So... we have been really busy, and we would like to take you on our journey, which started around a year ago.
Kate and Robbie have bought a lovely patch of land at Coggers Cross, just along the road towards Horam, and so we now have a shiney new patch of land to grow our flowers on.
The whole of the land was covered with a thick layer of brambles when Kate and Robbie took it on, so the first job was to have the main area cut down to the ground. We have selected an area of around 1/2 acre for our flower growing, and so we began the process of turning it into a productive cutting patch,
Since the soil is quite heavy, we decided to have it mole ploughed to help with drainage. Then two cycles of tractor cultivating, to break up the heavy soil and grub out the weeds. This took several months, leaving us with a nicely cultivated area by the start of Autumn 2020 - just in time for bulb planting!
Once the big machinery had finished working on our area, we had it rabbit fenced, and Kate's Dad built us a lovely new gate.
The first step was then to mark out where the new beds and paths were to go. Lots of drawings and discussions later we had a plan to work to, so it was a case of marking out with pegs and twine - a mix of narrow 1m wide beds for shrubs, Roses, and other big stuff, and also wider 1.5m beds for all the soft plants - herbaceous perennials, annuals, etc.
We have bought in many loads of mulching compost which is made locally from all of our garden waste. The incessant rain has made barrowing rather hard work, but with very grateful help from our lovely volunteers we have shovelled some 20 tonnes so far onto the new beds. We have added mushroom compost to the planting areas that need more enrichment, such as beds for Roses, and then we started on the lovely process of planting it all out!
Back to our bulb bed, which we planted last Autumn, knowing that the rabbits have little interest in the bulbs... we always aim to cover bare soil with something, so where we have planted bulbs we tend to direct sow something that will germinate and come up after the bulbs have flowered. Here is Kate last Autumn sowing Daucus and Cornflowers over the Narcissi we have planted.
We hope you have enjoyed the first installment of our story - the second part will follow on shortly, bringing you up to date with our progress... watch this space!