Out With the Old

IMG_3134gardening 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 toย pre-empt tree felling in our dotage and reduce shade that in reality triggered some of these new projects.

IMG_3158At 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:

out.with.oldExciting 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 IMG_3162allotments (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!

IMG_3161Inspiration 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!

This entry was posted in fruit, garden structure, Gardening, Gardens, projects, roses. Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Out With the Old

  1. Lots of activity at your place. Can’t wait to follow the progress. Love the cutting of the wellies. Necessity really was the mother of invention. LOL

  2. Christina says:

    Exciting times indeed! One project always does lead to another doesn’t it; or you have to move something else before you can move the thing you want to move. Sounds a bit confusing but you know what I mean. I keep gazing at the poor walnuts, as soon as their leaves have dropped………

  3. You’re definitely not afraid of hard work, Cathy! It is often like trying to solve a puzzle, trying to move pieces to fit. It takes a lot of lateral thinking, imagination, and courage to take the plunge. It’s always better once it’s done, though. You are a tease, keeping your plans close to your chest. I will definitely be watching with interest to see how it evolves. Have fun! P.s. Your wellies – another case of lateral thinking. Geoff Hamilton would be so impressed!

    • Cathy says:

      I like your puzzle analogy – sometimes it might take months for an idea to come together and sometimes they come in flash, and both can set all sorts of other things in motion. I love it!

  4. croftgarden says:

    I hope that you don’t have access to a JCB as you are obviously a dangerous woman with a pair of loppers nevermind a chainsaw. However, there is nothing like a project to revitalise a garden or the gardener. I shall watch with interest.

  5. jenhumm116 says:

    Blimey, I’m feeling a little exhausted just reading about all these plans, I think I’ll have a little sit down. But I’m very excited to follow your progress – from the sofa ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Cathy says:

      It still surprises me how quickly an idle thought escalated into all this – so perhaps it is the time of year after all…. A bit like spring cleaning (not that I am a spring cleaning kind of person!) perhaps

  6. Sally says:

    You are ambitious and I love how you process……ideas coming to you as you blog! I’ll learn what a fruit cage is and if it would be of value in my New England garden…..Can’t wait to see what you do with the spaces!

    • Cathy says:

      Without the fruit cage (basically an enclosed netted area, but being made in situ here ours has fence/wall on 3 sides) the birds could strip ripened soft fruit overnight.

  7. Chloris says:

    I love having a project too, specially one that gives you more garden to plant. I am looking forward to seeing how you are going to proceed with this.
    The cut welly idea is an inspiration. I have those heelless clogs and I always end up with dirty socks and shoes full of soil.

  8. Cathy says:

    Sounds like you’re busy Cathy. Happy gardening! My autumn plants are due to arrive tomorrow, so I’ll be busy the next few days too!

  9. I love the thought of recycling and repurposing so I really appreciated what you did to make footwear for yourself.

  10. bittster says:

    It’s amazing how one thing leads to another to another to another! I’m envious on how you charge ahead on this, I tend to get caught up worrying about all the little plants and miss the big picture.

  11. Julie says:

    This looks like an energetic mystery project, looking forward to seeing what happens. I like the sound of your new yellow roses too, I’ve just looked up ‘The Poets Wife’, its absolutely beautiful. Wonderful romantic name as well.

  12. Anna says:

    Sounds as if your feet are not going to have time to hit the ground Cathy never mind you preloved restyled wellies. I wonder what you are getting up to. Have fun ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Exciting plans Cathy, that’s a lovely space you have ready for your nascent shrub border, and very nice to have created a new home for the peony. And hey, another excuse for playing with bricks! Sounds just about perfect. Look forward to seeing it all come together.

  14. wellywoman says:

    Wow! You’ve got a lot going on. looking forward to seeing your plans come to fruition. I’ve had enough of our cobbled together fruit cage at the allotment, so any future plans I think will have to incorporate a permanent structure. What are you planning to grow?

    • Cathy says:

      Mostly just new for old – replacing redcurrant, blackcurrants, rhubarb – and moving some small fruit cordons there. Also adding some yellow raspberries to the usual ones I already have. Already have loganberries and blackberries. Although you can buy fruit cages we have always made our own but in this revamping have made the roof higher and used a rigid netting – and included removeable sections to allow any birds out that have found an unexpected way in!

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