Forest Garden Reclamation of a degraded garden
A rural cottage location with a stony flat garden plot borded by a steep bank.
I am restoring a degraded garden plot with no soil and lots of rocks into a productive garden and a wildlife haven. It borders a pasture with rare breed sheep and has a forestry plantation up on the hill behind where various birds of prey like to fly about.
Its a slow process and I'm 2 years in. I inherited a tall silver birch, a now pollarded 7 trunk goat willow with extensive thick roots spreading too far and some kind of ornamental small Acer. I planted a Rowan half way down a steep, overgrown (rosebay willow, cleaver/stickyweed, nettles) and unstable bank down to the pasture and 2 lovely mature oaks live at the bottom of the bank. I have a hazel waiting for me to decide where to put it and plans to edge the bank with fruit trees and a bird-heaven hedge.
Half the garden is the utility side with the log store and shed and a recently sown wildflower meadow cos the ground is too poor to bother doing anything else anyway, and because I want it. The other side is intended as a productive food garden and the whole borded by said fruit trees and wildlife friendly shrubs/hedge as a nascent forest garden.
Plans for my refurbed bathroom include burying the old sink to make a muddy pool as Rakesh Rootsman has advised and turning the bath into a pond of sorts.
So far I brought in a (free) truck load of topsoil from an apparantly safe source, but of unknown quality and some mature horse manure from the neighbouring farm. The bracken I painstakinly harvested and spread over hasnt composted down so I've now raked off the stalks to compost separately with neighbours grass cuttings. After 18months or more under landscape plastic tarp, some veggies and lots of Redshank and Fat Hen are now growing in a couple of beds and some is under summer mix green manure that has been scythed once so far.
Anyone wanting to check me out, offer advice, see what's working/not working, lend a hand on their route somewhere is very welcome. I'm mid-way between Dumfries & Thornhill on A76