Thursday, 3 April 2014

B is for far too BIG

B is for being far too big.

Sometimes my sentimental side gets the better of me and I regret it later.This regularly happens in the garden when I let trees and bushes grow far too long without pruning. It's one of those "I'll do it soon, jobs" but soon never comes, or not for a long time. By then a simple pruning becomes a major headache and employing a tree surgeon isn't always possible- my garden budget not being limitless.

I'm not only a fair-weather gardener but a lazy one as well- I have to admit to that.

I had a number of conifers in a raised bed which 25 years ago were small and very dwarfish, planted by a previous owner. Last year in 2013 some were, by then, around nine feet high- not exactly dwarf conifers any longer. The granite wall of the raised bed is a sturdy old one but not designed for that amount of weight, or root systems behind it. Last autumn most of the bushes were dug out -only one large multiple trunked root left still to clear. Thank goodness I had some help from my strudy son-in-law because I'd have spent all winter hacking away at them.

Two days ago the dried off foliage and branches were eventually burned off on the fire pit leaving a nice clear space around the area. Sounds good? Unfortunately it was only great for the blink of an eye.

My huge evergreen, non-jaggy, holly is well past needing an enormous trim. It's an extremely old tree with a girth of around 67 inches/ approx 170 cm at the base. With multiple trunk splits it means the limbs above are also very thick and old. For many years a local gardening firm came around early December, trimmed the tree, and carted off the foliage to make it into holly wreaths for Xmas. Sadly for the last few years their absence has been noted, their wreath making no longer a viable option for them since they weren't selling well.

Alongside the holly, the slide set is back upright again after it's toppling during the December 2013 storms. The broken slats have been repaired and hopefully it's better grounded than before, though it's still minus the bright yellow canopy which acts like a sail when it's really windy. I'm not entirely sure when that yellow top will be tacked back on since we're still having some strong gusts along with the grey days. 

It's now well past time for that very BIG holly tree to have a major prune. The top needs to be removed and a better shape achieved. However, the last time a major reduction was done my neighbour had not built the wall, topped with wooden privacy fence, so I'm going to need to be extremely careful about the trimming. It's not all going to happen in one day, but I can see quite a few hours disappearing which won't be spent at the keyboard- but that's what happens anyway when winter turns to spring in my larger than average garden.

Although the day is cool and grey, as seen in this photo taken minutes ago, the signs of spring are all around. The daffodils and tulips are brightening up areas, the ribes blossoms next to the holly are a welcome dark red and the blossom tree is a bright sight on what is still mostly winter drear.

It's time for me to get wrapped up and get outside to get on with more of the maintenance- after I do some potting on of seeds sown a few weeks ago.

Updates on that later...


Meanwhile, I'm delighted that my latest novel, published 25th March 2014,- After Whorl: Donning Double Cloaks- already has two 5* reviews and remains in the TOP 100 genre chart on Amazon UK.
If you've not yet got your copy you can still grab it at the launch price of 99p by clicking here- Amazon UK

ps It's also a nail biting time since the short list for THE WALTER SCOTT PRIZE FOR HISTORICAL FICTION 2014 will be announced soon. I'm so delighted that Book 2 - After Whorl: Bran Reborn - was in the running which means that someone in the first selection of readers has read it. Big smiles here since that is a very great honour.

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