This is the strawberry bed. It's got rather embarrassingly overgrown this last year and with the damp weather the buttercups have taken hold. As you can see, I've had a bit of a go at it already, but it was time for some serious effort.
It was also time for a brew, and serious gardening effort calls for a serious gardening mug.
Here it is. I've had it for years and it's a good sturdy mug for being outside - I never take my favourite Herdy mug out of the house. I'm not entirely sure that I love the picture on it: "Famous Slugs of History" as I have a big slug problem in my garden, but I like the biscuit saucer ...
which doubles as a lid. A nifty idea, don't you think?
We've got a few Simon Drew pictures around the house. This was one the first we were ever given as a wedding present. I worked with a lady whose entire hallway was covered in Simon Drew pictures and I loved looking at them - I could never choose which one I liked the best so she chose for me and that was our wedding present. Puffin Nuffin has hung on our wall ever since.
This one's a biscuit tin which my lovely Yorkshire friend gave to me for Christmas a couple of years ago. It makes me smile every time I get it out of the cupboard. You probably know why she chose it for me J.
And what I really like about it is that there's another picture on the bottom. This one makes me smile too, although I don't look at it very often. I like the attention to detail of having a picture on the bottom of a tin; it's a bit like a sculptor who bothers to work the back of a sculpture even though they know it may never be seen.
So, anyway - back to the strawberries! It didn't take long to clear the bed (it's only 4ft by 4ft) and I've got weed-proof membrane underneath it so the weeds are quite easy to pull out. I took all the strawberry plants out too. You're supposed to replace them every three years or so anyway and in theory, you save the runners from the year before to replace the older plants but I never remember to do that. I've just ordered some new runners which I'm looking forward to arriving in the post soon.
Once all the weeds were out, it was easy to see how low the soil level had dropped. I'll need to raise the level again before I plant my new runners; I've got compost in the compost bin which I'm hoping will be ready to use and I'll probably add a bag of bought compost too. It's surprising how quickly the soil drops in raised beds, but it's the easiest way for me to keep the soil in good condition and keep some kind of control over the slugs too.
The blueberry raised bed is next to this one - that'll be the next job!