My problem with raised beds as with everything else, is space. I couldn’t see how I could fit a decent-sized raised bed, in a postage stamp-sized garden. The answer came from one of my fellow isolating neighbours when he asked if I would like some pallet collars, although I wasn’t really sure what they were like. My prayers were answered when there was a knock at the door one morning to say there was a lorryload of pallets on their way to be burned and did I want any?
I raided that lorry and acquired pallets, collars, old pieces of trellis and cable drums. The collars were different sizes, and the two biggest sizes, I painted with Creocote to preserve the wood. However, there were no pallets to fit it, so filling that remains a project for the future. The middle-sized collars were ideal, although they took up more space than the three containers they were replacing.
It has been an ongoing project for a few weeks now due to bad weather with only the odd dry, sunny day to work in. There were other projects being attempted at the same time, then there were the coffees in the garden with neighbours, a recreation which kept us sane during lockdown. The day of determination arrived and I assembled two collars which fitted onto the pallet base I already had. It became a holding bay for other pots of plants until I could plan what was to happen to everything. The small pallet collar was a bonus I didn’t expect and doesn’t take up so much room, so there was an ideal place for that.
I had to cut one of the pallet to fit the smaller collar but like its bigger brother, it was lined with weed control fabric.
Outside my greenhouse, there were trestle legs with odd bits of wood supporting a growbag tray, serving to hold plants awaiting their final destination. The legs were sinking, unsteady and prone to plants getting knocked over by neighbourhood moggies, or blown over by the wind. Those are now replaced with a ‘rustic’ bench and the other small pallet collar sits on it and is ideal as a safe waiting area. ‘Rustic’, in my case means home-made from scrap. One of the rescued trellises supports the extended bits, and a small pallet collar sits on one side. It’s ideal for holding the plants as it protects them from the wind, a problem with them when just sitting on a growbag tray.
In between the small, raised bed and the workstation there is room for the two minarette apple trees, with perhaps a blackcurrant bush between. The trellis with a mesh covering would provide support and protection for the little trees. There is still plenty to do and no doubt it would have been a lot easier had I had the opportunity to make the change earlier in the year.
The missing element in the story so far, are the cable drums. I had acquired three sizes of them, with the thought that I was sure I could do a lot with them, although I did only want one for the purpose it was made. I have some long lengths of cables and it could be handy cable tidy, keeping the longest of them and screwing a two gang socket to the reel.
As for the other two drums, a young lady with a lovely little girl came to pick up some plants and I told her she could have the two spare drums, if she wanted to make something out of them, for her little girl and to check them out on Google. She came back a few days’ later to pick them up, so a happy mum for having an upcycling project, and a happy daughter with the result.