Monday, March 27, 2017

Farewell, Old Greenhouse Foundations!



It's remarkable - to me, anyway, - to see a slight depression in the ground where once stood something resembling an island fortress, complete with several levels of ramparts, both wooden and brick. The low walls of the defunct greenhouse held what had become a raised bed, the earth inside infested with rubble and glass. Slowly, slowly, I breached the outer ramparts, cleared the inside and riddled-out the contents, and this weekend I've demolished the wall, and cleared what was once the greenhouse's central path.

Bloody hard work, which I finished this afternoon. What made it hard was the fact that it had been well built: 3 courses of bricks for the walls on concrete and hard core, a real pro job that would have sufficed as a house wall. And the path was also laid properly on concrete and hardcore. I got out as much of the heavy stuff as I could, you can see it in the foreground of the photo. The rest will have to wait until this area gets riddled.

The earth is going to need a great deal of TLC. There's a lot of clay. I turned it over and left it to dry. This soil has not felt anything growing in it for decades, being perhaps a foot below the level of the "raised bed" era, (where I sowed phacelia, comfrey and borage when I first arrived, just for the sake of planting something).

The comfrey is still there, and making a comeback, and the next job is to find a home for it. I learned this about comfrey: if you dig it out, it will leave viable root fragments a foot or more below ground, because I shovelled off almost that much from the area where I planted it, but volunteers keep on appearing way below the level of their parent plants.  I'm thinking of planting it on the boundary near the temp shed, a region badly infested with weeds. They will have to deal with the comfrey, then I'll riddle it all, and then brambles will come  along next year to deliver the knock out punch. Of course, I won't mind comfrey volunteers appearing in the bramble hedge.