I know it is still December, but my mind is racing ahead with dreams of days where it is not cold, grey and pouring with rain! I am longing for longer days and the chance to really get cracking on all the outside plans I have for Gwyllt Hollow. One of these is for the little allotment area that is here. There is a bank not far from the house, that faces South. Although it has not been used for a while, there are a series of beds created and part of the area is fenced. The really hard work has been done and I am sure it was loved at some point and I would imagine it could be pretty productive. Now, it is rather neglected and certainly needs some tlc (probably a bit of an understatement!)
I made a start when friend, Tim, visited as I needed help putting in fence posts and a gate, ready to fence the area to protect it from the rabbits on site. I found an old gate in one of the outdoor buildings and I will rub it down and repaint it in the next month or so. There is a bit of a fence here, but two of the beds were outside of that original fence line, so I removed that part and Tim and I put fence posts and the gate in further down, thus enclosing these two beds and almost doubling the size of the area.
We had to dig a hole to concrete in the posts for the gate, but being on a quarry area, it means you don't have to dig far before you hit stone. It took a while to break this up and get to a point where we could put in the post.
We concreted this one in, as it is going to support the gate, then banged in posts around the remainder of the site, replacing and removing some of the old rotten ones. I will need to add horizontals and chicken wire to enclose the whole area in the coming months. No rush at the moment, so I will wait for better weather.
There are a series of beds built into the bank. Some need posts and wood replaced, but on the whole, it is fine and just needs clearing, tidying and a few repairs. There are lots of foxgloves in here which will be transplanted to other areas of the garden, along with anything else of interest. A neighbour has a horse, so I also have access to free manure!
I am so excited to have a place to grow my own fruit and veg for next year. I also have a small greenhouse nearer the house, so I will be planting up lots of seeds early in 2024 and growing most of my stuff from seed. I have no idea what will grow well in this location, so it will be trial and error I daresay, but it is going to be a wonderful journey! I just can't wait to get going...... just need this rain to stop!
Thank you, Tim, for helping out on the tasks I find difficult on my own... holding a large post and the post rammer and getting it in straight is nigh on impossible! Anyone who visits me is almost definitely going to be asked to undertake some kind of manual labour, I'm afraid... so be warned!
I also planted the first of what will be many trees added to the site. There are a number of apple trees here, so I purchased two pear trees. I found a South Welsh company who specialise in heritage fruit tree species and decided to order from them. You can check out the Tyn y Berllan website HERE
Their online shop currently stocks over one hundred and fifty different varieties of apple and pear trees, including eaters, cider, perry, cooking apple varieties and crab apple trees for sale, many of them with Welsh heritage of historical interest to the region. They are all grafted by us using scion wood sourced from Welsh orchards and grown without the use of artificial chemical pesticides or fertilisers.
I chose two pears; Berllanderi Red and Capel Hir Early. They are only a year old and will not fruit properly for about 7 years. I plan on adding fruit trees every year, until I have a wide variety of fruit that I can freeze, make jams, eat and cook with.
I can see what this area will look like, in my mind! I can visualise it in the summer, and now just want to browse some seed catalogues to choose some fruit and veg to attempt to grow! Keep an eye for for future posts and follow the development of this site.