For years now, five at least, I've been talking the talk and carefully avoiding the hard work.
We have four flower borders on the lawn which I created about 10 years ago. My parents were selling their house and I was taking some plant cuttings from the beautiful garden. I did a trip to England and came back with about 80 cuttings all potted up. Most of the cuttings came from the borders in the picture on the left but I've included the picture on the right as it is the pond I fell into when I was about four and my brother insisted on taking his brand new watch off before he pulled me out - the watch had been a Christmas present so the water was COLD!
Nearly all took and many have seeded and developed. Anyway, I dug the flower beds in a hurry and although I was pretty good about clearing the roots I was working in a field that had recently been cow pasture. So very fertile but full of perenial weeds.
I realised very quickly that the only solution would be to start again but as the beds developed it seemed a real shame to empty them out. I also didn't fancy more back breaking digging and no-one else wanted to do it! Clearly a rotation was required and today we cleared, more or less, the first bed. More or less means that as there are two pear trees, one at each end, we've cleared between them. We solemnly dug up old friends and split them up and replanted elsewhere. We took out as many weed roots as possible and we have covered it in wonderful manure from the farm next door (same cows!).
Finally, so that we won't be tempted to put plants and flowers back in before the autumn, I've put in some seed potatoes. This is my cunning plan for improving the soil and it also uses up a few more of the seed potatoes. I'm hopeless at mounding up potatoes and instead I put "stuff" directly all over the potato beds. "Stuff" includes, in no particular order, garden compost, manure, leaf mould, straw. Usually about three doses is enough to keep the tubers covered and prevent them going green and the result is that once all the potatoes have been removed from the bed the soil is absolutely wonderful.
Once this first bed is replanted we can clear the second bed - more potatoes if my plan works! - and so on until all four are done. I just hope it isn't like painting the Skye Bridge!