The 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.
The 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.
I 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!