Sand Ring Shed

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Polytunnel Project

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The Building Projects at the GARDENS@NANPEAN

When we arrived at The Stables back in July 2019, the only construction on the land was the Stable Block which is divided into five units. The rest of the land was barren, and besides some wooden fencing, consisting of horse paddocks and nothing else.

Whilst the blank canvas was a good thing, it also meant that we had to add some building projects to it in order to shape it into the workable garden that we envisaged in our minds. So on this page are the links to the individual projects that we tackled and constructed to make the Gardens@nanpean something to stand out in the gardening world.

You can scroll down to see the individual projects, or just click on the links below to go straight to them.

The Workshops

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The Stable block became our first project just by necessity. We needed to have workshops for both the growing side and the building side of tasks that we would face in our desire to rebuild 'The Stables', and that would require some effort.
The photo on the left shows the starting point of our task, a purpose-built room for housing horses. we certainly had our work cut out for us. Loraine needed a bright and airy growing area where she could bring on the seedlings in the early months of the year before being put out to harden off prior to planting.
Paul needed a workshop for all of the necessary tasks such as welding, carpentry, metalworking, electrics, etc. To make it easier we have placed the workshops into two parts.

The Stable Block Roof

Stable block roof

Before moving on to the bigger builds on the property, there was one more task that needed to be done on the stable block!
After starting the workshops in the stable block it became apparent that the roof over the new workshops also had to be seen to, as it let in water in numerous places. Not much, but enough to make the workshops damp and unworkable.

The original roof was made from cement corrugated sheets, and as the roof had been dismantled once before, there were holes and cracks that let in water. Not a problem for housing horses, but not that good for our tools and such. So work had to be done!

The Sand Ring Shed

Sand ring shed

The second outdoors project was the Shed which we built on the Sand Ring. This was to house some of the tools we needed around the place for the various tasks to be performed.
As Paul was taking up the tools and building materials up to the sand ring, and then having to take them back down due to weather conditions it was not the best solution so we needed some kind of storage on the sand ring.
It was decided to build a fair-sized shed that would fit such a bill and work got underway once the weather was clement enough to do so.

You can read all about it here.

The Polytunnel

Polytunnel build

Project number two on the Sand Ring was the Polytunnel. We needed some indoor growing area to bring on plants, and more importantly, to have a home in the summer months for the Italian Tomatoes we love, and others such as Cucumbers, peppers, and Aubergine.

These fruits do require a more consistent warmth during the summer as being Meditteranean, they perform much better with stable temperatures.
After much discussion, we thought one large polytunnel would be better than 2-3 small ones so we opted for a whopping 40 feet by 20 feet tunnel with a central height of around 10 feet.
We purchased a robust, well-made tunnel with thick bars and many extras thrown in and the link to the supplier can be found on the build page.

The North West Passage

The north west passage

The layout of the property meant that any access to the upper gardens had to be made by using the main ramp to the side of the Sand Ring. Whilst this was not difficult we thought it would be nice to have a different access point to the fields by another route.
When clearing some of the overgrowths at the back of the sand ring we decided to build an alternative more direct route to the orchard which lay beyond. With this in mind, the area would give us a more scenic way to view the gardens.

So, a plan was drawn up on how to tackle this project and the clearing of the undergrowth began.

Composting Area Build

Composting area
One of the best assets to no-dig gardening is 'Composting'! By far the most important if not the most alluring task, composting is, what blood is to you, it is the life force of the garden and without it, your plants will all suffer for its omission.
It was with this in mind that the next task on the list should be the act of installing some kind of composting area as close to the gardens as possible to save on unnecessary movement of the finished article. After much deliberation, we decided to place the composting area in the corner of the growing area near the North end.
The build would use pretty much any of the recycled materials saved from taking down the fences and posts that we no longer required. Read on below.

The Great Wall

The Garden wall
For followers of our blog over the years, you will know that the greatest challenge we were to undertake was the building of a wall around our designated garden area. We did build temporary fencing to protect the growing area and lined it with builders netting to give some protection from the elements and the wildlife.
Whilst this proved invaluable, it could only be a temporary solution to our desire to have a proper walled garden that would keep out small mammals, especially rabbits, from the main vegetable gardens which could devastate crops overnight.
So, after the composting area was built, we started on this next project to give us a real walled garden where we could nurture a dedicated growing area where our produce could thrive.

The Garden Hut Project

Garden Hut Project

Before we could finish the garden wall entirely, there had to be a break whilst the Garden Hut was built so we could use it to house all of the garden implements and other garden equipment. We needed somewhere dry and spacious to run to if it suddenly rained hard, and somewhere where we could make tea or coffee on those chilly days.
The best solution was to build a decent size Hut in the North West corner of our walled garden where we could do all of those things and more. So once the foundations for the Hut had been built, cables had been run in for power, telephone, and internet, the real works could begin.
For this project we had to buy in many materials for the build which included Shiplap timbers for the external skin, thick floor timber 20mm, OSB sheet for the roof skin, Double doors for the front entrance, and Rubber membrane for the roof covering.