Herb bed extension

A few years ago, whilst making a trench in the back garden, I came across an empty crisp packet from when the house was being built. Somehow it felt a bit creepy, even though the design of the packets hadn’t significantly changed.

Today, I had a similar moment, whilst clearing away the sand and rubble from the patch on the patio I wanted to turn into ground suitable for growing things in. First came a piece of plastic sheeting,


which at first I had been concerned about disturbing, in case it was somehow connected to the drains. Fortunately, it wasn’t. But then I found a block which was a bit like a sponge but harder and covered in foil.


So, one way or another I am starting to see how archaeologists end up with work to do. Human beings haven’t evolved much.

Anyway, I couldn’t clear as much of the rubble as I might have done, as my back started to twinge. Now, of all the parts of my body I expected to suffer, it never occurred to me that the back would be the thing that might give out first. Still, it lasted until I had made my latest hugel bed, where part of the patio used to be – and the soil mound on top of the strawberries has been reduced quite considerably.


I don’t have enough soil to cover the other side of patio which has also lost its flagstones. So, it looks like I might have to buy in top soil, which is a bit of a shame. However, that’s tomorrow’s problem.

The bed I built today will need to settle. There is also the possibility of strawberries growing in it, as well as spring flowers, as I can’t be sure I got all the bulbs out. But I’m going to sow phacelia so that its roots can condition the soil and we’ll see how it goes.

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.
This entry was posted in Gardening, Permaculture and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Herb bed extension

  1. carolee says:

    Phacelia…you’ll make the bees happy!

  2. Never thought of using phacelia as soil conditioner. Learned something new!

  3. Helen! Was the foil-covered block a slab of gold? Perhaps some silver coins in a tin box? Oh, it’s fun to dream. Isn’t it sad that the bag could survive so long under ground. You’ve been amazingly productive. I know top soil is an added expense, but it could be a nice boost for your garden while making it easier to get things level. Here we can buy it by the truck load and have it delivered for a fraction of what it would cost if you purchased bags at a garden center. I hope that is true for you.

  4. You’re doing a lot of work there Helen! Thanks for the tip on the Phacelia tanacetifolia, we’ll try to get some..as for your back, we are having great success with castor oil! We’ve only just realised that it’s a miracle cure for many things, and it has cured Christos of tendonitis in his wrists! It’s also helping my mum tons with arthritis. If you’d like to know more, it’s best to Google castor oil packs rather than just castor oil, as it’s the packs that do the trick..

I love to read about your own experiences and any other feedback you have, so look forward to your comments below.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.