It's that time of year again, when one should be preparing the vegetable garden, that's if one has one. I've made a start by digging over one of my nine raised beds, this is where I grow runner beans, you are supposed to rotate your crops but I always put runner beans here because it's in a sheltered corner of the garden and the hedges give it a little protection from the wind.
If you are thinking about getting some raised beds, for goodness sake don't go to a garden centre and buy them. There are all sorts out there, from plastic and wood, to stone, and they cost a fortune. Some people are so finicky about their garden looking perfect, they are willing to spend a lot of money on it just to make it look pretty, which defeats the object of growing your own to save money. Mine is a productive vegetable garden, not a show garden open to the public, it doesn't matter what it looks like.
It's easy to knock up a few raised beds with pallets you can get for free. It doesn't matter what they look like, they are there to do a job, I have had mine for five years now, and they cost nowt.
You need two pallets the same size, saw them in half to give four sides. A standard pallet will have an odd number of slats, mine had five. They usually have a block at each end of the centre slat for support. Take a saw and remove the centre slat with the two blocks and use it for something else.
Stand the four pieces in a square, with the blocks uppermost, and the slats on the inside. Then get some short pieces of wood and nail them across the corners to hold them together. I built mine on top of my lawn, and lined the bottom with old carpets and plastic bags. You need to pierce the plastic to make drain holes.
If you have pallets with gaps between the slats you can fill them in with any old pieces of flat wood you have lying around. Carpet would do the job as well, a few nails will keep it in place.
I have nailed four sturdy posts to the corners of this bed, because I need to stand on the pallets to reach the runner beans at the top, I can hang onto the posts to steady myself.
Fill with soil or compost. Get some well rotted horse dung if you know a horse owner, they will usually give it away for nothing. I have dug in a couple of bucketfulls of well rotted home made compost from the heap in the corner. All there is to do now is to cover it so the cats don't think I have built them a new toilet block, ha ha. One bed ready to plant the seedlings into.
When I was coming home on Sunday night, I spotted some fly posters around my village, cheeky beggars had come from Doncaster littering the place up with their advertisements for tarmacing. I drove round to check all the roads and ripped the posters down. On the outskirts of the village I pulled into a layby to turn round and come back, when I spotted a box on the grass verge. Worth a look I thought, as my headlights lit up the scene. This is what I found. A pair of perfectly good, hardly worn, size nine work boots, with steel toe caps. There is a receipt in the box, they cost £44.
How curious. I can only assume a lorry driver must have changed into comfortable shoes to drive away, and mistakenly left his boots behind. Too big for me, I am looking for a home for them, it will be the charity shop if I don't find anyone to fit them. Maybe my size nine Prince Charming will come forward to claim them :o)
This is the crystal pendant I found.