In January, I wrote that I had thoughts of changing this very shady border into a combination of small greenhouses and compost bins.


I finally made a start on 24 June.

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Because the bed contained Narcissi and Daffodil bulbs, I used a hand trowel and fork to lift the soil into buckets so I could separate the bulbs along with a couple of cyclamen corms.  Then I just dug the soil out with the trowel and spread some of it on the garden.  The rest went into my existing compost bin.

I cleared a space for the new compost bin.

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Then I moved onto the next section.  AND I bought a second compost bin.

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This is the remains of a dwarf olive tree, though it never grew to a reasonable size, those roots are proving difficult to remove.  There is a second, larger olive at the other end of the border and a Bay tree in the middle.


On 4th July, mainly to try out my new telescopic tree pruners, I attacked the Bay tree, leaving only the trunk.

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I’ve gradually been working my way along the bed

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Digging soil out, reclaiming spring bulbs, knocking the wall down, rescuing alpine strawberries

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Using the soil in the border to mix with my vegetable peelings and flower prunings – which was a bad idea as the weight of the soil was too much for the bin which began to come apart. I had to split the contents between both bins.

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I’ve been chipping away at it, a bit at a time

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Gathering another stack of bricks.  I offered them as hardcore on a local recyle/re-use FB site and someone came and took them away the next day, along with a bag of miscellaneous rubble – social media at its best.


Taking advantage of a dry and less sunny morning to dig out some more shady border and knock down a few more bricks in the wall, and this happened!

Two compost bins are enough for now – as I still have plans for building our own greenhouse/cold frame on this border.


A wet start to August, stopped work for a couple of weeks. But Bank Holiday weekend began warm and sunny so time for work! I was determined that, at the very least, the remains of the bay tree had to go.

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I removed the soil a little at a time, sorting through it for bits of rubble and mortar (into a bucket) and spring bulbs (into a seed tray). Roots and strawberry plant suckers went into a bin bag for recycling, while the soil went into my second plastic dustbin.

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That’s why it took a long time.



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The Bay Tree started life as a small pot plant, given to me one Christmas by my brother.  It soon outgrew its pot and, when we had this raised bed built (over 15 years ago), it seemed a good place to put it – and it thrived.

But, its roots had grown thick and delved deep into the ground. The wood will be dried and used for other things, Maybe a Bug Hotel, maybe as part of a craft project, maybe just as logs for the fire.

3 November 2019

There had been NO work done on this border since August, when we removed the Bay Tree. Holidays in September, followed by almost three weeks of rain in October meant other things took priority.

But today, the sun was shining and there were no clouds in the blue sky. After a quick tidy up in the front garden, we began digging once more.  This time though, the soil was put straight into the wheelbarrow and spread over the front border.

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Just the olive tree to go . . .

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An early start on the 5th November (8:15) and we had the remaining soil dug out and spread on the front garden,

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and the bricks removed and stacked ready for collection – and it wasn’t yet 10 o’clock!

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I’ve been in touch with the people who had the last mound of bricks and they are happy to take these too.

This is the olive tree. It’s currently jammed in a corner of the patio in a large pot.

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We’ve finished!!!! For now

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Another job crossed off the list.