I've had a bit of rearrange in the front vegetable bed over the last week. This is the fourth incarnation.
When we first got here in 2005, that bed just had a few randomly-placed heathers with a stone mulch on plastic membrane. The plastic membrane had soured the soil and it was greasy and sticky potable clay. Later that year we got all of that up, got rid of the heathers, and left it to recover, with many plans afoot about what to do with it. Then we forgot about it.
By 2008 it had disappeared under weeds and rubble from the house renovations:
I cleared that and in 2010 created the vegetable beds:
Sometime in 2011/12 I got a comfrey cutting from my mother-in-law, which I planted in the corner nearest the patio and which took off. This is it in 2013.
This year I tried to plant a few vegetable plants only to find out that the comfrey had put out roots that extended over half way across the bed. It was now around four foot in diameter. I carried on to see what would happen. All of the plants suffered and were stunted, apart from the courgette, which seemed to form some kind of symbiotic relationship with the thing and took on triffid proportions.
I really didn't like the comfrey plant, although the bees loved it, because no matter how much I hacked away at it it still kept growing and taking over, killing other plants.
So, over the last 10 days I have ripped out the comfrey completely, dug over and fed the soil and planted dwarf lavender 'Hidcote' plants that will be interspersed with primrose and bulbs in the spring. The lavender is the remains of the 50p pots I got in the reduced section in Wyevale a few months ago, and the primroses are also the ones from last year, having been potted on after the season and fed all summer. I'll be adding some more spring flowers as and when I can for the bees, although there are many other sources of comfrey in the garden that they will find when they need it.
Further back, I have planted some onions that I have sprouted from seed to overwinter and I'll be adding some more to those so they get a head start on next spring.
I feel much better about the space already.