Cankerous parsnip + beautiful herb


Not the optimal half marathon preparation (oh god, tomorrow!), but finally, a lovely few hours in the garden today. And, coz I like them, some garden pics from last summer too:

The new vegetable beds were fab last summer,

but have been subsiding since having been filled. Must be about nine to twelve months ago now. So, time to put in some new material:

Compost heap

After rearranging the Compost heap, it has finally been behaving somewhat (somewhat) better [1]. The heap has two square bins, about 1.6 m in length. There is supposedly an actively composting side, plus either a ready-to-go (or empty) side.  But when I checked it a few weeks back it was dry, poorly mixed, and inactive.

I sliced the top off; readjusted it’s green-brown (C:N) ratio; and remixed in available kitchen waste. When checked today; this seems to have now done the trick. And the bottom half, as a result, was finally up for some hard use [3].

Digging the beds

The top soil (one spade depth) was dug off the beds; one quarter at a time. A large wheelbarrow load of compost added. This was then forked into the subsoil. The top soil was then redistributed, disguising the work. Two square beds completed: that equates to eight large wheelbarrows of compost and about double that volume of top soil that I dug [2].


When planning and creating the veg garden – four big old large lavender were dug up. So one of my other aims is to start putting herbs, including lavender plants, into the triangle beds. Bees loved the old lavender; even though it was a bit unruly and rather woody. (I still have vague hope of a making my own honey at some future point. And chickens. Did I mention the chicken plan?)

With that in mind, here is the selection of herbs from earlier today. They are all from the local garden centre; they have nice quality plants and some knowledgeable staff.


There are a few varieties of rosemary, thyme, lavender, and a few other herby odds and ends. The two little trees at the back are a dwarf nectarine and a dwarf peach. No idea if they will produce anything worth eating in my garden; but are very cute centre pieces.

The intention is to place one in the centre of each of the two back triangular beds, and then work out arranging the herbs around the feet of the dwarf, as I go.


This was actually the fourth visit to the garden centre to ask after asparagus roots (aka crowns). One of these times they will have got it.  But not as yet. The main asparagus bed is really and awaiting its crowns.


Here is Robert arranging the taties today, and wondering if there are bugs in the wood pile to (photographically) add to his spring project book?

And finally, some flower pics that we took together to help illustrate his spring school project. I like ’em:


[1] Although its processing is dodgy – to say the least – and it seems to require constant attention <sigh>. I am hoping all of the large roots (neglected carrots and cankerous parsnip ends) that I am stuffing in the bottom help control it.

Parsnip. Remind you of anyone : -?

[2] Is 90 min of digging too much for me before a road race? Possibly, given the total lack of other training or preparation. But. Ach well. I said I’d be aiming for <2h.  The weather forecast is also terrible – lashing rain interspersed with strong winds. (But beating  2 remains the aim.)

[3]  Those erratic compost heap edges seem to continue to require regular attention. The problem is partly (at least) a tendency to massively overheat when new green lawn clipping appear..  Perhaps sprinkling the heap from time to time might help.


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