Happy New Year, 2015!

Happy New Year, 2015!

Happy New Year, 2015! I hope that however the old year has been for you, this year heralds wonderful new energy and adds a spring to your step. In the garden this month is one of the most exciting in terms of potential. Nearly everything is dormant, but we are already gearing up for the massive surge of growth. This means making sure that the soil is the best it can be, that planting plans are in place, seeds ordered, glasshouses in pristine condition and so much more.

Daffodils Shoots

Hope. What could be more uplifting than the sight of these daffodils shoots bravely emerging, despite freezing temperatures?

For me I know 2015 is going to be unforgettable. There will be tremendous highs and lows inevitable with a challenging project such as this. What we all hold is a shared vision for BE which involves far more than physical labour. It’s not just day by day changes, sometimes they’re hour by hour. Every time one of us discovers something, be it a plant in flower or a solution to a nagging problem, I’m certain that the garden grows a little, carrying us with it. Today Martin worked on the old rotavator, which has been hiding at the back of the vine house and look what happened!…


Working with rotovator

Martin emerges into the garden with a working rotavator. Great stuff.


Once Martin had the rotavator ticking over we were keen to try it out. Luckily the weather was perfect. The ice had thawed and frost melted away, leaving us warmed by gentle sun and able to get onto the soil.

Working in the garden

Woah there Benjy! It’s not always easy getting to grips with new equipment, but with determination and resilience, he soon got the new potato bed turned over…

In the spirit of this first day in the garden in the new year I made it my mission to define and label each bed, so that we can plan for the exact preparation and care of each bed for the year ahead. Plants, like people differ radically in their requirements; some are naturally much big feeders, while for others this is damaging, some take their nutrients low down and others from the surface, some like sun while others need shade, some want water all day, while others need next to nothing. Bearing these factors in mind Benjy and I measured and marked out the new beds. To do this we considered all the environmental factors possible such as leaf canopy from overhanging trees, prevailing wind direction and orientation.

Plant Labels

Labels laid out and waiting to mark out the new beds…

We devised a ‘firework’ style sign for each area by taping each label to a cane using insulation tape. Each bed guaranteed to explode into life – lets hope not with weeds. These labels are only temporary for marking purposes, we have ideas afoot for the design and font of specific BE ones.

the Vine Glasshouse


Quite a magical scene for me, above. It makes me really proud to see this and illustrates progress that appeared overwhelming only a short month ago. Light from the rewired and  renovated glasshouse falls on the newly turned potato bed. The plastic sheeting will gently warm the soil over the coming weeks. Beside the glasshouse door the freshly filled gas canister will soon be connected and ready to heat seedlings into life. Inside, the benches are assembled and await their duties and drained and mended tanks hold fresh water. Outside the vine house the new twin water butts are efficiently collecting rain water, thanks to the mended drainage system.

I will leave you with this scene looking down on the walled garden, as I left this evening…

Have a wonderful new year’s weekend X

The Glasshouses in the evening


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