Garden Journal 5.9.20

The shorter four day week has again focussed my efforts. On one hand I’m continuing to play catchup following a recent week away, and on the other I’ve again picked up the baton to push some hedge renovation forward – a particularly large conifer hedge. Lots of ‘pressure points’, as mentioned in last week’s journal entry, but all under control of course.

Hedging restoration in progress!

The containers, as shown in the image below, are hanging on in there as the days begin to shorten now, and whilst floral colour begins to fade, the massed effect and overall structure is still working really well to soften the building. It’s worth saying that all of the plants shown were re-potted from last year – lockdown and so many other tasks prevented any new additions to the mix, therefore all things considered, it’s looking pretty good.

Can’t beat a pot or two!

Pond – Final Clearance!
The pond I have to say is looking amazing, and thanks largely to the weeding efforts of two very supportive volunteers Alex and Mary. Including some other help for a much needed early season bonfire, we’ve racked up more than 130 hours of volunteering this season, the equivalent of more than three weeks of additional input to the garden. I can easily remember some really heavy jobs in the mix of tasks, so much recognition and thanks must go to my long suffering volunteers – champions indeed!

Pond – the final clearance!

Twisted Timber
One last activity before I move onto my highlights and weekly thought, is tree work. As previously mentioned the recent storms made their presence felt at Broadwell with some damage to an Oak tree in particular. I’m glad to say that the limb in question, not an easy removal by any stretch of the imagination, is now down and safe. The image below shows one of the climbers working out how the twisted break to the stem would react when the saw blades bite into the timber. I can confirm that the timber twisted some more, and the saw was instantly trapped, needing removal. All in a day’s work as they say!

A tangle to be sure…

In terms of tasks and work activity this week, here’s a brief summary:
B/H Monday – Orchard walking…
Tuesday – Watering and feeding; Mowing and blowing; Tree works.
Wednesday – Kitchen Garden Maintenance; Hedge restoration; Tool cleaning and sharpening.
Thursday – Hedge restoration continued.
Friday – Front border maintenance; Mole heaps; Mowing; Cordon bed maintenance.

Ripe for the Picking
Stretching back to Sunday/Monday I was blessed, after a long drive south, to have all three of my children together. Whilst gardening was furthest from my mind throughout the all-too-short get together, a visit to a Somerset cider farm did make a perfect venue for a socially distanced walk. Ultimately, we found ourselves on a grassy ridge, with a forest of apple trees clothing the banks to each side..

A photo showing lots of apples ripening across the trees in an orchard
In an English Orchard…

The trees were heavily laden with apples blushing in the sunshine, the air was calm and still, and that bittersweet feeling that within a few short hours, I’d be back on the road with stretched heart strings was very present. At one point, I walked along that ridge with my nearest and dearest before me, when I called out for a moment of pause. The guys paused, posed, and grumbled; and I got my image for the memory banks.

Who’s not the introvert…?!

Then, a few days later and after I’d returned to work, the moment returned. My boys were revelling in their first week back in school – and the real world. My beautiful daughter was back conquering her working world and settling into her first home, and my better half was busily communicating with the world from our home office. All of them were miles away when, in the peace of my garden at work, I happened across some sun kissed pears on an old espalier tree, and I was momentarily transported back to that Somerset orchard, with my close ones near by.

An image showing ripenening pears on an old espalier tree in a walled garden.
Blushing pears…

I found the potential and power of a simple ripening pear, to trigger a stored memory, and to evoke strong feelings; was incredible. Thinking laterally – an aroma from a flower, a flower itself, even a shrub or leaves on a tree; they can all do the very same thing as that pear, by connecting a person at lightning speed to a special memory.

I’ll never stop thinking of plants or people for that matter, in this way; their ability to ground me with their sometimes complex, sometimes simple needs, and often for the fact that they don’t need anything from me at all – they just need to be noticed, left alone, and loved.

Until next time, do connect with me on Twitter and/or Instagram

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