Elma Family Garden Photography Pip

In the Pocket Handkerchief Garden: 18 June 2015


Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life

Growth has been a littler gentler in the Pocket Handkerchief Garden this week.  Which is probably a very good thing as after last week we really don’t have any space left anywhere.  But everything that has made it as far as plant form is shooting steadily upwards.  One of the sweetcorn seedlings got a little buried in some overly enthusiastic watering so I unearthed it a little and I’ve got all my fingers crossed for its survival, not least because I can’t image the drama if I only have one corn on the cob to serve between two girls at the end of the harvest.  My rainbow chard is looking well settled and most of the seedlings are now sporting secondary leaves, but the spinach has either been eaten or scratched out by the wretched cat; I think I’ve got about five seedlings left; it’s a good job I didn’t thin them or I’d have precisely nothing.

But it has propelled me into taking some cat-prevention action, thanks to everybody’s conclusion that netting was the only way forward and Mandy’s very brilliant suggestion as to how we went about it.

It’s genius, it’s virtually idiot proof and if I can set this up while Elma and Grandpa did the watering and Pip tried to both escape and eat my camera, then anyone can.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life

I’ve got two 6 foot beds in the garden, both of which needed to be covered.  I bought a pack of 20 wooden flower stakes, each 60 cm long, and nice and sturdy with it; a giant piece of netting, a packet of metal netting pegs which look like flimsy tent pegs, and the cheapest 15 metres of hose I could find.Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life

I stuck stakes in each bed, in pairs of four, and then used a stanley knife to chop the hose into lengths of roughly 1.5 metres. The precise length doesn’t matter, you just want them to all be about the same.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life

Pop one end of a piece of hose over one stake, and the other over it’s matching pair and you have a very snazzy lightweight hoop, perfect to support the weight of the netting, but I suspect fragile enough that the birds can’t use it to land on and peck at my strawberries through the netting; well not the fat pigeon anyway.Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life

My original plan was to cover both beds with one net to give the children a tunnel to crawl in underneath, but the net wasn’t big enough and I think it looks smarter how it is.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life

I pegged down the first net and then cut the rest off and the remainder isn’t quite big enough to cover the second bed all the way down to the ground, hence the stakes and clothespeg arrangements I’ve got going, and in due course I’ll get another length of netting, but most importantly, for now the cat has been evicted, the garlic is starting to look less squashed and the surviving spinach is finally in with a chance.

The only one disappointed is perhaps our sweet little Pip, temporarily thwarted from digging holes and trying out all this delicious soil, but I’m sure he’ll find a way around before too long.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life

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  • Hannah | MakeDo&Push 18/06/2015 at 8:57 am

    Words cannot express how much I love this post and the look of the Pocket Handkerchief Garden! We were in talks over the weekend about knocking down the old, rickety shed and creating some raised beds for this very same purpose, so I shall be forwarding your post onto the Husband!

    We had a cat problem in our last house, and bought some new-fangled gadget to get rid of them; it clicked every time a cat entered the patch of grass… it worked but they were coming so often it ate through batteries!!! Love this hose idea 🙂 xxx

  • Mandycharlie 18/06/2015 at 9:01 am

    It looks amazing, well done you, told you it was easy. Now hopefully you’ve put the sweetcorn at the end, so that when it grows up nice and tall, you can unfurl the netting and just cover the shorter crops. Oh and the spinach should multiply, so if you can get it going and mot pick it too much, but not let it go to seed, it should be okay. It’s good fun isn’t it.

  • Mandycharlie 18/06/2015 at 9:04 am

    Alternatively, for taller crops that you want to keep covered, use longer canes.

  • Lotta 18/06/2015 at 8:13 pm

    Brilliantly creative, I love it. Will definitely bear it in mind for when my veg patches when I finally create them!

  • Robin Follette 19/06/2015 at 5:24 pm

    Oh brilliant! I love the hose pieces, it’s very clever. Isn’t it amazing how much food we can grow in small spaces. Your garden helps are very cute!

    • Carie 19/06/2015 at 9:28 pm

      It’s genius – I love it – and I love that the birds aren’t going to eat the strawberries!

  • sally 21/06/2015 at 10:53 pm

    What an amazing idea! Your beds are looking very professional now. And I love Pip’s face in that last one!