Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Cow Cola

Brace yourself for a slew of 'before and afters'. It's enormously satisfying to get such apparent results and immediate garden. I guess TV programmes are made out of this sort of thing. I'm working on the patch of long grass in the middleground. The tree to the left is an annoying self sown sycamore that is cleft between concrete. It has to go but how? not quite sure as I can't get a saw in to the base. I cut down the long grass and dug out the roots in clumps. It's the hard way to garden. Planted globe artichokes and mulched with clipped up grass.

 There is a bank above this patch so it collects a reasonable run-off of water. Artichokes like water and shelter. One out of two is only half bad.  These will be sacrificial as a shelter belt; they are going to protect the vegetable garden.

It took me quite awhile to separate out the grass clumps, chopping them up as I went until the bin was nicely full. There is a name for this, something like 'kinetic meditation' where you idly can do a job while your thoughts run free.
This project of renovation is reminding me of one of my favourite books 'The Secret Garden' where the garden starts to come alive in the Spring as she (Elizabeth?) clears away the overgrowth.
When our children were younger and we chose storybooks I always looked for a great text and Bill picked them by illustrations. A really good illustrator would plant secrets, extrapolate information from the text to enrich the story for the keen observer. I suddenly remembered Sleeping Beauty. From memory the whole kingdom sleeps for a hundred years and one of the versions we had showed flowers blooming and brambles and thorns peeling back as the Princess awoke. The gardener in me must have noticed those details and leapt with delight.  As Ken might say, I speak fluent garden and anything is fair game for the topic.

Now the bucket in front above is loosely manure tea, a big dollop of fresh cow manure that I kept refilling and stirring and decanting onto the heap as an activator. If it was fizzy and in bottles you would be banning it immediately, just the smell would strip the enamel of small children's teeth and coins would dissolve in it overnight: Cow Cola. I'm expecting some heat from this pile.

I'm finding lots of treasures still alive amongst the weeds in the herbaceous area. Other finds, see pegs below and what you can't see is two buckets of plastic rubbish, yoghurt pottles, foil, bread ties, an amazing amount of non biodegradable stuff.
Last photo I've put the blackcurrant, gooseberry bushes and rhubarb along this strip up against the bank where they'll get some shade but also extra moisture. The strawberries in front will get the extra sun. Sometimes the theory can be perfect but incomplete. Having some good reasons to make decisions is a good place to start.  And this might be a good place to finish...

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  1. The idea of cow cola is truly disgusting, thank you for implanting the idea of a cow turd drink dissolving off my teeth enamel, now I have to and gouge my mind's eye out with a stick.
    Can't wait to see the garden in real life, it'll be a lush display by Christmas time!

  2. Planning and daydreaming about future gardens is one of the best things! Is this your new garden?