SOS! Garden design dilemma

My blog post today is a plea for help, advice and ideas. 

A month ago I decided to turn some of the balding patch of grass, which used to be my lawn, into a vegetable plot.

A few of my vegetable pots in May 2010

There were two reasons behind this. One was that last year I ventured into growing my own vegetables and salad crops in pots of varying shapes and sizes on my patio.  Buoyed up with success, I am going beyond the appotment idea, into growing vegetables in the garden.

 The second is to call the patch of balding grass a ‘lawn’ had become a misnomer.  This was mainly because of fox damage but I didn’t help matters by walking on it both through the snow and afterwards when it was wet and horrid.

 A narrow band of fertile soil runs between Brighton and Chichester which years ago gave rise  a thriving  market garden area.  You would think, therefore, that the soil in my garden would be fertile and workable.  This, sadly, is not the case, my soil is heavy clay and there is a pan about a foot down.   I managed to get halfway through double-digging and threw in the towel.  Raised Beds!  That was going to be the answer to my problem.

With my trusty helper “M”  we returned from the garden centre yesterday with a ready-made wood raised bed and bags of compost and organic manure.   I am not sure the suspension in the car was too happy.   The raised bed went into place, and the following photos show the progress.  The trade off for M’s help was to make sure his Hunters and his Rolex were in the photographs – such a name label tart!!  You won’t see him in Wilkinsons or Poundland buying seeds, but that’s another story.



In case you are wondering about the last photo.  The finished bed looked like a giant cat toilet so I have covered it for the moment.  The other little bed in the foreground is going to be for my sweet peas.  

Why am I asking for your assistance?   After all that hard work, I am not so sure I like the new raised bed.  There is something wrong.   Why don’t I feel  it fits comfortably into my garden?   It needs to blend in – at the moment it sticks out like a sore thumb.  One answer is a path, which actually will be very sensible, otherwise the rest of the lawn, will be ruined too.  So, all you lovely garden bloggers out there – please can I have suggestions as to what I need to join up the raised bed with the soft slightly untidy style of my country garden.  If there is anything else that screams at you please feel free to add a comment.  The raised bed though stays, I have dug my bed …..!!