Raised Vegetable Beds - Bill and the Beans

September 28, 2018

Mary strolled back to the house with her empty wine glass after watching the sun go 

down. She was wondering what mischief her husband Bill was creating. He hadn’t come out to watch the sunset with her so she suspected he was up to something. Once inside she found him with seed packets in piles all over the coffee table, his glass of beer still untouched in the kitchen. Mary chuckled to herself. They’d been planting up their new raised vegetable beds and according an extremely enthusiastic Bill, tomorrow was bean sowing day. 


As Mary absent-mindedly flipped through a pile of seed packets, her thoughts drifted back over the many years they’d been growing vegetables. They’d started when the children were young to show them how a little nurture can bring great rewards. She used to love watching them crouched over the earth carefully counting potatoes on their chubby little fingers or trying to guess which radish might be good for picking. She also loved that she could create tasty meals for them, using fresh, healthy fruit and vegetables. To this day they’d still ask for her green salad of spinach and cucumber sprinkled with mint and fresh peas. They’d had a wonderful time as a family growing their own produce, even when Bill got competitive about his pumpkins. 


Mary thought of how she’d struggled over the last few years, the arthritis in her knees making it challengingly painful to kneel and tend the vegetable beds. She’d felt frustrated by her ongoing mobility issues and had been reluctant to talk about it, much as Bill had gently tried to coax her. However, while talking to their garden designer Mary realised there was no point to suffering in silence. Their designer had suggested raised beds linked by hard landscaped paths. She’d paid much attention to detail, measuring how far Mary could reach and what height was comfortable for her to sit. Mary felt reassured by their designer’s diligence. She was also greatly relieved that she could still participate in her love of growing vegetables and share more happy times out on the plot with Bill.  


The sketches their designer presented showed a symmetrical layout of raised beds which Mary thought worked well with the overall plan for the garden. Each raised bed was exactly the right size so she could reach every square inch comfortably. They were to be built out of treated timber with wider rims around the top so she could sit and work. They would have a timber frame fitted around the top so they could easily put netting over at times when their crops needed protection from birds. The hard landscaped paths were to provide easy access and avoid potential slip hazards on wet days. 


Now that the raised beds had been constructed and the paths finished, Mary wondered why she had worried so much. Their designer had taken the practical aspects of their vegetable garden on board and made it possible for her to carry on  gardening. She was really quite chuffed about that. She chuckled again; she sometimes heard Bill talking to his pumpkins as she tended her tomatoes. Mary was stirred from her reverie by Bill suggesting it was time to turn in for the night. Tomorrow was bean sowing day. 

 

 

 

 

Do you want to find out more about Mary and Bill? What other changes are they making to their garden? What 'mischief' as Mary calls it, does Bill get up to next?

There's more in the series coming soon. You can subscribe or follow me on Facebook or Twitter.

 

 

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@ Heather McDougall 2018

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