I've finished the new terrace!
I carried on heaping up bits of beech hedge and threading through bits of leylandii hedge, using larger pieces for the edge and smaller pieces in the middle, until I ran out of both. At that point I was about a foot short of the level I wanted, but my neighbours had been reclaiming part of their garden from the woodland and cutting back a lot of undergrowth, which they gave me. That brought the level up nicely, though the top layer was then composed of rather large pieces (as opposed to the small twiggy bits I had been using) so it's rather gappy and springy to walk on.
At this point we started to wonder what a red kite's nest looks like. There are a lot of red kites living around here.
The final stage of the hugelkultur bed - add mud - was a bit of a problem. I don't have a lot of mud to spare. I wasn't keen on sacrificing soil from the vegetable beds for this project. What I do have a lot of is leaves. Some of them have been in bags for a year and are well on their way to making leaf mould, some have been sitting around in corners of the garden doing much the same thing, and some are just loose and dry and making the place look untidy (because it would be immaculate if it weren't for the leaves, honest!)
I went round the garden with a bag gathering up leaves and anything else that looked likely. The cut back hedge was a good source of beech leaves that had gathered underneath it. The pampas grass contributed generously, which is to say I attacked it viciously and extracted as much old leaf and stalk as I could. It retaliated by breaking my spade handle. I cleared paths and generally tidied the garden as I collected leaves. I left the half-rotted stuff until the end, to go on top and hold down the lighter dry leaves. This included the awkward corner round the back of the greenhouse from which leaves cannot escape. There was a good layer of mulch there, and very many worms. I hope they like their new home.
After all that, here is my new terrace, with chair.
Oh yes, I moved the washing line while I was at it, too, and shortened it because it was stupidly tall before. An angle grinder was involved, which was rather scary.
Here's a better picture of the view, which is why I went to all that trouble.
The terrace now has plants. If you'd like to read about them, click here.
About this blog
- Wales, United Kingdom
- In autumn 2010, my husband Ian and I both quit our jobs, sold our house and left the flatlands of the east for the mountains of Wales. Our goal is to create a more self-sufficient lifestyle in a place we actually like living. Whilst Ian will continue to earn some money as a freelancer, my part of the project is to reduce how much we spend by growing and making as much of what we need as possible. The purpose of this blog is to keep friends updated with how the grand project is progressing, but all are welcome here. If you're not a friend already, well perhaps you might become one.