When I moved into my new home in winter 2010 the garden had two greenhouses. One was a brand new metal frame, with automatic vents, the other, bigger one, was an ancient wooden one that needed much TLC. So I did the sensible thing. I gave away the new one and renovated the old.
The plan was to lift the paving stones the greenhouse was set on and have a new planting area. I was a little dismayed to find six inches of concrete beneath.
Why would anyone do that? For a greenhouse? Being writers, Gaie and I immediately suspected Foul Play. Whatever the reason, this was now a project temporarily beyond my enthusiasm.Instead of a spare greenhouse I now had a spare patio.
Early this year a nice man with a pneumatic drill spent two days cutting up the concrete and taking it away. Lovely chap. I mentioned our theory about the concrete, he looked worried and crossed himself.
I’d re-used some of the paving stones to make my long dreamed of 3-box compost heap. The rest of it was a solid lump of London clay, compressed under the concrete for the past six or seven years. And not a worm in sight.
Digging (much digging), horse and chicken manure (the flies, Carruthers, those damned flies), and compost (lovely worms), even more digging, and we were ready to plant.
The weeds grew, but the veg was thin, and a bit yellow.
More digging, and weeding, and feeding, and watering, and double-strength feeding (bless you, Miracle-Grow), and now we have this
And I can proudly present the first marrow of the year:
PS: I love my three-prong cultivator.