The Idiot Gardener

WARNING: This site contains information on gardening, brewing, curing meat,

building shit and hunting, all done in a piss-poor manner. It is not suitable for the

feeble-minded, the weak and lame, those of a nervous disposition, vegans and

vegetarians (and those other ones that only eat fish and the occasional bacon

sandwich - I think they're called 'hypocrites'), those who practice any

manner of folk singing or dancing, people named Colin or fans of Barry Gibb.

Super Raised Beds: the best just isn’t good enough

Sometimes, for some people (that’ll be me), the best just simply isn’t enough. Trust me; let me show you what I mean.

Picture the scene; you and your loved one are in Africa on Safari. Obviously, if you’re single, you can skip this paragraph and move straight on to the next. Now, where were we? Africa, yes, that’s right. You’ve taken your loved one there, because you love them. Sadly, on day 3 of the non-refundable trip, a lion eats them. Oh well! You call your insurance company, the Embassy and even the local mayor, but it’s no dice; you must stay for the remaining 11 nights.

You’re in the bar, alone, drinking to forget. Then a voice, friendly and warm, asks, “Is anyone sitting here?” You look up and see…

Okay, this is where you have to do some work. When I look up I see Myleene Klass in the white bikini she wore on I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! Obviously, if you’re a lady, this might not work for you. Instead, you might see Sean Connery when he was young, Brad Pitt, a thin Elvis or even Stephen Hawking; just go with whoever gets you going. Men, if you’re not up for Mylene, go with who you want. You might even be up for Stephen Hawking yourselves. I’m not judging here, I’m just saying go for it.

Now, I tell Myleene to sit but not to expect any chat. She asks why and I explain that a lion ate Mrs IG. She sighs; it seems her husband was eaten by a hippo this very morning.

She orders drinks (she pays, because she’s rich), and the waiter brings them, along with a bowl of nuts. We both reach for the bowl, and as our fingers touch we know, in that moment, what love is!

Okay, I’m hoping that so far, no one has had to excuse themselves. Here’s the point; most of us might happily accept that if our other halves had been eaten by lions, then despite the obvious hurt, it’s probably a bloody good outcome. I could spend the rest of my days with Myleene, admiring her beauty, watching her shower, listening to her playing the piano, laughing at her wit, spending her money.

Here’s the thing; some people – like me – just are never satisfied! If that really happened, I’d screw it up. Within days I’d be pestering her to dress up so we could play ‘The Panzer Commander and the Milk Maid’, and no, I’m not saying which one I’d be! Then it would be off to Papua to initiate her in some voodoo cult where you get to smoke 20 Cohibas a day. After that, it would get weird. You see, I’d have landed what many men would call a dream life, but I’d want something else within weeks, maybe even days.

bedWhy oh why oh why can’t I just enjoy things? I put it down to the madness I caught off my father. It’s always been the way. A great example is raised beds. When I first approached gardening, I was turned onto raised beds by accident. I explain all here. Anyway, I saw a few raised beds that were one plank high, and I saw some over-priced kits, so I built my own. The picture here was my first bed.

Now, some mocked my choice of a very deep bed, others questioned why I had done it that way. The truth is that a simple raised bed was not enough. I built the deep raised bed instead. Here’s the thing. I loved it. Some other lunatics loved it too. One person told me it was the raised bed to end raised beds. I agreed. It was a perfect bed. What more can a gardener want?

Well, like the Mylene example, my mind darkened fairly quickly, whirring and banging and popping until an idea was formed, and that grew into … an insanity! Is the deep raised bed still enough? No, not any more. I need something … extra!

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the product of an idiot’s mind; I give you the Super Bed!

Okay, yes, it’s a deep raised bed, but it has a frame on top. It’s covered with plastic glazing, so it’s a sort of cold frame bed. Then, when summer hits, the glazing can be replaced with netting. Then, as autumn closes in, it can be covered with fleece to extend salad growing into winter. Also, the whole frame can be removed and put on another deep raised bed, or even just put on the soil and used as a cloche! The side panels open for ventilation and ease of access.

The Super Bed; it’s just like Myleene, but dressed as a Panzer Commander!

Please don’t post just to tell me it looks crap or it’s not straight. I’m an idiot, not a blind man. I know it’s not perfect … yet!

You may well scoff today; you might sneer and you might even snigger, but I tell you this. You’re going to want one before the week is over. Yes you are.

SUPER BED! And it only cost me £10 to make. Now, where’s my milking stool?

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37 thoughts on “Super Raised Beds: the best just isn’t good enough

  1. Turling

    Get to the patent office!! Quickly, now!!

    Unfortunately, I have no idea who Mylene Klass is. And, when I say unfortunately, I’m guessing I mean unfortunately for me.

    Not to scoff at those planters. I was thinking of making something similar, as my first thought was if I had those, I wouldn’t need to put up a fence to keep the rabbits out. I could take advantage of their being height challenged. The rabbits, of course, not the planters. The planters are not height challenged. Some guard towers on each corner with motion activated .22 caliber rifles and we would be on to something!

  2. Gilly in Ariège

    Perhaps I am missing the point, but what is it with raised beds? Soil at ground level, well soil level, that’s all anyone needs. It’s there, it works. A dig over and a good dollop of manure and you’re away. And you can spend the £10 on seeds. QED. You’re not listening to any of this, are you?

  3. Kara

    You may have only spent £10 building it, but how much did it cost to fill it? LOL! Oh let me guess, since you are in the UK there are lots of places to purchase cheap top soil and you can get horse manure for free. Am I right?
    As for me, hubby and I live out in the “boonies.” Translated, about a 11 hour drive from a big city. There’s not even a plant nursery within a several hour drive. The only plant nursery in town closed a few years ago. That’s how popular gardening is in our neck of the woods.
    You Brits always have it made, with your Geoff Hamiltons, Alan Titchmarshs’, farmyard manure, a garden center on every corner, and tons of skips to dive into and nab some bargains like free lumber.
    Count your blessings and remember the grass isn’t always greener…
    I envy you, Idiot!

  4. Kathryn

    Yes, I do agree with Edith Hope, that it may be a very clever little garden bed but AESTHETICS! (in other words, it is a little bit…ugly)…you didn’t paint it brown on purpose did you?

  5. Alex T

    Looks like you have about 1 ½ metric tonnes of soil in there, which must’ve been a bit of a pain. I think we are going to need more details and close ups and a breakdown of how it cost only a tenner, because we are all going to want a Myleene Panzer Commander of our own now. I just built a misshapen one that probably cost more like £50. It’s currently more of a Heather Mills will a bin bag over her head, which doesn’t really work for me.

  6. Edith Hope

    Dear IG, Just a brief postscript to say that, unfortunately, I am unable to comment or post for the next ten days or so. You may, of course, be very relieved to know this. But, I shall return!

  7. Meredith

    LOL at Amy’s comment!

    Ah, Idiot Gardener, I think you are brilliant — sort of. Is it very cold where you are now? If not, it seems to be coming a bit late for the cold frame idea. We are ready to plant out tomatoes here, and lettuce under such a contraption, clever as it may be, would scorch in about 20 seconds.

    I can understand the deep raised bed — we built three at a charity gardening event for those wheelchair-bound members of the community garden who needed the soil to come to their level. However, I despise my one and only raised bed as compared to the richness of real ground. To each his/her own!

  8. roundrockgarden

    The lesson here: watch out for ravenous hippos and lions while on safari. Got it.

    As far as the beds go, good job. At least you don’t get a sore back working in them! But yes, unless you’ve got a raised bottom in that thing, that’s a lotta soil!

  9. DaBeardedOne

    What is the status of hill #47 and the steaming pile o’ Poo? Were they enough to fill the beds?

    You bloggers from the states must remember, IG is in the Isles, which are farther north than Maine, it’s still chilly there.

    On the subject of aesthetics – It’s his garden, if he wants brown beds so be it, in 2 months you wouldn’t even notice the beds are brown with all the green veggies growing out of them.

    IG, are you get any ash from the Icelandic volcano?

  10. jo©o

    Sorry, no patent required I’m afraid 🙂

    It’s been done. They’re called rabbit hutches. I grow strawbs in them.

    What are those green containers made from?

  11. debsgarden

    Mankind is always striving to do a little better, get a little more, improve upon the common. If we didn’t we still would be in the stone age! So good for you! Your garden looks like it belongs to an engineer!

  12. Amy

    I want one! If I give you a tenner will you give me one of those beds?

    Raised raised beds are the thing, even Carol Klein has them. Sadly I don’t

  13. CaseyB

    How it the plastic connected to the wood? How is it removed or replaced? Want to do something similar to this but I dont understand how to attach the plastic to the wood for easy fold back. My beds are 8’x3’x2′.. whats the most efficient way? Thanks!!


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