Having put the rainwater harvesting in, we were left with a 4″ pipe running across the concrete outside the cottage, not ideal. It was always our aim to pull up all the concrete slab in front of the house and incorporate the area in to the garden – our permaculture Zone 0 through which we constantly come and go. On reflection though, we need some parking space for visitors, and so decided to pull up just the area beyond our front door, which is the bit we come and go through anyway.

Breaking up concrete by hand is in the ‘how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time’  category, but after a few days of chipping away, and a helping hand from a visiting Jon, it was at least all broken. At the same time we moved the dome from its’ original spot behind the hedge (too dark), over near the house where it’ll be easy to access for seedlings and things like peppers. Outside it will be a good spot for herbs, and some nice scented things to have near the house.

Next step was to level the broken concrete and remove it mostly from the bits we want to grow in, before mulching the bed areas with cardboard, and topping up with a load of compost. We’ve left a circle in the middle as somewhere to sit, and edged everything with stones we found when digging up the rainwater harvesting area.

It’s coming together nicely and will form an entrance between the area where visitors arrive, and the gardens beyond. Now for the planting…