A raised bed

A raised bed

With gritty determination in a weekend of cold and rain, I completed the construction of a raised bed along one wall of our garden. It was a small moment of triumph for me, not only that I had figured out how to make it, had managed to source and buy the long lengths of timber; but more remarkably had managed to drag myself away from the desk and the computer for long enough to actually get the job done, especially in the cold, rain, and eventually the dark!

The story began 2 years previously when I had been convinced about the value of starting to grow your own food – both for health and economic reasons. Jenny and I had argued over where was the best place to grow vegetables in the garden. I had wanted a section of one of our main flowerbeds that would get plenty of sun and rain. She had finally allowed me a corner of one of the darkest areas of the garden with poor soil. Unsurprisingly the vegetables planted had all failed to thrive, and little was harvested that was actually edible.

Last year Jen suggested some grow bags along the wall. We definitely had a good crop of tomatoes but not much else grew well. I have to say that my lack of knowledge and skill was starting to be exposed.

So this year we came up with a win-win, a raised bed along the wall in one of the sunniest areas of the garden. The scary thing now is that I will have no excuse if we don’t get a good crop, my anything-but-green fingers will be seen for what they are.

The offers of free seeds or seedlings started to come in – tomatoes and cabbage from one, peppers and tomatoes from another. The bed is starting to fill up nicely. Radishes and lettuce seeds have been sown, as have broad beans and beetroot. My main enemy is probably not the slugs but my own incompetence (all advice gladly received).

It is most likely that the reality of the harvest will be significantly exceeded by my expectations, but I guess that is a bit like life isn’t it. Hope drives us all to do things that, if we knew the outcome, we might never attempt. But what would life be reduced to without hope? How restricted, limited and withered would our experienced be if we always played safe and never took risks or explored new things?

The hope of harvest drives me on to keep sowing, tending, watering, weeding and feeding my seedlings. So it is with the harvest God wants us to reap – new people coming into His kingdom. We may never see all we hope for, but we will certainly see a whole lot more than if we never sowed to start with. And who knows one day we may get really good at it and see something quite remarkable!

This entry was posted by nic on Thursday, May 24th, 2012 at 10:48 am and is filed under Life. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


  1. Jonathan Jelfs says:

    Looks fantastic, I’m very impressed!

  2. nic harding says:

    Thanks Jonathan

  3. Ann Pendray says:

    Way to go, Nick! Don’t forget to feed them!

  4. Maggie Sherborne says:

    Try Courgettes – esp yellow ones. easy to grow and don’t require lots of love. One plant will keep you and Jen going for a long time. One purple sprouting broccoli will give you expensive veg next spring which is cut and come again.

  5. Margie Prior says:

    I’m impressed, looks promising, and well done for your perseverence, for this builds character and hope, but you know all this. I pray for a bountiful crop. I’ve resorted to a grow box myself from B & Q but my poor carrots produced interesting shapes for lack of depth last year! My prob is keeping it watered enough for they dry out quickly. Any watering tips for when one’s away? Well done, let me know how you get on.

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