Veggie's random garden
Veggie Offline
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#1
Its a long story, pull up a chair!
We moved to this house nearly 40 years ago. It had a normal sized back garden backing onto an old orchard that was used for grazing horses.  I always wanted that orchard even though the trees were in need of care, falling over, top heavy, unpruned for decades and chewed by horses - but all I could do was watch, as the trees fell and the brambles grew and the horses pushed the falling trees over.
25 years ago  (1995) we both had the chance of voluntary redundancy with pensions paid early. After much thought (about 10 minutes) we decided to stop working for others, pay off the mortgage with our redundancy payouts and live more frugally on a much lower income.(not that we did!).
I'd always wanted to keep chickens, my OH wanted bees, so we decided to ask the landowner if he would rent us a bit of the orchard so that we could fulfil our dreams. To our surprise he agreed to a 12 month lease to a bit of land behind our garden with the proviso that he could redeem it at any time. This doubled the size of the garden, gave us a few old fruit trees and along came the chickens and 4 hives. 
For 10 years we tended that land, surreptitiously planting a few more fruit trees and hoping that the owner wouldn't notice and object. 

Then, in 2005 everything changed. My OH was diagnosed with cancer and we were given an option to buy the orchard and another piece of land beyond it. I knew I had to buy it so, whilst I cared for my OH I was also negotiating the land purchase. I lost my OH a few weeks before I bought the land. This isn't a sob story, and I'm not looking for sympathy - its a long time ago now.  The point of telling you this is that, suddenly, my garden had tripled in size and I was the only one around to care for it.

As you can imagine, I couldn't and a lot of it was reclaimed by nature. Freed from the horses's mouths and hooves , the wild flowers returned, including the "ugly" daffodils that grew here many years before.
The hedgerow was full of birds, saplings sprouted, the brambles threatened world domination and it was a struggle to reach the end of the garden.

Now, 15 years later, with the help of a lot of friends and some tree surgeons, its becoming my sort of garden. It'll never be neat and tidy, no straight rows  and many people wouldn't even see a garden, just a wilderness. My neighbours' have lawns and grow grass, I grow food for humans and wildlife and a lot of contentment. I wouldn't swap with them, ever!

The End.

Photos to follow. Smile
Wonky Shopkeeper in Sunshiny South Wales
There's Method in my Madness Wink
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JJB Offline
Moonraker
#2
Thanks for that VC, often wondered how you and the garden came to be. Notwithstanding the randomness it still takes hard work and you always beat us to the 'firsts'.
I'm not aging, I just need re-potting.
Greetings from Wiltshire 
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Can the Man Offline
Can the Man with the van
#3
Thanks for the insight Veggie, your an inspiration to us all.
Coffee keeps me busy until it’s acceptable to drink whiskey.
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Veggie Offline
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#4
               

One spring morning, about 5 years ago, the tree surgeons came to fell a massive ash tree that was too near the house for comfort. It had already lost a large limb and, since ash disease was a "thing" I thought it prudent to have it felled. Hated doing it, that tree had been part of my life for many years but, once it was down, I realised how much light it had taken from the house and garden. 
The tree men cut the trunk into rounds, the branches into lengths and shredded all the small stuff. There was far too much wood for the wood store  so I decided to use the lengths to mark out some random beds - and this is how the 30 Bed garden came into being!

The fruit trees decided the layout - each fruit tree was enclosed by a "bed". Whatever else was growing nearby also became part of that bed.
The rounds of trunk were piled against old tree stumps and capped by another "round" to make cromlechs. 

All the paths were covered with the wood chips and for a while, it looked tidy................
Wonky Shopkeeper in Sunshiny South Wales
There's Method in my Madness Wink
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Veggie Offline
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#5
            .................The beds filled up with whatever had been there before and I planted more fruit trees and bushes. Each year, more and more. Each bed a fruit tree or bush, a herb and a flower. You probably remember the rest!!
Wonky Shopkeeper in Sunshiny South Wales
There's Method in my Madness Wink
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Veggie Offline
Super Pest Controller
#6
How the garden has changed  as shown by 3 plans (draughtsmen, look away now). The 3rd plan with red lines is the current one where I'm gradually removing paths and merging beds.

           
Wonky Shopkeeper in Sunshiny South Wales
There's Method in my Madness Wink
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Small chilli Offline
Super Pest Controller
#7
Did you decide on how you’re going to name / number the new lay out ?
How far you got with your plan ?
It’s going to look quite different  Cool .
Isle of Mull
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Veggie Offline
Super Pest Controller
#8
I'll probably name them after something interesting that grows there - like 14N/18R has dwarf plums and perennial kale - maybe become the plumkale bed!!

Bed 21 (at the top right) has the only mulberry so its the Mulberry bed!

Beds 15, 16 and 19 (look a bit like a flag) is the dwarf orchard.

These are the 3 areas I've been working on, moving the log edges and weeding out the paths. I'll fill up the "paths" with more plants.

This is one of the paths  in the dwarf orchard.

     
Wonky Shopkeeper in Sunshiny South Wales
There's Method in my Madness Wink
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Mamzie Offline
On top of a South Wales Mountain
#9
I love hearing the history and memories contained within a garden x
Gardeners Spring Recipe - 1 part soil, 2 parts water, 3 parts wishful thinking ...  
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Mikey Offline
Member
#10
I love wandering around your garden V, there are always so many new projects on the go, bits evolving been added to, experimented on. You have the space to try just about anything but also the headache of keeping up with it. I like how the garden and orchard are like two separate worlds the formal bit, then let’s go play in the woods. Smile
A pocket knife is not a weapon in the right hands it’s an essential garden tool.
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