gardening clogs, split at the heel, and in with …. not a new pair as it is hard to find them with backs except online (and last time I had to return them and swap for a different size) but, following a sudden flash of inspiration (and tidying the boot of my car prior to its sale), with a pair of wellies cut down to ankle length. Job done – and I can’t believe I have never thought of that before!
In the garden it is also very much a case of ‘out with the old’ and preparation for a later ‘in with the new’ – perhaps it could be considered an instinctive seasonal action if it wasn’t for the unexpected availability of free topsoil or the desire to pre-empt tree felling in our dotage and reduce shade that in reality triggered some of these new projects.
At the end of the woodland the mahonia and wild cherry are now fully down but will need their stumps dealt with, whereas the ash has been cut to about six feet or so – the amount of extra light that floods into the main borders is astonishing and should make a big difference to the nearest one in particular. I do now have a scheme for this space which will be kept under wraps until completed – suffice to say it is something practical but which also fulfils my desire for a viewpoint. And it is not a treehouse!
The new streamside bed which was created with the rescued topsoil will become (after much deliberating) essentially a shrub border – with some rugosa roses along the hedge line and….hold the front page!….. daringly allowing myself the opportunity to acquire a taste for yellow roses as I have ordered David Austin’s new rose ‘The Poet’s Wife’ and ‘The Pilgrim’ for this border too. Thinking laterally, I shall also move a callicarpa and ornamental quince from pots on the paved area, along with the peony from one of the main borders. The latter has not flowered for a couple of years and I did consider removing it altogether, but as it was one of the few plants in the garden when we came and forms an integral part of the blog’s header and gravatar I would have been reluctant to do so am quietly thrilled that I have this sensible alternative.
As we had already started cutting back hazel and holly seedlings on this hedgeline before the Big Topsoil Rescue I have ended up with a very reasonably sized area to tinker with, although soil along the hedgeline needs some improvement before planting can begin. The three pillar fruit trees were dug out yesterday and have been temporarily re-heeled in awaiting their move to the fruit cage, so these pictures give a good idea of the available space:
Exciting times! And look at the space in the fruit cage, now that the redcurrant, gooseberries and blackcurrants have been taken out and passed onto two friends with allotments (the whitecurrant was unloved and unlucky…). There is some life in them yet, and it would have been a shame to just dispose of them. New fruit has been ordered but I need to decide on the most practical arrangement for the layout of this currently vacant part of the fruit cage. In the meantime, another sudden inspirational flash will see the rhubarb moved from its current corner to the fruit cage, giving even more cutting bed space – hurrah!
Inspiration seems to be coming in bucketloads at the moment, as yesterday I had a lightbulb moment on one of my rambles whilst contemplating yet again the lack of success of my hot-cum-bold borders, especially the right hand one. By moving the albeit successful honeysuckle screen back into the woodland edge border I could add several feet to the bold border, giving it a depth it has lacked and allowing more space for manouevre as well as more sunlight. OK, it will mean rebuilding the little wall at the base, and partially dismantling the screen – but those aren’t huge jobs in the overall scheme of things – and the payback will be more than worth it! The woodland edge plants can shuffle along, especially as there is a big gap where I removed an over-large Thalictrum flavum glaucum, and it will give me the impetus to thin out or remove some native thalictrum too.
Well, can’t sit and write my blog all day – better get out and get on with things!