Red Shoes and Pink Hairnets

As my secateurs continued their lopping frenzy today and created yet another task in doing so, it reminded me of the Hans Christian Anderson fairy story called ‘The Red Shoes’ in which the girl’s red shoes continue dancing of their own accord and can’t be removed after she repeatedly and vainly wore them to church. In desperation she eventually asks for her feet toΒ  be cut off but the shoes continue to dance with her feet still in them. The story does have a happy ending though as when she dies she goes to heaven where no one ever mentions the red shoes… Thankfully I have finished snipping and lopping for the day and the secateurs are calmly resting in their usual place and not making any attempt toΒ take control and carry on snipping.

IMG_5572The panels are not completely clear yet, but since yesterday I have made the decision not even to attempt to retain the existing trellis (one of our pallet creations) as several patches are now rotting. Removing it now will make clearing the last of the ivy very much easier – and not replacing it will make for easier maintenance of the fence.

As I got closer to the right of this section of fence and began tackling the leafy part of the Clematis montana I realised how much of it had begun to get entangled not only with the more interesting clematis on the adjacent colonnade but also with the jasmine that launches itself over the colonnade every summer, covering the back end in a cloak of feathery leaves, but next to no flowers. So…the gardening shoes danced and the secateurs snipped and soon the jasmine was no more…

IMG_5573 Even with the first snip the sun poured in, bringing light and warmth to the clematis on the pillars at the back of the colonnade and the geraniums at their feet, promising great things in future years and definitely not a spur of the moment decision to be regretted. Not even with the addition of a second heap to be dealt with…

red.shoesIMG_5575Aware that it was the 7th of the month I also remembered to take a tape measure to Hamamelis vernalis ‘Amethyst’ today, the tree I am watching for Lucy of Loose and Leafy‘s tree watching meme. Mind you, I knew without measuring that it was taller than last month just from observing it through the kitchen window – and at 115cm it has in fact grown another 13cm since last month and is very clearly happy in this spot.

Since last month I had noticed that several of my witch hazels were now sporting seed pods – and then today I noticed that most now also had embryonic flower buds. I had no idea they appeared as early as this – something else that has become apparent whilst ‘tree watching’! Curious to see what witch hazel seeds look like and to take up the challenge of growing Hamamelis from seed (they are usually grafted) some of the seed pods are now proudly sporting pretty pink hairnets to catch the seeds when they ‘pop’, as described in May’s tree watching post!


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21 Responses to Red Shoes and Pink Hairnets

  1. Brian Skeys says:

    I think your previous post must of inspired me Cathy, I have been out with the secateurs and loppers today!

  2. Lea says:

    I know there is great satisfaction in clearing out a ‘jungle’ Good job!
    Glad your little tree is doing well.
    Happy Tree Following!

  3. croftgarden says:

    You are ruthless with the secateurs, I’d hate to see you with a chainsaw!

  4. I took down two Concord grapes and their tangled mess this week finding a good home for the plants and disposing of the mess. Now, I can see my Arbor, and it is upright. Thank you for the push. πŸ™‚

    • Cathy says:

      Glad you found the push helpful, Judy! It can be quite exciting what you find underneath tangled messes and the like, isn’t it?!

  5. Annette says:

    I’m usually not much of a pruner when I start it usually takes a huge trailor to carry things away. No gardening today as it’s raining nicely and I’m so pleased about it. My body too as it hurts after all the hard work this week so I shall enjoy my rest. Have a nice weekend and thanks for the tale too which I had almost forgotten πŸ™‚

    • Cathy says:

      Likewise, Annette, although what I have been doing recently goes rather beyond ‘light pruning’, don’t you think…? πŸ˜‰ Hope you have found time to relax a little this w/e and rest your weary limbs….

  6. rickii says:

    Your post title reminded me of the movie ‘Hairnet’ starring John Travolta as Edna. The other movei “The Red Shoes”, starring Moira Shearer, might be more pertinent. Am I totally off track?

  7. Hollis says:

    red shoes & pink hairnets … at first I thought I had landed somewhere in error! πŸ˜‰ nice story

  8. Anna says:

    It sounds as if there has been much judicious snipping going on Cathy. You will reap the benefits in due course. If only one could send the secateurs out there to do their own thing. It will be interesting to see how the witch hazel seed sowing progresses. Somehow or the other I can’t envisage you in a pink hair net or maybe they belong to The Golfer πŸ™‚

    • Cathy says:

      It might look ruthless to some eyes, Anna, but I agree with you that it was judicious snipping – heaven help us if the secateurs were automated though as they may have a different agenda to us! I am not sure what size fairies are but as the little pink hair nets are only 2″ square I think they would find them more suitable than the Golfer and myself would πŸ˜‰

  9. hoehoegrow says:

    Now have an image of your secateurs snipping madly, all alone with no hand to guide them … In my garden it would be the ‘Deadheading scissors’ which would echo the red shoes, as they have to work so hard at the moment!
    Snipping is very satisfactory though, and you never realise what a thug Montana is until you begin to cut it back.

    • Cathy says:

      Alas, deadheading was on my ‘list’ today too but I was severely distracted… 😦 Interesting what you say about C montana because that is exactly what it’s like (except it’s only a minor thug compared to some…)

  10. Sam says:

    I find pruning quite therapeutic but it is sometimes hard to leave alone. You’re making great progress. Love that witch hazel. We had one in our old garden that was a lovely shape and in full view from the kitchen for ‘watching’. Great idea.

  11. That’s quite a scary story, to be thinking of whilst armed with secateurs. Looks like you got lots done which must have been very rewarding. All that space now, well done. Just got to take it to the tip? Burn it? Compost it?

    • Cathy says:

      Defintely a bit scarey – that’s where vanity gets you I suppose… Our ‘green bin’ is full so it will be going to the tip where it will be recycled

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