After the pond and the (now departed) deer I feel it is time to turn to show a little more of what I am trying to do at the far end of the garden.
I have explained that we have many mature trees. Some are fine deciduous specimens of oak and beech. Some are ornamental like cherry and acer. In between there are many hazels. These we are coppicing. This is what the site looks like (photos of no artistic merit – just P&S snaps). As you walk into the copse there are large stones. These would have been features in the original Japanese theme.Beyond that we start to see hazels that we have rather tentatively started to thin out. Nothing drastic. Many hazel nuts are being gratefully consumed. I would imagine the mice, squirrels and Jays all say thank you.
The copse is not tidy. An old fallen tree is an asset to wildlife. The cut sections are piled up to provide shelter for wildlife. Here we have taken out more to open the canopy but note how we leave the young stems to grow whilst the older, coppiced ones can flourish again in the years ahead. A pile of brushwood. This is an old one that we have added to a little. Wrens were using this earlier in the year. Another small log pile on the right. A wider shot – there is fantastic natural leaf mulch. In Spring this is all swaddled in English native bluebells. By opening up the canopy we expect more summer flowers to germinate and grow next year. A newer brush pile. We are going to chip a lot of this for mulch for the rest of the garden. I can hire a chipper for £80 for a day and it will take 9″ wide logs. Or pay £60 to have it taken away. No contest. I don’t want to leave it. I am learning that wild does not mean unmanaged.
We shall open the canopy more. The pond debris next week will go onto the compost heap. I emptied, turned and refilled one bin yesterday. Very therapeutic.
I mentioned one of Monty Don’s books recently and today I am going to recommend another. Don, I have discovered, is an outspoken philosopher and social critic. His views resonate strongly with me and I find reading even a few pages of his book encourages me to go out even if only for an hour or so.
It sounds as if I am doing a lot. In reality it is tidying up. Bringing back a little order. Others do the hard work, I hover around making encouraging grunts. At the moment I am fighting a rather aggressive chest infection. I am unregistered with the NHS as I can’t find a decent practice nearby. So I have to plod on hoping it will resolve itself. Or maybe if it gets worse I will go back to HK to see my old doctors. Pottering around the garden puts fresh air in my lungs. I felt much better for watching a drunken bee lurch around the Buddleia, stumbling, righting itself, (did I hear a soft hiccup?) refocussing and then tiptoeing gingerly along in the hope that there are no bee-police testing for too much amber nectar. Bombus lucorum, I think. Common and widespread. Just like me. And with that I close the garden update.