A change in the sun

I had been determined to build the eighth hugel bed today in order to proceed with my growing plans. However, I am also full of cold and woke up feeling decidedly ropey. 

Then I saw that not only was the sun out but that all of the front garden was bathed in direct sunlight – even if just for a short time. This is something lacking in December and January, so it is a welcome return.


This observation gave me the impetus to get into the back garden and get digging. In fact, it was a relatively easy job, as the soil had been been made more friable with all the chard roots left in it overwinter, I think.


As the hugel bed is likely to draw nitrogen from the soil in the early stages of decomposition, I’m going to use it for nitrogen-fixing broad beans and peas. The beans can go in now – and it will be interesting to see if they fare the same as their autumn planted sisters. 

As for the peas, they can go in next month. And this year, I hope I will have a successful crop after the relative lack last year….

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About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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10 Responses to A change in the sun

  1. Kalamain says:

    With the hugel beds… Have you considered growing clover as a cover crop for nitrogen fixing?

    And today was a nice day, wasn’t it? Lovely and warm here.
    Hope you feel better soon!

    • Helen says:

      I want to use this bed straightaway (in fact, just sown the broad beans), so clover would get in the way, I think. I could certainly do it on a bed that would otherwise be empty for a while 😊

      Anyway, thanks for you well wishes. I think a bit of work outdoors has done me the world of good 😉

  2. plot34 says:

    A bit of outdoor, physical work is always good, especially when the sun’s shining! Broad beans and peas are a good idea for the new hugel bed. Hope you are still feeling better

  3. It makes such a difference when the sun is shining-anything seems possible! Hope you’re feeling better soon

  4. Wow…. February gardening momentum and building more beds! A foreign concept to this northerner but so inspiring. And may the sunshine with some fresh air and effort (plus tea and rest 🙂 ) help kick that cold to the curb!

    • Helen says:

      Which country are you on?

      I’m in Northern England and have just discovered (prompted by your comment) that my latitude is 53.7. We are kept warmer than most of the rest of the Northern parts of the Northern hemisphere by the Gulf Stream coming up from the Caribbean. At just before 6 am UTC/GMT it is 2 degrees Celsius outside, expected to get up to 6 this afternoon. Obviously, that’s not blisteringly hot but we’ve got plenty of plants which are happy to grow in these conditions 😊.

      Anyway, thank you – feeling much better today.

  5. I’m sorry to hear you aren’t feeling well, but I see by your comment that it did you good to get outside. Hurray for a garden calling your name.

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