Monday, February 17, 2014

Beds widened, some reshapes

This is more of a 'journal entry' than anything thrilling happening in the yarden.

I made a rough sketch after measuring the Yarden, MS Paint and Picasa helping me.  My Yarden is flanked by two sheds and spans an area of 25x9 ft. The compound wall is about 7 feet high from the bed level. The by-lane is outside it on the west, so this portion gets the full thrust of the afternoon sun. The vines growing up the wall are also shown. The Senecio confusus is proposed to be grown where I have to remove the Thunbergia erecta, which has grown woody.

Necessities of my small yarden:

1. Two small stone benches for sitting and also standing to peep over the compound wall to the road outside. Shaded gray.  I will rest my back to the wall.
2. To arrange pots and have more plants in this area. The other gray rectangles. Kadapa slab platform.
3. Rain barrels on either side to collect water from roofs of the sheds from both sides. Blue circles.
4. A convenient passageway where I can squat and do work in the bed soil - sowing, weeding, etc. Unshaded area. I intend to embed stepping stones or clay tile path - to reduce weed growth.
5. Water tap. It is connected to our OH Tank. Small blue circle with 'T'.
6. A small shady place for starting seeds, protected from rain and sun. [Not yet allotted a space].
7. Two entrances.  Marked E.
8. Bottom right corner - BB is Bird bath, kept on a brick pile about 4 feet high.
9. The brown shaded areas.  Garden beds for growing plants.
10. Green rectangle across is the place I plan to have a step wall to keep 3-4 pots.
11. I will keep the Allspice tree growing there for a bit of natural shade.

I had saved some 'good portions' of the mud from excavations during the new house construction two years ago.  It was also used as base for RCC roofing.  Most of it actually became my yarden which got raised by about 3-4 inches and some of the extra were stored around the fiddlewood tree in the front yard. The lot had plenty of cement grits.

On 14th and 15th January, I took up the laborious work to get rid of the cement grits from the front yard lot.  I used a small hole hand sieve and got a full sack of fine soil.  It is sandy to some extent, which is good for percolation.  Most of the soil I got this way would go into the 10 big clay pots I bought a couple of months ago. In the coming season, I will have these as a new thing.  Gladioli will no longer be grown in the beds, but in one of these pots.

I had done this sieving when I made the bed last season also.  Since there were interruptions, I could not plan the beds properly.  Now after moving a few stone slabs and removing clutter from the yarden, it was time to widen the bed and have a proper bed. The next gardening season will be better organized.

I was munching fresh chickpea sitting on one of those stone benches.  A grand idea flashed. Action!  A narrow granite stone slab for keeping pots was put up.  It was a side piece of the slab we bought for the new house front doorstep.  Some slabs were rearranged.  I had become Popeye after having chickpea, not spinach!!  Energy and strength!! :)  Picture shows the slab in place and also the pots I have moved here under the shade net to protect from the summer sun which is going to blaze between February and May. 

All the spent plants had been removed last month.  I had planted some Evening Primrose in a 3-ft. bed.  It occupied nearly 15% of the total area and had started to send its underground runners all over.  I thought it could be invasive and not allow me to grow other plants in the small space.  I removed them. But there are a few in two small pots.

I have to remove Thunberbia purpurea which is very nice.  I had just put it with the root ball and covered with soil when I moved the plants from the other portion which we vacated in 2009. It must be saved from cuttings and grown in some other place.  The colour is deep.  So I do not want to lose it.  In its place, I want to grow Senecio confusus, seeds of which have been sent by my good friend from Mexico, Beverly.  Her Senecio vine has been successful in producing viable seeds from which she has grown a few seedlings already.

Time for some pictures. Beds not yet widened. 

Bottom right bed remains to be widened.  All other s done.  I removed the tomato plant also growing next to allspice [left bed].  

View from the other side.

Over to next post.  I will show the progress.

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