Work in progress - renewing the veg garden

Way way back when the garden was young, there were raised veg beds, there was purpose, there were vegetables.  It almost looked like I was organised.

I don't really know when it started to go wrong, but it did.  The wooden edges of the raised beds rotted and quite frankly veg gardening is not my favourite gardening.  Skip forward to the present day and....
.... it's not looking great.  The more it did not look great, the less I did in it, the worse it became.  I knew I needed to take drastic action.  A couple of years ago I spent a morning at Charles Dowdings' garden finding out about his 'no dig' philosophy.  It was inspiring and gave me lots of ideas.  I went through various thought trails:  'I shall buy woodchippings' I said to myself and then I thought 'cats + woodchippings' probably means a large cat litter in their world.  'I can use something else' I thought, but did not move forward.  I could blame breaking my ankle, but that only accounts for one winter, not two.  I just kept thinking and not doing.

Then I finally kicked myself hard and said to myself 'just get on with it'.  I had found some old butyl liner, I think left over from making the pond, and I thought that I could use that to block out light and 'sheet mulch' the veg garden.  This would kill all the weeds if I left it in place over the winter and would give me a blank canvas to work from in the spring.  A good idea n'est pas?
I removed the remaining wooden edges to the veg borders.   I strimmed, I hacked, I got stung by nettles but I kept going.
I found a piece of hose embedded in the ground, embedded so deep I could not dig it out easily.  I still don't know why it was there. I couldn’t hear anyone breathing through it ….
Then I had to move the large compost heap.  I spread it out mainly across the flattened space and the non-composted bits I moved to the other large pile.
Some compostable bags are not very compostable and apparently I eat a lot of eggs (note to self, break up eggshells in future).
Then I started to lay out the sheet mulch.  Esme came to have a look, she was not impressed.
It is quite an impressive space now that it is cleared.  It has not looked like this since I moved here fifteen years ago.

Wait a minute I hear you ask, wasn't there a large Euphorbia mellifera in the earlier photos?

Yes there was.  This was in a pot as it had been one I was going to take with me if I had moved house (let's not remember that debacle).  Needless to say the Euphorbia's roots had grown through the bottom of the pot and it had become rather a fixture.  So I dug it out, released it from its pot and ....
Voila!  There it is relocated into the Wild Garden.  It did find the move rather a shock, but I am watering it and keeping it staked upright and I think it is recovering...... slowly......
I had to buy some more black plastic sheeting to completely cover the area.  You can see it is quite puddled at the moment from all the recent rain.  The cats walked cautiously over it a few times when it was first in place but now they are ignoring it.

So now I just wait and nature to do its bit.  I shall leave it covered until the spring, by which time I should have made a plan what I want to do.  I have some ideas and it is not going to be a formal veg garden again that is for sure.  I do still want to grow some veg and I think I have a plan.

Time will tell.

Take care and be kind.

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