

In my second design, I combined one square with the long bed on the right to make a third L-shape. In my final version (left, above) I've joined the square bed to this new ‘L’, giving a kind of zigzag bed. It's getting like Hampton Court maze!