Saturday, February 8

Every garden has one - don't they?

Let's be honest most of our gardens have a least one tucked away area that we are maybe just a little ashamed of. An area where we never venture with camera in hand.  An area which becomes a 'temporary' holding bay for items that we don't really know what else to do with.

We have one such area, (if truth be told maybe more than one). Our patch of shame is conveniently tucked out of view behind the greenhouse. We can forget it is there for most of the year and even Tivvy hardly ever pays this are a visit.

Breaking with the unwritten rule that such areas should not be exposed to public glare. I recently took a few photos so if you are of a nervous disposition look away now!


In the photo above you can just catch a glimpse of the offending area.
Above you can see the area in all its 'glory'. The trough raised on the wire stand holds strawberries which we tried to keep out of reach of the colony of slugs and snails that reside in these parts. There are also various unused tubs and troughs that we really didn't know what to do with.

Just tucked in behind the rhododendron on the right is our cold frame. 
Mint is planted in the large tub in the centre and provided us with a good supply of fresh herbs last year.
The cold frame is quite a large aluminium framed structure which has seen better days, At the moment it is housing some overwintering perennials. One major problem with the frame is in the way it opens by sliding glass panels across the roof. This means that if the frame is open when it is raining trays become full of water. As a result the plants are standing on upturned trays to avoid plants standing in water. Seedlings housed in the frame regularly fall prey to hungry molluscs too. Our attempts at slug defence are described on various blog posts here and here.

Don't get me wrong the cold frame has worked hard for us and done a good job in the past but we (maybe more me than Martyn) fancy a nice new style one. This area although unsightly is very useful and productive, it just needs a bit of a facelift.

From certain angles this area looks much bigger than I think it is - I think the clutter shrinks it.
Note the incinerator that we don't want to take to the plot despite having bought it for that purpose. If thieves will steal a charred one with a burnt out base then this one wouldn't last long. The bird cage is to use as crop protection somewhere, maybe!

The greenhouse in the photo above is in next door's garden, I had my back to our greenhouse when taking this photo.

We did tidy the area a couple of years or so ago but this was only ever meant to be on a temporary basis and the temporary relatively organised look didn't last!
I quite fancy using this area to grow a few salady things which can be picked fresh rather than having to remember to bring back from the plot so we thought a raised bed would be easier to protect from marauding molluscs.

So far the initial basic plan is  something like this.

More to follow on our progress later.

Copyright: Original post from Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments http://glallotments.blogspot.co.uk/ author S Garrett

45 comments:

  1. You may have beaten me on the dandelion front, but on the areas of shame, no contest. But I'll be happy to lose that trophy.

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    1. I'll need proof before I hand over any trophies LtheP

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  2. Mine is tucked away round the side of the house. I am rather thrilled to say it is looking as jumbled as yours. I don't have a whacking big cold frame but I do have the jumble. I feel like a proper gardener now!

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    1. You ARE a proper gardener, Jo. I think we all should now show photos of our areas of shame! It would make an interesting meme. Go on everyone add photos to your blog of the areas you want to keep hidden and I'll post links so we can all have red faces.There's a challenge!

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  3. Your plot is well planned. Your mint looks so fresh

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    1. I hope the plan works Endah

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    2. Should make clear the mint photo was taken in summer!

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  4. I think we bloggers should be prepared more to show our gardens worts and all!
    We can envy you your space to hide away!. I am rather naughty and use the unused corner of the farmers field for my fires and storing firewood
    I constantly get criticised by my better half for the mess by the side of my greenhouse.
    My veg plot is pretty scruffy at this time of year too!

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    1. And you with all that space of your own, Roger Tut tut!

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  5. Mick was thrilled when we acquired a plot with a shed, I think he's hoping to take all the unused containers which are hanging around the garden down there to store. You've got a great cold frame, it holds plenty of plants. That's something I'd like but I can't find room for one at the moment.

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    1. It's a good size cold frame, Jo but seen better days - missing panes of glass etc. But we have had it a long long time and it owes us nothing.

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  6. Oh dear I have three! The side of the house behind a gate, the back of the greenhouse and, as it's winter, the greenhouse itself! Oh the shame.

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    1. Don't be fooled into thinking this is our only disaster area, Chel. :(

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  7. Yep, even the famously tidy Mark's Veg Plot has an area like that! Since it's tipping it down with rain again right now I'll not go outside for a photo, but sometime soon I'll show it.

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    1. I can't believe that Mark!!! The untidy area in your garden I mean not the fact that it is raining again!!

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  8. Good luck with the planned improvements Sue - I hope it's very productive for you.
    I used to have an area just like this until the shed was moved - most of the junk was taken to the tip and all the odds and ends of wood were sawn and taken there too. Mind you - there is a wee pile gathering round the back of the extension, it doesn't take us long to find another hidey hole!

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    1. It's one thing to tidy up isn't it, Angie and completely another story to keep it like that!

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  9. My areas of shame are scattered all over the place lol but the worst area is the bit where I dump stuff that cannot go on the compost heap. I swear one day all that stuff will have rotted down anyone and I'll find some lovely compost there.
    Good luck with the improvements Sue, fingers crossed we'll actually get some decent weather soon so we can all get back out there :)

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    1. Some decent weather would help, Linda. I'm sure you will eventually reap the benefits of your non-compost area.

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  10. In mine there are four dead wheelbarrows. I always think I will be able to make up a new one with parts from the discarded ones but I have not managed it so far. They all have tires that cannot be fixed but buying a new tire, believe it or not, is the same price as buying a new wheelbarrow! That is why there are four dead ones.

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    1. I believe it Alain - can you use them as planters, We have a very poor;y wheelbarrow too but it is still creaking around the plot.

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  11. Lovely post Sue I also have a couple of area's of shame one has a couple of cars in the way

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    1. Are these working cars, Linda or dead like Alain's wheelbarrows.

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  12. Well I guess it is a little untidy Sue...but believe me when I say I've seen worse!!! I don't have an area like this in my garden at home though as it just isn't big enough and everything is close to the fence so it's hard to stash things there...of course that was planned purely for that reason!! Mind you I do have some extra benches at the moment which still haven't made it to the allotment despite being there a year now...whoops!!

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    1. Only a little untidy, Tanya? Ah now we too have an old bench that hasn't yet made it to the plot. I think it will be a case of will it last long enough to get there!

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  13. I think every garden needs an area like this to put things temporarily. It's the powerhouse of the garden, from here everything can be organised. I like your plan though. But where will you put the things that need to be put somewhere..?

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    1. Temporary - does about 20 years count as temporary, CJ? You did have to mention the stuff didn't you? Anything we don't want and will never used will be disposed of - the rest will move elsewhere. ;) Hopefully we will still have the powerhouse there - just not the detritus

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  14. I'm glad I'm not the only one with one of those 'areas'. Mine is a flowerbed beside the house. Bad soil, bad drainage, hard to keep watered, and overall a pain. Every year I have a new plan for it and every year failure. Oh, I take that back. I did get hollyhocks to grow there last year. Maybe this will be the year for perfection.

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    1. Maybe Bonnie - maybe you need some of our unused tubs/planters!

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  15. My entire garden is something of an area of shame at the moment. Pots litter the ground intermingled with chook poo and dying plants. All an explainable byproduct of: having young children, being too soft and letting the chooks out too often, and the extremes of an Australian summer. But pretty unattractive nonetheless...

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    1. Oh dear - maybe you can eventually get the children interested in gardening!

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  16. Ha, we put all our rubbish in the cold frame and are now having to deal with it. I'm trying to be very strict. Your new plans look really good Sue, I'll look forward to reading how you get on with it.

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    1. NO doubt it will be the subject of several posts. Victoria.

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  17. Well done for 'fessing up! I suspect every busy garden has a dumping ground (or two), Bag End certainly does.

    I've found that areas get used as a dump when they don't have a proper purpose which can't be subverted ... but being that organised is much easier said than done.

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    1. Hopefully giving this are a purpose will make a difference, Jayne

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  18. Lol, lovely to know that you're not totally perfect!!! You still have plenty of use out of the space though, tidy or not. I do like your plans for it and shall await the next chapter.xxx

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    1. Perfect isn't really a word regularly used to describe me, Snowbird :D

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  19. I think it is obligatory to have at least one such area Sue, I know I have two, and other areas sometimes vie for the Shame Gold Medal when I get distracted during the year! Your plans sound really good, maybe add a little store for all those pots and other bits and pieces that we all have and don't want to chuck? That's what I am hoping to do, bung them all in the same place and screen to lessen the shame factor.

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    1. We have other smaller parts of the garden that are in a similar state, Janet - well not quite the same as they are on paths so no weeds just clutter. We have been trying to declutter the house during our decorating so may we need to declutter the garden and get rid of the stuff we don't use!

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  20. I have smaller part of the garden in similar state! ;)
    Very good planning on your plot! The seedlings look so healthy!

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    1. The seedlings in the cold frame are photos taken in previous years Malar - no this year's seedlings yet

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  21. So glad you have shown this - nice to know not everyone's garden is perfect - I don't feel so bad about my untidy places now.

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    1. Glad that you found it comforting, Elaine!

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  22. I agree with Roger on being envious of such a big space to want to hide ;-) I have often thought on doing a similar post although my corners are small (hence the greenhouse being useful) so I can't hold too much. At the moment I have a line up of trugs at my back door for washing when the wind dries down. I loved looking at the contents in your cold frames.

    I agree with your comment to Angie about keeping a tided area tidy. I got rid of a lot of my large faded and not faded plastic tubs last year (to a recycled drop-off) as I feel they were always my downfall when I just didn't use them. It felt good to be honest and ruthless.

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    1. I wonder whether we too will be ruthless, Shirley.

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