So I spent the day out in the jungle … Pup had remembered how to jump his gate; Dog had to be coaxed to join us. I went armed … with the secateurs, a saw. my gardening gloves and a pair of bamboo rubber gloves.
I said yesterday there are several reasons why it is like it is …
- It was sterile when I bought the house; I planted up borders did some hard landscaping and it was nice but still lacking something;
- Mother gave me some plants – tayberries, raspberries and a rowan tree and I planted a cherry tree, two apple trees and a clematis – the tayberries and raspberry canes took over … I mean like if you stood still to 2 minutes you would see them grow!
- I made a raised pond – nothing worse than a spanking new pond it needs to naturalise a little
- The trees were tiny and needed to grow up
- My neighbours! one side I had the teenager who jumped off the trampoline onto the fence (hence I am waiting for them to replace the broken fence); on the other side the neighbours were noisy garden users and at the end I was being watched and judged on what folks that used to live here were like (these neighbours were known for their limited neighbourliness!)
So I let the garden go a bit (okay a lot) wild … things change:
- The trees I planted are now about 3-4 m tall and have been joined by three self sown ones;
- The pond is naturalised;
- The teenager has gown up and hopefully since they are doing up the house the fence will follow; on the other side they left suddenly and the house is up for sale. At the end a personality change has taken place and he has mellowed and he asked me nicely for access to maintain his shed.
So I set to work last night and started to clear around the trees at the bottom and this morning I took big chunks off the elder to leave one stem with a nice canopy close to the shed – so if I pave in front of the shed I have a shady place to sit (and I will have elderberries). There were two self sown trees that are very tall and slender so I was going to keep them – but Dog started chewing one so that had to be demolished – tough work since I had to move it to lift the tap roots and then cut through them.
It was at this point that I realised I had an audience … you will have to look carefully to spot him or her …
It was also at this point that despite my plans with two layers of gloves and sleeves pulled down I started to feel sore – I am covered in scratches and weals from nettle stings – including a bramble scratch right across my face. I have also irritated my sore wrist again which was on the mend!
After lunch and a stint at an international video conference I returned to my clearing. Moving on to tackling the tayberry and raspberry canes and clearing the pond. It is heartening to see that there are still quite a lot of the plants I had put in under the wildness and they should thrive now it is getting cleared. This evening I finished off by cutting back the yellow climbing rose to one stem which I will not tie into the trellis and the clematis which has gone truly wild and which I will now train over onto the dog run roof. Both apple trees have perished but I have a lovely crop of rowan berries even after I cut that back quite hard and there are cherries on the cherry tree (which I expect he birds will nab!)
Probably another couple of days clearing and then I will need to spray out the brambles, the thistle and some of the nettles (I will leave a few because they are an important food plant for many creepy crawlies. Then I will haul out the compost bin which should have a good offering to go on the raised veggie beds before I cover them in black plastic to kill off weed seeds and warm up for some winter planting (if the bunnies skiddadle now Pup is going out in the garden to play.)
And my audience – still there in the rain as we packed up and came in so I gently went back with the camera …
That is why I wanted some wild in my garden – so it is a place where creatures can come, feed and be safe.
Then I had a phone conversation with my mother – I told her about Pup’s continuing kangaroo impression and how good he had been and we chatted about what I was clearing from the garden and could I hang on to any plants I was splitting/had spare and then she said “so what have you done today?” I would have loved to replied “Oh you know a massage this morning, a facial after lunch and then I had my nails done”
So now I am going to go get the lotion I was sent from Canada for my birthday and give my scratches and stings a good soothing … signing on day tomorrow but I will try and do some more jungle adventures in the evening …