22 March 2021

Barn Wall Pruning Work.

Today we have been doing some pruning work along the barn wall and border. This is work that continues on from the tree pruning that we did last week.

First job was to tidy up the Ivy on the wall to the steps. The Ivy is under control so it was just a matter of trimming the side and then taking back last years growth. I don't know if you can see in the picture but there are some nice wrought iron rails above the Ivy.  

I think it makes quite a difference to the look of the place once done.

As we move along the wall there are some Dogwoods and a Pyracantha that need pruning. There are several other shrubs as well but they can't be pruned just yet as it would cut off this years flowers.

I just cut the Dogwoods back to last years cut and removed any dead or weak growth. The Pyracantha has to have a degree of training as well as a prune. There are a couple of interesting features in the wall that I don't want to cover so it has to be trained to the wall but around the obstacles. 

This year I added a loop around the statue in the wall, I think you can just make it out if you look close. I now need to get a shoot growing off to the left of that loop to balance things out. Also in this picture you can see a Euonymus to the left of the Pyracantha, this was also given a bit of a trim. As you can see I still have the Dogwood prunings to pick up and cart away as I ran out of time. The Euonymus can be grown as a shrub but as there isn't enough room for that I've trained it to grow flat against the wall. The chunk that's missing out of the left hand side is where some non gardening person decided to install a bird box. I expect it will fill in again with time.

18 March 2021

Pruning Afternoon

This afternoon we had a bit of a pruning session in one of the shrub borders. I say pruning but it was a bit of a mixture of proper pruning with some clipping. I prefer to prune for a more natural look but some of the shrubs such as the Berbris lend them selves to clipping where as the buddleia's get a proper pruning. We finished off by putting everything through the shredder and returned it back to the border It was a nice day for it, dry and quite warm in the sunshine.

Below are a couple of before and after pictures.

16 March 2021

Restoring The Balance.

 We had cause to try and save this tree recently. It got pulled over by the weight of the snow that we had a few weeks back. It was virtually blocking the entrance to the wedding barn so if I could if I couldn't get it back under control it was going to have to be removed which would have been a shame.

Thankfully I was able to save it and at the same time keep it looking respectable.

This is a side view before the work began. Apart from blocking the doorway it was also covering a border.

This is the same side view after the work was done. People can once again walk under it without having to duck or bang their heads.

This the view from the other side and gives a better idea of how far it came away from the wall.

Here is the finished article. It's still away from the wall but I've managed to get a certain balance to it so that hopefully it will reestablish it's self with time.

15 March 2021

 I've managed to get a bit more work done on the graves in the churchyard. This first picture is a reminder of as it was like shortly after I started back in February. At the very beginning there was also Ivy covering both the gravestones as well as the ground.

This is how it was after the initial clearing and after I removed the Ivy from the graves and went over the surrounding area with the brush cutter.

This next picture shows the work I did lastly on the next four graves. The Ivy had climbed the sides and was starting to grow over the top so I removed it from top and sides plus underneath which was the most difficult part as I couldn't get to it very easily. As you can see in the foreground the original graves are now cleared. I'm undecided whether to put in a little plant, maybe a primula or similar but would that be overstepping the mark as the graves are nothing to do with me.

Here are the last four graves I cleared looking from the other end. You can see some of the Ivy I had to remove from them.

14 March 2021

Scotts Pine & Noble Fir.

One of our jobs this past week has been to pot on these Scotts Pine trees. I bought them in last year as bare rooted plants and the boss wants them growing on to make bigger plants for planting out in the woods at some point.

After buying in the trees last year it inspired me to have a go at growing some from seed so a few weeks ago I sowed a packet of Scots Pine and Noble Fir seeds. The Scotts Pine are in the half of the tray nearest and as you can see they have germinated very well. The Noble Fir are proving to be quite a lot slower, it looks like I might get a few plants from them eventually. For those that don't know the Noble Fir is often what you are getting when you buy your no drop Christmas trees.

10 March 2021

Crown Bud Cutting Spring Growth.

Today I thought I would give you an update on the Delphinium crown bud cuttings that I took last July. There hasn't been anything to see over the winter as all the leaves died back but this past week or so they are showing signs of life again. In the next few weeks I will be looking to pot them up to a bigger pot. If you didn't see the original posts when I made them, go and take a look either by following the labels to this post or click [HERE]

7 March 2021

Something Different.

Today I thought I would post something a bit different to the usual gardening things. I took these during our daily walk around. I like to make sure things are in order and no one has been up to any monkey business.

Below is the head gardener checking out the snowdrops by the woodland walk, no doubt whilst keeping an eye out for squirrels also.

This building in amonst the trees is the old water pumping station, it's no longer in use and is slowly decaying with time.

4 March 2021

Bird Box Terrace

Yesterday we moved some of the Dahlia tubers from being stored in the potting shed to the conservatory in the hope that if I keep dampening them with water on warmer days they will start to put out shoots so they get a head start once planted in the garden. A bit like spritting seed Potatoes I suppose.

The ones below are called Border Princess and will be going back into the Memorial Gardens borders.

Also yesterday, as I was supposed to be taking it easy I put up a bird box. It's been waiting around in the potting shed for a couple of years so I thought it was time it did a bit of good somewhere. I don't really know much about birds so not sure if it's in a good place or not. I read that some birds like to fly straight into the box whereas others prefer to perch and look around first  so I've tried to accommodate both here because apart from the hole that you can see in the middle there is also one at either end which in my book makes it a terraced bird box. Anyway I will keep an eye on it and see how it goes. I think there are probably a lot of better places to nest around here to be honest.

3 March 2021

A Bit More Ivy Trimming

There hasn't been a lot to report this past few days as I must confess to having been taking it easy due to feeling a bit under the weather. I'm not a doctor or anything so I'm not going to blame the covid jab that I had but the day after having it I've been having this underlying tiredness about me plus aching and shivers. It almost feels like I'm coming down with a bad case of the flu but it never develops into anything further. I rested up for a while and it went away and then last weekend it came back again. I feel like I am much recovered again this morning so I will try not to take on to much for the rest of the week and hopefully see the back of it as I need to get things done.

Anyway here is one of the jobs we managed to get done. Another Ivy trimming job. I cut this all back last year so it was just a maintenance trim just to bring it back to the desired level. 

In the picture below you can see that in just one year the growth has covered the gap to the top of the wall and is also growing over the top.

These are the tools that I find useful for Ivy trimming plus the hedge cutter or a pair of garden shears to clip the face of it if need be. In this instance there were only a few long ends that I nipped off with the pruners which is why there is no hedge cutter in the picture. The pruners are an old pair as they can get abused a bit scraping away and the stone work and what have you.

This is the finished article. We also pruned the roses in the border once the Ivy was cleared and then we weeded and forked the soil