About our Garden

Hi, we're Phil and Pauline, a grumpy old man his long suffering wife living in Leicestershire, England. We have two grown-up daughters and one baby grandson. Phil broke his back in 1975 and is a complete paraplegic. He uses a wheelchair all the time as he is unable to walk or stand up.

We've lived in the same bungalow for more than 30 years so you'd think we'd have sorted the garden before now! It's had a few re-incarnations over the years; it started full of grape vines for wine making which was replaced with grass when the kids were young. Then it became a bit of a mess, the patio was uneven and too small, the lawn sloped making it difficult to sit in a wheelchair without rolling downhill, and nothing was at a level where I could do any gardening.

Over the past two years we've completely redesigned the garden. The garden has been designed with Phil's wheelchair in mind; the lawn's gone ad the patio and paths are now decking. The borders have been replaced with raised beds... ...and when I say raised, I mean raised. The vegetable beds are 720mm above the decking paths; that's about 2 ft 4 inches in old money! They're also quite large; the largest's 4.8 metres long by about 1.2 metres wide - that's nearly 16 ft by 4 ft. In the main, the raised beds for vegetables are accessible from both sides and a maximum of 1200mm wide. Flower beds are 2 sleepers high - 400mm - with 320mm above the decking. The garden has lighting built into the decking and into the base of some of the planters. Water is piped under the deck to 4 taps to enable an irrigation system to be installed.

The vegetables will be grown in multiples of one square foot using a system know as Square Foot Gardening. Invented by Mel Bartholomew,  the basic tenet of the system is to grow plants in 1 ft squares. The plants are spaced the same distance apart as they would be in rows but the spacing between rows is ignored. So, for example, seeds grown 6 inches apart in a row with 18 inches between rows, will be grown at 6 inch spacing within the one foot square, or in simple terms, four to a square. It appears that Mel's plant spacings often produce less per plant, but in total there's more produced per square foot.

Saturday 05 August 2017 at 10:52 pm