Monday, 1 August 2016

Chain Saw Attack

The laurel before the chop

The holly in 2011
Andy happened to be on the lane a few days ago when Richard came by.  Richard chops hedges and trees for a living so he could not resist commenting on our holly tree.  It has grown next to the front path for the last twenty odd years with its roots causing the paving stones to scrape against the under side of the gate. Here is a photo from 2011 when it was already large ...  Every winter it is covered in enough berries to provide food for a couple of mistle thrushes and the rest of the year it is home to robins, wood pigeons and tree bees.  It is a lovely tree but it had never been pruned and it was towering over the chimney.  A deal was struck and Richard returned a couple of days later ....

Holly now

The chinmey will now survive the winter without being pumnelled to bits in the wind.  The top third having been removed.  It looks a bit odd at the moment but it will soon push out new growth.

The ivy growing up the house wall was also chopped back and neated up.  I watched them very carefully this time .... last time I paid someone to do it I had to got out ... I returned to disaster ... all the honeysuckle round the door had gone too! These guys did a good job and tidied up really well afterwards. 

The main part of their work was in the back garden where the laurel bush had completely taken over!
You can see it in the top photograph just above the rose and here in the middle of this photo:

Laurel before the chop
As you can see it dominated the whole border.  Nothing can grow near it because it shades the light and acts like a vacuum for any water.  The kids were junior school age when we moved in.  The laurel was large then and had one branch that grew out at an angle.  The lads would sit astride it, bounce up and down and enjoy the bucking broncho effect ... until one day it split.  They didn't tell me and I didn't garden then so I didn't notice.  By the time I found what had happened the split branch had rooted itself into the ground so the large shrub was twice the width.  Well, one half now had to go so....

.... it went!

I have spent two days picking up bits of laurel and tidying up the rest of the border.  I have planted lots of tulip bulbs that we dug up from the allotment last winter (no idea what they will look like as all the colours have been mixed up!  Might be interesting!) but I have a large empty patch of bare soil now just waiting for me to decide what to grow in it!

Brilliant!  Should have done it ages ago!

August 2016
At the front of the house the farmer has been out with his plough this afternoon.  He is normally cutting wheat or barley this time of year but it has been fallow for a few months so he is obviously getting ready to plant something soon.