Thwarted

img_8570The afternoon started well, with the unusually mild December promising a good few hours gardening. Having discovered on my rambles that an errant hazelnut dropped between the fence and the back of the ‘bus shelter’ had grown into a twenty foot tree without us noticing, the Golfer was sure he could deal with it without having to broach the neighbours and tackle it from their side of the fence. The gap was a mere 6″ or so and there was no way it could be reached from our side – unless the back of the bus shelter was dismantled that is, which is what the above picture shows, with the hazel already partially cut down.

img_8571The stump was cut down as close to ground level as possible and will be drilled to enable stump killer to be applied, not that this is the best time of year for doing so – but it needs to be done before the bus shelter is put back together again. The rest of the hazel was quickly reduced to manageable pieces and bagged for our green waste collection. The bus shelter, for those not in the know, was based on balustrades and the timber front of an Edwardian porch, purchased from our friendly reclamation yard, and christened the ‘bus shelter’ by our neighbour because of the way the Golfer constructed the roof – and the name stuck.

Meanwhile, aborting my planned overhaul of the blue & white borders as it was now drizzling, I cracked on with pruning the climbing roses instead, a slightly drier job. Having completed those on the pergola and clambering over the sheds I moved on to ‘Mme. Alfred Carrière’, thus keeping the Golfer company as this rose climbs vigorously over the bus shelter. The drizzle had by this time turned into proper rain and pulling the branches lower to enable me to prune them was spraying me with raindrops as the branches bounced back. Even with the ladder there were some I couldn’t reach without the aid of something to pull them in closer, and I didn’t want to risk stretching over the fence with everything, including myself, as wet as it was, so sadly the task was abandoned for the day leaving my pile of trimmings to deal with another time.

img_8572I was also left with what looked like nicotine staining on my hands, having chosen to wear my thick leather gardening gloves for rose pruning and not my waterproof gloves of choice – pretty yellow leather gloves! The photograph doesn’t really show just how yellow my hands were and it took more than a good scrub to get the staining off – so be warned!

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22 Responses to Thwarted

  1. Good for you two for setting to in such gloomy weather, it’s been yuck out there here today but we’ve had to make the most of it too. Hazel branches are super bendy and weave together well to make three dimensional plant supports ….

    • Cathy says:

      It gradually got wetter and wetter, Kate, and our gutters were oveflowing at one point! We tend to have plenty of available hazel stems but sometimes forget to keep them when we have been trimming – I used them a lot for a sinple hoop edging this year

  2. Best laid plans…but hopefully you are now snug and warm.

  3. karen says:

    I love that recycled pergola. Such a great idea to reuse the timbers and frame like that. I love saving and reusing materials. It’s amazing how those saplings grow like that without us realising. I’ve got a huge maple at the back of the chicken run to deal with, and an elderberry behind my compost bins. I’m sure they have grown virtually over night. Hope you managed to get the stains out of your hands. I did the same with some red gloves. people thought I’d got a rash for about a week until it wore off. No amount of scrubbing would budge it. All the best. Karen

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Karen – we snapped those pieces up from the yard without a clue of what to use them for, but the concept grew out of their acquisition as some of the best ideas do. It wasn’t till I saw my hands in natural light again this morning that I realised they were still yellow! Much better now, though, after a bit more scrubbng 😉

  4. I admire you getting out there in the weathers to try to get things accomplished. It isn’t wet here but the ground is frozen so not much is going on in my garden.

  5. Christina says:

    But at least you didn’t get thorns in your hands. I once had some shoes that weren’t as waterproof as I imagined and I ended up with black toes!

  6. johnvic8 says:

    I hadn’t realized that The Golfer was also a construction engineer. I am glad for your sake that he also is a tree surgeon.

  7. Peter Herpst says:

    Your bus shelter is wonderful! Good for you for braving the wet weather to work in your garden. Just think, now you could take up chain smoking and blame your gloves for the stains on your hands.

  8. Surprising how trees can grow to quite a height before being noticed. It’s happened to us.

    • Cathy says:

      When we first came to this house and the garden was pretty empty we liked to see the hazel and holly seedlings growing but in a few years time we realised that it doesn’t take them long to grow into trees and the garden was getting shadier and shadier!

  9. dunelight says:

    Here in West Michigan there are two things that grow faster than you notice them crowding your space; Mulberry Trees and imported Russian Olive bushes. I remember seeing the Russian Olives advertised oh…30 years ago as a fast growing wonder shrub for problem areas…goodness how they take over fallow ground and fields…I was forever ripping them out. They are now officially ranked as an invasive species.

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