Friday 10 August 2007

Hacking and slashing

I spent a hot day with my pruning saw, always a pleasure - if a rather sweaty one. Do you remember a tall pine tree fell down in a gale earlier in the year? It's made us look at the other pines in the garden, all of which are about the same age, were topped about 35 years ago and, since then, have not grown taller but have bushed out at the top, making them top-heavy. In short, they are coming down before any more fall.

The nearest to the house is being felled tomorrow (I promise you, it's not a fine tree and we will plant at least one more to replace it). In preparation, Friend with a Chainsaw came and cleared some undergrowth yesterday. This has left a space. Left, it will be filled with Stuff. Untidy Stuff, because the Sage is something of a magpie. I have learned, over the years (and I am untidy too) that the best way to avoid this is not to leave a space in the first place.

Between the Space and the lawn is a very old fence held up with ivy and some scrubby lilacs overgrown with brambles. It's all coming out. The lilacs have spread out over the years, dying back in the centre - which has let in the brambles. Oh, and next to the Space was a large, self-seeded 15 or more years ago, flowering currant. Was. I took it out this morning. This afternoon, I attacked the rest of the undergrowth. The Sage was startled when he arrived home. "We were doing that tomorrow, weren't we?"

I feel some regret taking out the ivy, as so many insects live in it, but at least it is not in flower and it's not hibernating time. There are many other places for wildlife in the garden, without worrying about the brambles and ivy right next to the house. I might end up with a more attractive garden, if I don't falter.


Dave said...


Z said...

The big project is so much more fun than the steady maintenance, isn't it?

stitchwort said...

Savage pruning is tremendously satisfying.
And if you could get all that lot shredded and spread back onto the ground, you'll have recycling and feeding at the same time.
What are you going to plant - veg, flowers, shrubs?

Z said...

Absolutely knackering though. We've taken out a massive old lilac that had to be cut back first and then hacked out, bit by bit, at the roots.

When we've done it all, we'll give it some thought, but at the moment I'm mostly wanting to open up the area. A few shrubs will go in, I should think, but I'll wait for a bit and keep cutting back any ivy and brambles that try to come again.

I'm off to work at the shop now. Carrying round half-hundredweight sacks will be a rest cure after this morning!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you have been having fun and getting a great workout at the same time. You'll have enough firewood for the next five winters! What wine goes best post-bramble, plant clearing?

Z said...

Very warm, so a chilled Pinot Grigio. With dinner, a South African Merlot.

I'm slightly pissed (tipsy, darling, not annoyed)

luckyzmom said...

I am an excellent pruner and would have loved to give you a hand.