Haven't we had a beautiful weekend? And the timing was perfect as it meant we could make a start on the Cottontails Kitchen Garden.
Thanks to everyone's comments and feedback last week, I decided to go for a mixture of raised beds and a couple of borders. The borders will be for lavender and herbs - maybe with some peas at the back? - and the raised beds will be for other veg and salad things.
Mike did some research and came across Moor Court Farm, a nearby farm selling railway sleepers, oak timbers and vegetable bed kits. We drove over on Thursday afternoon to meet Nick who runs the business, and by Friday morning he had delivered the timber for two 8' x 4' veg beds and two tonnes of top soil. They deliver nationwide (have a shop on ebay) and I can't recommend them enough so if you are on the look out for really good quality raised beds (sustainable oak, 100% organic, not requiring any treatment) have a look at their website.
Saturday morning Mike assembled the raised beds (while I slept in!) and once they were in position we dug out the turf and forked up the ground underneath.
I relaid the turf and started digging the nearby borders while Mike began filling the raised beds with the top soil.
Sunday was spent with more of the same plus digging compost out of our four year old 'heap' of grass cuttings and garden trimmings in the far corner of the garden. It's good stuff!
We worked until 8pm with only the odd break to drink tea and read Alan Titchmarsh, and by the end of the day most of the hard work has been done.
So far there haven't been many occasions to test out my children's gardening equipment (Mike snorted when I suggested we use one of the little pink wheel barrows for transporting the two tonnes of top soil) but I have managed to give the Moulin Roty rake a good work out on the borders and can report that it really is a strong, sturdy tool. Easily up to the job of any full size garden rake but just slightly smaller and lighter - it's a genuinely good quality, scaled down garden tool.
Also I am using a Gardener's Notebook for the planning and ideas:
And next weekend the planting begins!