A wet and windy Saturday will no doubt add to the increasing accumulation of leaves around the garden, but if the rain eases off I might begin sweeping later in the day, bagging leaves to provide the anticipated leaf mould in a couple of years time – we gardeners must think ahead!
Looking out of the kitchen windows I can easily monitor the progress of leaf fall, watching as our neighbour’s massive beech tree becomes more skeletal and the adjacent silver birches of our own woodland transform into winter sylphs. The beech is to the left of the top middle, half of it overhanging our garden, with our birches to the middle right, along with a field maple or two. Once all the leaves have fallen, these create a wonderful skeletal silhouette against blue winter skies. Just to the left of the sitooterie and in front of the beech is the evergreen ivy ‘tree’, clambering up the framework of a dead wild plum, whilst he conical shape to the right is the variegated holly.
Already providing pleasing silhouettes are the already naked amelanchier (what a shame we didn’t monitor the staking of this when it was still a young and pliable specimen!) and the nearby sculptural climbing hydrangea, Hydrangea petiolaris. I trim all the side shoots from the lower branches of the latter, leaving just a canopy of foliage above and exposing the wonderfully flakey trunks.
Our neighbours seem to notice the next silhouette more than I do, climbing Rosa ‘Parkdirector Riggers’, now sporting a combination of blooms and hips, probably because I am invariably looking at something else as I walk past.
Down the side of the house, hedge trimming has continued apace, even this morning in the rain when the Golfer shunned a relaxing morning doing a jigsaw to continue his efforts, albeit with manual trimmers on some of the awkward bits. When complete, the hedge is going to look in far better shape than it has done for years, although it helps that our hedge neighbour concurs with bringing the height down and has been cutting their side in tandem. This morning’s efforts revealed a strange intestinal kink in one of the trees growing in the hedge – how it was achieved is anybody’s guess!
Finally, there is new structure down this side of the house, adjacent to the entrance border. When the fig was cut down last year, ideally I wanted some sort of walk-through archway, partially replicating the green leafy tunnel that the massive fig had provided. However, I believed that any such structure was likely to make hedge trimming, an annual necessity, extremely difficult, so reluctantly made do just with a narrow border instead. However, it always felt as if there was something missing and I knew I was still hankering after an archway, so I tentatively broached the subject with the Golfer, prepared to compromise and perhaps have a structure that could be partially dismantled at hedge trimming time. As Primary Hedge Trimmer, he is the one who would be working within the constraints, and fortunately for me the verdict was a positive one – hurrah!
I’m not quite sure why we didn’t establish that last year, but never mind, the required structure was quickly produced and had its first coat of my favourite garden paint, Cuprinol Garden Shades ‘Wild Thyme’, yesterday, and its second this afternoon after the morning’s wet and windy start had blown over. What am I going to grow up it? Not sure yet, maybe fast growing flowering annuals, so they can be cut down in time for hedge trimming, but if the truth be told I would like a white wisteria and this may or may not be an appropriate place for it.
These are my Six on Saturday, and if you visit Jon the Propagator’s blog you will find his six and links to those of other bloggers.