Cutting Back

backgardenIt’s a good time of year to cut back hedges and shrubs in the garden so that we’ll have a light, airy space ready to plant the veg beds in the spring.

shedOur garden shed has for years been so overgrown with Ivy and so overhung by Hawthorn that visually it’s become an extension of the hedge. It’s now looking more like a shed again, shedthe Ivy cut back to the level of the gutters so that they won’t get blocked with leaves again so easily. Cutting back the hedge reveals that the roofing felt has rotted away in places so I want to re-felt it before the spring.

Golden HornetWe chose the Golden Hornet crab apple as the ideal wildlife/decorative tree for a small garden. It is briefly covered with blossoms in the spring then in the late summer their are masses of golden apples, each half the size of a golf ball but these turn brown with the first frosts. pruned crab appleThis is usually when Blackbirds and other thrushes really start to take an interest in them. It’s now about twice the size that I’d originally imagined that it would grow to when I planted it about 20 years ago so today we’ve lopped off some of the branches to give it a more symmetrical goblet shape.

frost in the gardenEven in our small, sheltered garden there are differences in microclimate from one side to another. In the beds on the south-west side in the shade and shelter of a tall hedge, much of the soil remains frozen while on the sunnier north-east side, it has thawed out.

4 replies on “Cutting Back”

  1. I’m a reader from the US and have enjoyed your nature diary for years. I was just wondering what you thought about those 83,000 dead fish in an Arkansas river and then the 5000 blackbirds falling out of the sky? Thanks for your thoughts and I am enjoying the new format.

    1. It sounds like something out of Rachel Carson’s ‘Silent Spring’ – have they been able to identify a cause?

      1. I was thinking potential toxins, too, or even weapon testing. But so far, for the birds, the news is saying death by “blunt trauma,” but not from hitting the ground, which is curious. And another 500 red-winged blackbirds were found dead in Louisianna a few days later, with a similar presentation. The dead fish, we are told, are not tied in any way to the dead birds, and the news is mentioning disease as a potential cause of death. More findings next week, the news says, after test results come in.

        1. That’s intriguing – I wonder if ‘blunt trauma’ could be caused by some freak atmospheric conditions?

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