dec03 -2019 – thoughts on compost bays

Dec 3rd 2019 Plot Diary.

Shaded Shed and Glade Area for Compost.

– Improvement and clearance.

Bottom Shed Space and Lower Main Access Route.

This Gallery is the Lower end of the Nurseries plots as it looks now.

As the seasons turn to frosts that remain on the ground all day, but are not heavy yet.

This area gets a lot of traffic, especially now at the end of the year.


Burning and area clearance time!

It also sees a lot of movement early and mid season.

Due to the location and shading I need to be able to get into the rear area of the lowest sheds with Bulk Bags being dragged by hand.

Also with a wheelbarrow or trolleys.

So a safe and secure way in and out with the different methods needed and correct gradients is being added.

It gets used a lot; and needs to be pneumatic and solid wheel access friendly.


This area will also be a space on my land that I will utilise for photography.

As the light here at certain time of day across most seasons is stunning.

However the low peaking of the sun for breathtaking Sunsets or late afternoon light in Autumn and Winter is spectacular.

Something I enjoy taking advantage of with a lens and recording in digital photography format or video.

  This is a driving reason for me to create a scenic but functional recycling point for the Nursery.

The spaces different temperature and humidity levels provided near this shed  offer cover and shade; also wind protection for the most.

The overhead trees sheltering the area; making it cooler and more secluded in the heat of Summer.

The esthetics of natural lighting framing it in the colder months making it lend itself to a dual use fire or BBQ cooking area.  A flame pit and fireplace with a larger offset space for larger bonfires would also be practical.  Later on Rocket Mass Heating and potentially Water heating systems to heat “Hot boxes or heated growing beds”  The notion of underground heating larger grow beds for seasonal warming or temperature controlled required stock has been one I have wanted to add in my nursery for a while.  Given how much time I spend in this area in the off season; having a fire on the go is a regular agenda item during the cold seasons.  So having the place to burn things in a nice space is a worthy consideration.

The area will eventually work as a backdrop for photography though; to later take stock picture of Bonsai or other items grown for Media purposes.  Simply because the vision I have for this are and it’s natural lush ambiance and quality.

Which I cannot wait to finish up and plant to frame certain angles and frames; so I can make it into a personal studio and happy space for my dog Shadow to relax and enjoy also.

The Blue Barrel will be a secluded space and covered shaded place for him to spend summer afternoons in the heat of full sun.

With a fresh or recently fallen source of water to replenish himself with and keep the planted areas watered.



Lawn Mowers or other smaller wheels traffic may be required in this section.

I will be moving large volumes of material quickly, some of it bulky or unusual shaped or heavy loads.

This leads to the area I perform Compost making and Mulching through the whole year.



It’s also the first point of easily dropping items off. While being the heart and continually running bio storage area for the generated materials the different bays provide; as well as chunkier or heavier materials I plan to deploy on the other Nursery beds or work areas. It also has the feature of being a Rainwater generation and harvesting point. The tree canopy above and the Shed roof and guttering help generate steady and generous amounts of fresh rainwater. The rest of the Nursery only has water provided by means of carrying it by water can from Refill bays and running fresh water.



This area also marks the fence line and border of lowest space of my nursery land. It is overshadowed by large and well matured trees. It is cooler and damper here, fading through to shaded and eventually mid Shade into full sun.

Initial clearing and levelling work and back fence line pallets placed.  October 2017 Picture.


The ground was full of hazardous detritus and junk initially. It’s taken a fair bit of time to clear out, dig through and create the starts of the passages in and out of this vital area. Some large Stumps and other ancient built up spoil and compost has been overrun by Native Shrubs and an old Apple Tree. Seasoned Hawthorn Stumps and Ivy rife behind the old rickety put together shed.

The Chicken wire but heavier gauge metal fence defines the edge of my coolest and most damp zone. Private land beyond as can be seen is over run and left to run wild. Mostly running to Nettles from very early spring onwards through till frost damage has dropped the foliage and wildlife paths can be seen.




I generate a lot of material on the Nurseries and it’s Flower beds.

As well as from the crops or stock grown in the beds and grow beds throughout the year.

So having large and efficient Compost Bays and plenty of smaller Compost bins dotted around for local collection and initial processing; is essential to the healthy operating of the plots and beds.

Also providing nutrients, homes and structure for animals or creatures to the working areas of the Nursery and Plots.

I needed to raise the level of soil to about halfway up the side of the shed, It’s taken some time to heap the soil high enough; but also shape the drops to allow me to sculpt levels or cut through footpath to be lined and flanked with raised beds and eventually a bird feeder and water feature fed by the Shed roof and guttering.



The Mound is now of the right height and shape to sculpt a harder wearing Compost Bay and Mulch making area access. Allowing bulk bag width admittance, while also being easy to walk up and down if pulling or pushing large weights or high foot traffic through all seasons. While also adding some flora feature beds and ornamental areas.

Providing different forms of shelter and fauna to support wildlife; big and small.

Making use of a Shaded outcrop of mature trees.

Preparing to install an “Off the Grid” Water & Cooling Feature.

Preparing area for Seating and Dog Respire area.



Clearance for BBQ/Cooking Semi Shaded Area.


Added paving slabs to ease access to shed space.

New Spring Bulbs planted and other stock placed into beds and border. Followed by Perennial stock.

Access paths being roughed out and erosion prevention and weed control placement also being installed.

Sunsets over the gate at the end of the gallery.

Seasons Greetings:

Shadow of the Gardener and Rutland Bonsai Therapy.

Dec 2019.

Dec 3rd 2019 – Bottom Shed bed clear & embankment start.



What do I put in them? The compost bays and bulk bags?

Over the Year I have to cut a lot of grass, clip a lot of lawns and hedges, remove a lot of leaves and clear a fair amount of scrub. Processing this material generated by the bulk bag load; requires more bays and room to do so. Rather than just a Small plastic Compost “Dalek” or 2; most gardens can just about fill.

While also being able to turn the heaps over seasonally to encourage faster processing and healthy mixing of the matter they are decomposing. Correct Volumes and Aeration are easier to manage if you have large and deep prepared bays to store and manipulate the manure or detritus.

Giving ample space and ease for turning or mixing new organics as they are added. As well as processing and collection spaces to distribute different types of decomposable materials and matter at different stages of their life cycle or decomposition.

Composting works better if a mix of materials is used and they are not allowed to stagnate.

Mixing soft and wet grass clippings by adding some card board for example will help reduce the high moisture levels found in fresh grass or other foliage clippings that you may wish to compost.

Those types of sources of material can provide very fast and effective fuel for a compost bin or bay; but not in bulk and when fresh; unless a ratio of dry materials or good aeration/high heat already exists and continues operating will dry them out fast enough before they degrade and turn to mush.

Spread evenly and avoid the sludge like lumps of grass only piles.

Branch or woody material storage is also in this area. So it can dry out or age, Leaf Harvesting Storage and processing bays or cages can be set up to dry them out of for ease of processing and shredding. While also being close to hand to mix with large quantities of wet or Green matter; or while being conditioned for machine processing and reduction to leaf mould.

I also left room to allow a secluded through distance “Security bay area” for weed material that needs to be killed off and disposed of by burning at the end of the season. Items placed out of the way and not in my way needing to be left in bulk bags till the matter within has died or started to deteriorate for full disposal by fire if required can be placed and left till Late Winter or Burning Season.

Green clippings or soft Green cuttings are evenly mixed with Mulch material from all parts of the garden to create a good base Compost pile; small or large.

Use of garden generated Moss and thatch clippings can be used to increase the heat in a Compost Heap, and then slow additional even mix of additional carbon rich material and further grass clippings added slowly over time will become the heart of a good simple and effective compost heap.

After a few weeks you will have a healthy pile ready to start eating through household compostable matter that you generate or collect.

I utilise this space also to do power carving or petrol powered operations for preparing power tools for prolonged operation on the nursery. Strim line testing and performance for tool heads before applying them around the beds and borders; or while sculpting the land for new features or walkways.

This area has been used with Heavy Duty landscaping tools or cutting heads. Machine stress testing for large scale carving or crop rotation preparation. Also Heavy Brush Clearance and Multiple Industrial Strimming line machinery and tools; including chainsaw and powered pruning tools.

Often a catch place for Nursery generated or off Site collected for purpose Items. Where I will prepare and process them as the time and seasons allow/require. So holds a lot of “wanted from unwanted” in each load or Bulk Bag collected for the Nursery Sites; if needed.

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