Plan B + 1: Restoration

It is just over two years since a severe storm wrecked our polytunnel in February 2021and we have spent the intervening period repairing, renovating and redeveloping the vegetable garden. Some Covid restrictions were still in force, but a friend helped us take down the roof and we eventually managed to get a skip to remove the metal. However, for a while it felt as if I was gardening in a scrapyard.

The next, and perhaps most important decision was how to use the site. Would we install a new polytunnel or build a greenhouse, plant another orchard or add more vegetable beds, or move the fence and return it to the field? Not a decision to be rushed and all the options were carefully analysed and rejected. Did we really have another 10 or more very active gardening years left, did we have the energy for another major project? In the end I though that constructing an enclosed flower and herb garden would be a good compromise!

First we needed a new shed to store all tools and assorted gardening paraphenalia and there was just enough room to insert a shipping container in the space between the fruit cage and new garden. Uist sheds come in various guises, and although not aesthetically pleasing, shipping containers are good option in this part of the world.

Next work started on the enclosed garden. The plan was to build a fence around the growing bed of the old polytunnel. The soil was then moved into a line of beds along the sides of the fence, leaving a path between them. Thus creating two long herbaceous borders. A simple design which required a Herculean effort. However, by the end of the July there were sunflowers, sweet peas, and nasturtiums in profusion, which convinced me that perhaps I could create a Hebridean herbaceous garden, even if it required the protection of a six foot fence.

Fortuntely we had some good weather in the summer of 2021, and after a slow start the plants flourished. I was encouraged, but the real test would come during the winter.

Uist shed - shipping container

Alas no time to listen to bees and smell the flowers, Plan B+1: Repair and Renew awaits.

4 thoughts on “Plan B + 1: Restoration

  1. I was wondering about the plan for that space, and it does look rather sheltered now. I hope it turns out a success!

    • Our climate, soil and location limit the choices. I would have like to plant some trees or a a new orchard, but this was not a vaible option. The new garden is a work in progress and I am discovering what will grow in the new borders, apart from weeds!

  2. I can see what a big decision this must have been for you both, but it seems as if you are at peace with it now. What a difference that fence must make – as long as it is gale-proof of course! What a joy it must have been to have those sunflowers and sweet peas – I wonder what you tried last summer and have got in store for 2023…

    • Summer did not arrive in the Outer Isles in 2022, we shivered under a cold grey blanket of cloud and mist and hardly saw the sun. So no sweet peas or sunflowers, but a glorious mass of nasturtiums defeated the weeds. This year I’m planning more sunflowers, herbs and introducing more herbaceous perennials.

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