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Dawn Isaac

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Wigwams, climbing beans and mini wildflower gardens

Posted by Dawn Isaac on 03 Apr 2010 at 06:22 PM

 

Sometimes, you have to stop day dreaming and realise there are things which simply aren't going to happen.  I will never be five foot seven, I am not going to live in a Georgian rectory and, unfortunately, I'm pretty sure I'm never going to get a greenhouse.

Rather pathetically, I've been unable to let go of this final dream.  When I planned the garden, I made sure there was a perfect spot for my beautiful hand-crafted greenhouse and have kept this space bare for nearly three years in anticipation of its arrival.  To be frank, it's becoming a little embarrassing - it looks like I've been stood up by a garden building.

So last week I decided, enough is enough.  I put away the brochures, scraped off the bark chippings covering the area and began to dig.

The plan is to create a mini-wildflower garden with a bean-covered wigwam at the centre.  This choice was partly decided by the fact this is relatively poor soil compared to the rest of the garden and so more suitable for the range of cornfield weeds and wild flowers we have selected. 

The main job was to create a nice fine tilth to the soil which involved some raking but mostly lots of breaking clods with with the back of a fork.  Then I let the children sow the seeds - two small packets - one a gift from Grandpa Roger, the other hastily purchased at the garden centre when I thought I had lost Grandpa Roger's offering. 

The child-based sowing could have been an error - only time will tell - but if the seed was, shall we say, sown a little erratically, it's a small enough area that I can redistribute the plants when, or if, they've grown a little.

The wigwam was made from six bamboo canes, seven foot long.  We marked out the area using some short bamboo canes, pushed in the larger uprights about a foot deep and then tied the top using gardener's twine.  The twine was then used by the children to weave around each of the poles at foot intervals to create 'sides' to the wigwam and give the beans a better climbing structure as they grow.

The kids added bark chippings to form the base and we found a couple of logs for seats which somehow escaped the wood burner this winter.

The beans are due to be sown inside this week.  We've chosen two different types - the Runner Bean Phaseolus coccineus 'Celebration' which is an early variety, has lovely pink flowers and is particularly recommended for wigwams plus climbing bean Phaseolus coccineus 'Firetongue' which has reddish streaks on the green pods and is a multi-purpose Italian speciality bean used for its pods, flageolets and haricots.

Fingers crossed, it should be a picture of loveliness in a couple of months.  Plus, at a total cost of £11.80, this garden is marginally cheaper than a greenhouse. Or a Georgian rectory for that matter.

 

Comments

baz78 said:

HI HAVE YOU TRIED LOOKING ON FREEGLE/FREECYCLE FOR A GREEN HOUSE? THATS WHERE I GOT MINE FROM BUT WE HAD TO DISMANTLE IT OURSELVES AND REPLACE SOME GLASS(GOT FROM SOMEONE ELSE) IVE ALSO PICKED UP A COLD FRAME AND FREEZER!

on 05 Apr 2010 at 10:02 PM

EvaInNL said:

I see I'm not the only one suffering from GH envy! :) Keep the dream alive Dawn...

on 07 Apr 2010 at 08:35 AM

Dawn Isaac said:

Baz - I'm an avid freecycle follower but the odd greenhouse that comes up gets snapped up by far worthier causes than the 'Dawn really wants a greenhouse' cause!  I live in hope though...

Eva - I've decided to down grade the greenhouse dream to a cold frame for now.  Needs must!

on 09 Apr 2010 at 02:35 PM